Picture: ARTEM MERZLENKO
Picture: ARTEM MERZLENKO

1. Meatier than ever

Despite growing health fads such as meat-free Mondays and Veganuary, global meat consumption has in fact increased over the past 50 years, and not just because there are many more and richer people. Meat production today is 330Mt, five times higher than in the 1960s. The US and Australia top the tables. They, New Zealand and Argentina eat more than 100kg of meat per person a year — about 50 chickens or half a cow each. In Western Europe it’s 80kg-90kg, Nigeria 9kg. The global increase is driven by middle-income countries such as China, Brazil and SA.

2. Cold crypto wallet

As if the bursting of the bitcoin bubble was not enough, cryptocurrency investors in Canada are enduring more pain. The country’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Quadriga, has been unable to access about C$180m worth of digital coins since the sudden death of its founder in December, according to a BBC report. Gerald Cotten had sole responsibility for handling the exchange’s funds and coins, and the laptop he used is encrypted. Having sole responsibility for such a large pool of funds and assets is clearly not always a good idea.

3. Zim beware

A day after their ultimatum expired for Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro to call an election in the divided country, key EU countries recognised opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president. US President Donald Trump threatened to send in the army to remove Maduro. Many Latin American states as well as Canada urged the Venezuelan army to back Guaidó as interim leader. Russia and China slammed the move. There’s no doubt Maduro runs an oppressive, kleptocratic state. Do calls for his removal mean that countries like Zimbabwe might be next on the list?