Al Jazeera's James Bays - 21 Jan
US president gives keynote speech on the day his impeachment trial begins in the Senate.3 hours ago
The four-day annual gathering of some of the world's top political and business leaders in the Swiss Alps is seeking to meet head-on the dangers to both the environment and the economy from global warming.
US President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly expressed scepticism about climate change, lauded the US economy in his keynote address on Tuesday morning, hours before his impeachment trial opens at the Senate in Washington, DC.
Trump told business and political leaders in the mountain resort that America's economic turnaround had been "nothing short of spectacular".
Trump's opposition to renewable energy, his withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate accord and the free hand extended to the fossil fuel industry puts him at odds with the entire thrust of the event.
His administration's trade spats with China and the recent deal to ease tensions between the rival giant economies weigh heavy on the minds of leaders in Davos after the International Monetary Fund slightly downgraded global growth prospects for 2020 on Monday.
Middle Eastern issues are also on Trump's agenda, as he is set to meet Iraqi President Barham Salih, the president of the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, Nechirvan Barzani, and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Al Jazeera's James Bays, reporting from Davos, said Trump decided to attend the summit on a day "when there is so much going on in Washington".
"There was lots of speculation that he would cancel at the last minute but he didn't," Bays said.
"His advisers [believe] that this is a good look on this day, a chance to have him on the world stage, looking presidential and showing his strong suit because he's going to be among the world's top business leaders and that really is the strong card of the Trump administration - the economy and stock market."
While celebrating the success of the WEF members, I find it appropriate to mention the growing inequality of the world. It would be appropriate to channel some of their wealth to build industries and create jobs in underdeveloped countries.
World's billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people, report says a head of Davos
By Lauren Chadwick • last updated: 20/01/2020 - 12:11
The world's billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people and the world's richest 1% own more than double the wealth of 6.9 billion people.
Those are the latest figures on global inequality from a report released on Monday ahead of an annual meeting of global elites in the mountain resort of Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
As at least some of the world's 2,153 billionaires rub noses at the World Economic Forum this week, others will be working to communicate another message: the complicity of the global elite in wealth inequality.
The report by the international aid organisation Oxfam states that the number of billionaires has doubled in the last decade.
"Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist," said Amitabh Behar, the CEO of Oxfam India who will be present at Davos.
"[Inequality is at the] heart of fractures and social conflicts all over the world, and no one is fooled," said Pauline Leclère, Oxfam France's senior campaigner for tax justice and inequalities.
"Inequality is not someone's fate. It is the result of social and fiscal policy that reduces the participation of the wealthy [through taxes] and weakens funding for public services."
Leclère said this is the message that Oxfam will be trying to deliver at Davos.
The non-profit organisation has released an annual report ahead of the famous economic meeting to address mounting inequality since 2014.
This year, Oxfam examined the gender divide as well, highlighting that men worldwide own 50% more wealth than women due to a "sexist and unfair economic system".
The 22 richest men in the world have more wealth than all the women in Africa, the report said.
Women often work in sectors that are more insecure and less valued economically, the Oxfam report states.
They do more than 75% of unpaid care work and makeup two-thirds of the "care workforce" in the nursery and domestic jobs.
"Women and girls are among those who benefit least from today's economic system," said Behar.
Few changes in inequality.
But overall, their conclusions on inequality remain unchanged.
"Unfortunately, the organisation's conclusion is the same. Inequality continues to rise in extreme proportions," Leclère told Euronews, adding that inequality is bad for economies.
Indeed, the director of the International Monetary Fund said at a conference in Washington DC last week that although inequality between countries was decreasing, inside many high-income countries, inequality is growing.
"The gap between rich and poor can't be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies, and too few governments are committed to these," said Behar.
Though members of civil society say they're looking to receive concrete results from Davos, they know it's an uphill battle.
Leclère says NGO members aren't "fooled" by the events' big, lofty political speeches. "We're waiting for them to follow up with action."
The bottom line is for the people to regain their original, moral principles, which have intentionally been watered out over the past generations by our press, TV, and other media owned by the Illuminati/Bilderberger Group, corrupting our morals by making misbehavior acceptable to our society. Only in this way shall we conquer this oncoming wave of evil.
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