Once again, Data Dive has scoured the Web for weekend links of amusing interest. Enjoy the best of the week that was:
On Monday the anti-poverty charity Oxfam reported that the top 80 of the most wealthy people in the world have the same worth as the poorest 3.5 billion, and predicted that by 2016 the richest one percent would own more than half the world’s wealth. Data from Forbes show that 35 of those top 80 are American, and it is safe to say that they did not get there by working overtime at their respective job sites.
In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama spoke out strongly against terrorist attacks in Pakistan and Paris and lauded America’s part in air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Nigeria and the ruthless militants of Boko Haram, though, earned no mention in the official text version of his speech. As this Reuters graphic shows, in the last four years, Boko Haram’s steady and increasingly bloody attacks have left astounding carnage in their wake. The Islamist group is said to control roughly 11,500 square miles of territory—equal to the size of Belgium—in northeast Nigeria, and in that area 10,000 people died as the result of Boko Haram-related violence in the last year alone, according to figures from the Council on Foreign Relations.
This week Nigeria joined Brazil and the Netherlands in recalling their Jakarta ambassadors in response to the executions of their citizens for drug trafficking on January 11. One Indonesian and foreign nationals from Malawi and Vietnam were killed the same day in what Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders described as ”an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.” Meanwhile, in the U.S., jury selection began this month in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the accused Boston Marathon bomber, in the highest-profile American death penalty trial in years.
It’s the weekend, which for most means rest and relaxation. In that spirit, here are some of the week’s lighter data dives from across the Web.
Switzerland’s sudden removal of the country’s currency cap yesterday sent a tremor through the world financial system and brought some foreign exchange vendors to their knees. The ramifications of the move are still shaking out, but one aspect of it brings further attention to the perplexing concept of negative interest rates.
It hasn’t been a great week for Haiti.
Monday marked five years since a 7.0 earthquake killed some 220,000 people and left 1.5 million displaced. Horrible news became worse later that year, as a catastrophic cholera outbreak hit the country. As this Reuters graphic shows, the epidemic started quickly in October, 2010, after UN peacekeepers from Nepal are thought to have contaminated the Artibonite River, Haiti’s biggest. In the first few months, tens of thousands were infected each week, and the epidemic has since persisted at an attenuated rate, with 8,775 dead and 719,650 sickened as of December 6, the date of the last reliable figures.