Friday, June 05, 2020

May 15, 2020  WASHINGTON - Big technology companies that are reaping gains as result of increased reliance on online systems during coronavirus quarantines and lockdowns should work to increase access to the digital economy for all, the head of the IMF said on Friday.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told an event hosted by Politico that the crisis was devastating the global economy, but it also offered an opportunity to tackle persistent inequality and other priorities such as climate change, if recovery funds were properly focused.

“I very much hope that the leadership of tech companies will see this as a chance to demonstrate responsible capitalism, responsible behavior,” she said.

Georgieva said that the big winners from the coronavirus pandemic were the digital economy, and providers of e-commerce, e-government and e-learning services.

Digital companies needed to act in a way that “is good for everybody for society as a whole,” Georgieva said, without citing any specific companies. “It will be extremely important for all of us to watch whether there is further division in access to the internet, to the digital economy.”

There were high risks that the crisis and its economic damage would worsen inequality, and governments needed to take steps to mitigate these risks, Georgieva said. Government spending to keep companies afloat during shutdowns and workers employed would help with the recovery from the crisis.

But she emphasized that even under the best-case scenario of a rebound that starts in the second half of 2020, there will be only a partial recovery in 2021.

The crisis presented an opportunity for governments to invest in environmentally friendly growth stimulus, the IMF head said. Low oil prices also present an opportunity to eliminate “harmful” energy subsidies, a move Georgieva said would reduce government spending at a time of ballooning debt while boosting climate change resilience.

Some conditions for reducing emissions also could be built into the IMF’s lending programs, she said.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s metamorphosis from refugee to the first Somali-American in Congress has been well-documented. Now, Omar is out with a new memoir that offers her own spin on her path to prominence, starting with her childhood in Mogadishu. “This is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman,” set for release Tuesday, offers no revelations on some of the controversies that have dogged Omar. Instead, it sketches rugged years that Omar says made her a fearless fighter, unafraid to skirmish with President Donald Trump and her frequent conservative critics.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tyler Perry is planning to make his Atlanta-based mega studio one of the first domestic filming grounds to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. But while Perry is looking to restart production in July, other studios in Georgia and beyond are anxiously waiting for Hollywood’s green light. “We’re taking the lead from our production partners,” said Frank Patterson, president of the sprawling Pinewood Studios, located in suburban Atlanta. The studio has been home to big-budget films such as “The Avengers: Endgame” and “Ant-Man” along with the television show “The Walking Dead.”

NEW YORK (AP) — Canadian-Indian rapper Nav has no problem being signed to one of the biggest artists in the world. In fact, he says The Weeknd doesn’t overshadow him but pushes him to the forefront. “It’s a real family over here. He has so much success. I don’t think he really cares about who’s (also successful),” said Nav, whose real name is Navraj Singh Goraya and is signed to The Weeknd’s XO imprint. “He just wants everybody to win.” With fellow Canadian stars like The Weeknd and Drake, it’s an understatement to say Toronto has had a signature run in music the past few years. But Nav, whose new album “Good Intentions” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week, is taking notes and hoping to one day draw the same acclaim

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The first season of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” received Daytime Emmy Awards nominations for a best entertainment talk show and host, while “Jeopardy!” veteran Alex Trebek’s nod for best game show host could give him a second consecutive win in the category. “General Hospital” earned a leading 23 nominations Thursday, including best daytime drama, lead actress nods for Finola Hughes and Maura West, and lead actor nods for Steve Burton and Jon Lindstrom. Other top nominees are “Days of Our Lives” with 22 bids, “The Young and the Restless” with 21 and “The Bold and the Beautiful” with 13.