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Early Bird: China will dominate the world economy. Zeman criticizes the media. Jennifer Aniston caused controversy

Kateřina Ostrejšová
27.Dec 2020
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4 minutes to read
Jennifer Aniston

China will overtake the US in the world economy five years earlier than expected. Miloš Zeman didn't spare criticism in his Christmas speech. The opposition and the media got an earful. Jennifer Anniston's "innocent" Christmas ornament evoked conflicting feelings in her fans on Instagram - they're calling her inconsiderate. Come and have a look at what's new around the world in our Early Bird.

Sweden confirms new coronavirus mutation

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Žena v roušce si dezinfikuje ruce.
Žena v roušce si dezinfikuje ruce. Source:

A new coronavirus mutation associated with a rapid increase in positive cases in the UK has been detected in Sweden after a traveller from the UK fell ill and tested positive, the Swedish health agency said. He is currently in isolation.

"The person who tested positive for the virus traveled to Sörmland from the UK to celebrate Christmas,"

said Signe Makitalo, regional doctor for infection control. So far, there are no indications that the mutation is spreading in the country. Sweden imposed travel restrictions on British passengers earlier this month due to concerns regarding the new strain.

Luxusní byt na pronájem 197m2-Praha 5
Luxusní byt na pronájem 197m2-Praha 5, Praha 5

2,000 years old food found in Pompeii

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Pult objevený v Pompejích.
Pult objevený v Pompejích. Source:

Archaeologists have made an extraordinary find in Pompeii, a city buried during a volcanic eruption in 79 AD: a frescoed hot food and drink shop that used to sell food to Roman passers-by. The shop, known as thermopolium ("a place where something hot is sold" in Latin) was discovered in the archaeological park's Regio V site, and is not yet open to visitors.

Traces of nearly 2,000-year-old food were found in some of the deep terra cotta jars in the shop, which the streer vendor had lowered into the counter which contained circular holes. Brightly colored frescoes have been identified on the front of the store's counter, some depicting animals that were part of the ingredients in the food sold, including a chicken and two ducks hanging upside down. According to analyzes by the anthropological society Valeria Amoretti, the figures drawn on the front of the counter represent the food and beverages that were sold there.

"This is an extraordinary find. It's the first time we are excavating an entire thermopolium,"

said Massimo Ossana, director of the Pompeii archaeological park. Archaeologists also discovered a decorated bronze drinking bowl known as a patera, wine flasks or ceramic jars used for cooking soups and stews.

About two thirds of the 66-hectare ancient city have already been uncovered. The ruins hadn't been discovered until the 16th century and organized excavations began around 1750.

Miloš Zeman: Vaccination is the light at the end of the tunnel

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Miloš Zeman
Miloš ZemanSource:

In his Christmas speech on Saturday, President Miloš Zeman appealed on all citizens to get their Covid-19 shots. According to his words, people shouldn't listen to those trying to persuade them to stop wearing face masks and behave as if the coronavirus didn't exist. Zeman called this year's reflection sad, but considers vaccination to be "the light at the end of the tunnel". He believes that the Czech Republic handled the first wave of the epidemic well thanks to the then Deputy Minister and Minister of Health Roman Prymula. For his efforts, Zeman awarded him the highest state decoration, the Order of the White Lion.

"But then we fell asleep on our laurels and thought we had suppressed the epidemic. The opposition, who called for easing the measures, kept saying it, the government kept saying it and, above all, the public wished it to be true,"

said Miloš Zeman. The president didn't fail to raise criticism towards the opposition, who was should have cooperated more with the government. From there, he moved on to criticizing the media, specifically Respekt's Editor-in-Chief Erik Tabery and commentator Petr Honzejk. And he didn't shy away from using harsh words.

"Unfortunately, our media failed in the same way. The media owned by Zdeněk Bakala were especially hateful. And I say that those journalists who take money from Zdeněk Bakala, all those Honzejks, Taberys, Štětkas and so on, deserve out deepest contempt. And that is why I wanted to express my support for our government today, who keep fighting, while all certain others can do is talk,"

Zeman said in his speech.

China will overtake the US in the world economy

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Tržnice v Číně.
Tržnice v Číně. Source:

China will overtake the United States in the world economy as early as 2028, five years earlier than previously estimated, due to the contrast in how the two countries are recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. It was the pandemic that tipped the scales of this rivalry in favor of China, which is handling the situation much better thanks to timely strict border shutdowns.

China's economic growth is expected to slow from the current growth of 5.7% per year to 4.5% since 2026. The United States is expected to slow down to 1.9% between 2022 and 2024. Japan should remain the world's third economy, followed by India and Germany. The United Kingdom, currently the fifth largest economy according to CEPR, would fall to the sixth place in 2024.

Europe accounted for 19% of production in the top 10 global economies in 2020, a figure that will fall to 12% by 2035, or even lower if there is a sharp split between the EU and Britain, claims the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). The Center also believes that the impact of the pandemic on the global economy is likely to be reflected in higher inflation, not slower growth.

Jennifer Aniston's Christmas ornament caused controversy

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Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer AnistonSource:

Actress Jennifer Aniston provoked mixed reactions after sharing an Instagram post showing a Christmas ornament with the words “Our First Pandemic 2020” engraved on it. In her Instastory, Rachel from Friends didn't mention if the ornament was actually hers, but her fans were quick to make their own opinions and one could say that they split into two camps.

Some Twitter users asked the actress to comment on the post. According to them, she is blatantly ignoring the countless losses caused by the pandemic.

"All celebrities have done during this pandemic is show how out of touch and just f—ing oblivious they are to anything that doesn’t have to do with them. Some people’s entire family have died, but at least Aniston is showing how quirky she can be,"

a Twitter user commented on Aniston's story.

That's all from us for now, enjoy the holidays, because as the American writer Dale Evans said:

“Christmas is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas."

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