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Friday round up: Syria, Piketty pushes back, Universal Health Coverage, GMOs to fight hunger, and Brazil

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Syria's economy is heading into ruin, warns a Reuters news story based on a new study by the Damascus based-Syrian Centre for Policy Research. Commissioned by the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the study estimates that there was a 40 percent contraction in GDP since the start the conflict in 2011 and two-thirds of the nation's population is estimated to be living in extreme poverty.

Thomas Piketty, author of 'Capital in the 21st Century,' has responded in detail to the FT's recent assertion that his blockbuster book used erroneous computations.

A new joint WB-WHO report was released on 'Monitoring progress towards universal health coverage at country and global levels: Framework, measures and targets.'

'GMOs are a key tool to addressing global hunger' is the title of an op ed in the Boston Globe by Richard Roberts, chief scientific officer of New England Biolabs and the 1993 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine for the discovery of split genes.

McKinsey Global Institute has a new report out on 'Brazil's path to inclusive growth'. It cautions that, while Brazil has rapidly become the world’s seventh-largest economy, individual wealth has failed to follow suit.