In less than two years, drones have taken the professional photography world by storm. But their biggest shortcoming — especially for travel photographers — has long been their form factor. They’re big, fragile, and cumbersome and, until recently, they’ve been virtually impossible to travel with. While GoPro’s highly anticipated foldable Karma was destined to solve that problem, its disastrous recall placed the drone’s production on indefinite hiatus. The debacle paved the way, however, for these three killer alternatives.DJI Mavic Pro ($999)DJI’s Phantom set the bar for what high-end drones should be. The Mavic Pro — the company’s entry into the foldable drone category — offers most of the same technology in an impossibly compact form factor. The clever design allows for folding not only the legs, but also the rotors. This allows for a collapsed footprint (height and width) that isn’t much larger than an iPhone 7 Plus. Still, the unit manages to pack five vision sensors, a stabilized 4K Ultra HD camera, and a high-tech transmission system capable of streaming crystal clear video more than four miles away. Don’t miss: a “Tripod Mode” allows pilots to operate indoors and in tight flying quarters.GDU Byrd Premium ($999)GoPro garnered most of the accolades as the world’s first mainstream foldable drone package. But, GDU (formerly ProDrone) was actually the first to market such a product with their Byrd foldable drones. The line includes entry-level Standard and prosumer Advanced versions. However, the flagship Byrd Premium is the real standout. With an exterior shell crafted from military grade composites, the design is sleek and durable. It also folds down into a footprint that’s easily packable in a small backpack. The 6,700mAh battery provides nearly thirty minutes of flying time and the smart, automated “return-to-home” feature ensures it’ll make it back before the power runs out. Don’t miss: the included camera is swappable for other hardware, including GoPro, infrared cameras, and other compact and DSLR options.Hover Camera Passport ($599)For casual users who aren’t quite ready or wanting for a premium drone, Hover Camera offers something entirely different. Their new Passport camera is equal parts drone and high-tech selfie stick. It’s designed to be fully autonomous — simply unfold the wings (to activate the rotors) and release it into the air. Built-in face- and body-tracking software allow the unit to follow your movements whether you’re walking, biking, or cliff-diving. A slick Orbit feature sets the Passport to circle around the user while filming, and a Spin mode is capable of capturing 360-degree panoramic videos. Don’t miss: the fully-enclosed carbon fiber design means no more worrying about bent rotors. Wasp Turns Your Boring Drone Into a Flamethrowing Assault Copter The Opus OP15′ Is a Tricked-Out, Off-Road-Ready Travel Trailer Why Your Desk Chair Matters and the 9 Best Ones to Boost Your Productivity Learn Guitar (and Don’t Give Up) With the Fender Play App The Ultimate Pillow Guide: The 6 Best Pillows for All Sleepers Editors’ Recommendations
Growth in emerging market and developing economies as a whole should pick up to 4.2 per cent this year from 3.4 per cent in the year just ended amid modestly rising commodity prices. Nevertheless, the outlook is clouded by uncertainty about policy direction in major economies. A protracted period of uncertainty could prolong the slow growth in investment that is holding back low, middle, and high income countries.In emerging market and developing economies, which account for one-third of global gross domestic product (GDP) and about three-quarters of the world’s population and the world’s poor, investment growth fell to 3.4 per cent in 2015 from 10 per cent on average in 2010, and likely declined another half percentage point last year.Slowing investment growth is partly a correction from high pre-crisis levels, but also reflects obstacles to growth that emerging and developing economies have faced, including low oil prices for oil exporters, slowing foreign direct investment for commodity importers, and more broadly, private debt burdens and political risk.Commodity-exporting emerging market and developing economies are expected to expand by 2.3 per cent in 2017 after an almost negligible 0.3 per cent in 2016, as commodity prices gradually recover and as Russia and Brazil resume growing after recessions.In contrast, commodity-importing emerging market and developing economies should grow at 5.6 per cent this year, unchanged from 2016. China is projected to continue an orderly growth slowdown to a 6.5 per cent rate. However, overall prospects for emerging market and developing economies are dampened by tepid international trade, subdued investment, and weak productivity growth.Growth is projected to ease to 6.2 per cent in East Asia and the Pacific, pick up to 2.4 per cent in Europe and Central Asia, return to positive growth and expand by 1.2 per cent in Latin America and Caribbean, recover modestly to a 3.1 per cent in Middle East and North Africa, pick up modestly to 7.1 per cent in South Asia, and to 2.9 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa. President of World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim (right), visits family members who are beneficiaries of the solar home systems in Barisal District, Bangladesh. Photo: World Bank/Dominic Chavez “After years of disappointing global growth, we are encouraged to see stronger economic prospects on the horizon,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a news release.“Now is the time to take advantage of this momentum and increase investments in infrastructure and people. This is vital to accelerating the sustainable and inclusive economic growth required to end extreme poverty,” he added.The World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects January 2017 said that growth in advanced economies is expected to edge up to 1.8 per cent in 2017. Growth in the United States is expected to pick up to 2.2 per cent, as manufacturing and investment growth gain traction after a weak 2016.Fiscal stimulus in major economies – particularly in the United States – could generate faster domestic and global growth than projected, although rising trade protection could have adverse effects. But because of the “outsize role the United States plays in the world economy, changes in policy direction may have global ripple effects,” added World Bank Development Economics Prospects Director Ayhan Kose.
“As we enter winter, any disruption of essential services, such as water and heating amid freezing temperatures could have grave consequences,” said Neal Walker, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, in a statement Wednesday. “I remind all parties to the conflict of their obligation to respect civilian infrastructure and to protect civilians. Any intentional disruption of access to quality water supply or critical heating systems is a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law,” he underscored. In the past six days, the Donetsk Filter Station has been shelled for three consecutive nights. Another station, the Verkhniokalmiuska Filter Station, was hit more than a dozen times in a single night. Stations such as these provide clean water to some 1.1 million people on both sides of the 459-kilometre ‘contact line’ dividing eastern Ukraine. Furthermore, these stations are also essential to keep heating systems functioning. “Without sustained water supply, heating systems will stop and health conditions will deteriorate. Children, the elderly, women and people with disabilities may flee their homes in search of heat and shelter,” noted Mr. Walker. Such an escalation, so close to critical infrastructure, risks prompting a severe deterioration of the ongoing humanitarian crisis on Europe’s doorstepNeal Walker, UN Humanitarian CoordinatorAt the same time, the fighting has also prompted concerns over the possible release of hazardous chlorine gas stored at the two filter stations. If a single 900-kilogram gas container is hit, anyone within 200 meters might receive fatal dose of the poisonous gas. The conflict, now in its fourth year, continues to take a toll on civilians, denying the most vulnerable of their basic needs as well as their safety and protection.“In this protracted crisis, millions of families trapped in active hostilities and people displaced are losing hope for a future,” said the UN official, calling on parties to uphold their responsibility to facilitate the access of humanitarian organizations to provide critical services for the most vulnerable Ukrainians affected by the conflict.