The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, June 26 2020. Picture: MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, June 26 2020. Picture: MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES

1. Nile dam dispute

Ethiopia’s prime minister says his country "will not cave in to aggressions of any kind" after US President Donald Trump suggested Egypt could destroy the controversial Nile dam. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is at the centre of a dispute between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan. Egypt relies on the Nile for the bulk of its water needs, and fears the dam may compromise its supply. Trump says Egypt will not be able to live with the dam and might "blow up" the construction. The US is accused of siding with Egypt in the dispute. In September it said it would cut some aid to Ethiopia when the country began filling the reservoir behind the dam.

2. Covid comeback fears

The proportion of people in England with coronavirus antibodies dropped by more than a quarter in the space of three months, fuelling concerns over reinfection, The Guardian reports. The findings come from a study based on home finger-prick antibody tests with random participants. The first results released in August showed about 6% of the population of England had the antibodies — protective proteins produced in response to an infection.

However, just 4.4% of those tested in the most recent round in September had detectable coronavirus antibodies, suggesting an increased risk of reinfection.

3. Ant’s auspicious debut

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma plans to raise more than $34bn in another record-breaking stock market debut, this time for Ant Group. Ant, an online payments business, plans to sell about 11% of its shares. But the pricing values the business at $313bn. Bloomberg estimates Ma’s fortune will soon hit $71.1bn, positioning him as the 11th wealthiest person in the world.

Ant runs Alipay, with 1.3-billion users mostly in China. It is a payment system where cash, cheques and credit cards have been eclipsed by e-payment devices and apps.


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