The Week Unwrapped: Dead ships, film strikes and pandemic travel

Why is the UN worried about a supertanker in Yemen? Will strikes cause a streaming video shortage? And what next for the ‘zero-Covid’ success stories?

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters.

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Yemen’s timebomb

For years activists and environmental groups have been warning of the dangers of a 45-year-old oil tanker stranded off the coast of Yemen. Trapped in the war zone between the internationally recognised government and the Houthi rebels, the FSO Safer is carrying 1.14m barrels of crude oil. And if it sinks, sets on fire or explodes, thousands of people could die. When or how the oil freighter will be secured and moved to safety remains unclear. But what does it tell us about the impact of conflict on the climate crisis?

Hollywood strike

Film crews working on films and series for streaming video services are threatening to go on strike over pay and working conditions. Last time their contracts were up for renewal, the studios negotiated lower fees for crews working on online projects compared with those destined for cinema or TV, arguing that the streaming business model was unproven. Now the unions say streaming services are at least as lucrative as older media, and their workers deserve a larger cut.

Covid cold feet

Singapore’s government is facing pressure to reintroduce restrictions after it cut hotel quarantine and started letting in a small number of vaccinated tourists. The resulting rise in infections, though still small by European standards, spooked a population that has got used to a zero-Covid approach. Australia and New Zealand will soon negotiate a similar transition. How will these Covid success stories manage the next phase of the pandemic, and how will it change their attitude towards international visitors?

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