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An unfinished Evergrande housing complex in Luoyang, China
Image copyright: Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
An unfinished Evergrande housing complex in Luoyang, China.

Here’s what you need to know

China’s property sector is starting to crack. The Evergrande Group, one of China’s biggest real estate developers, is deeply in the red, and Gangzhou R&F is trying to drum up cash. Beijing will have to decide whether to step in, as markets around the world are getting nervous.

The US will admit fully vaccinated foreign visitors. The White House announced new rules that will go into effect in November.

Pfizer said its vaccine is safe and effective for the 5-11 age group. The pharmaceutical company indicated it would submit its findings to US regulators before the end of the month, in hopes of being granted emergency authorization.

A “variant-proof” vaccine began trials in the UK. Manufacturer Gritstone says the GRT-R910 offers wider immunity protection and hopes it will be used as a booster, pending a successful study.

Paul Rusesabagina was convicted on terror charges. The hero of Hotel Rwanda has been sentenced to 25 years by a Rwandan court.

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What to watch for

The UN General Assembly begins today in New York, although many world leaders will be participating virtually. While the pandemic and Afghanistan are sure to dominate the conversation, climate change is also at the forefront of this year’s agenda. In addition to more formal discussions, UK prime minister Boris Johnson will try to pressure countries to up their climate commitments ahead of the COP26 UN climate conference in November.

What to watch out for this week:

Sept. 22: Green Jobs in the Clean Energy Transition examines the job creation potential of the Biden administration’s goal of achieving 100% clean energy by 2030.

Sept. 23: A Q&A with Mark Carney, a special envoy for the UN on climate action and finance.

Sept. 23: The UN Food Systems Summit to transform global food systems for affordable, accessible food produced in ways that safeguard the climate.

Sept. 24: The High-level Dialogue on Energy, the first General Assembly gathering on energy since 1981, focused on achieving affordable, clean energy for all.


India is restarting its Covid-19 vaccine exports

Image copyright: Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar
Friends again.

India’s Covid-19 vaccine diplomacy will likely resume after a hiatus of six months, as it resurrects its Vaccine Maitri (vaccine friendship) initiative to partner nations, and to the global vaccine-sharing collective Covax, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said yesterday. The country stopped exporting vaccines in April because of an extreme domestic shortage, and a raging second wave of the pandemic.

67 million: Doses sent to 95 countries under Vaccine Maitri to date

1 billion: Doses the Indian government expects to receive from Serum Institute of India (SII) in the next three months; it hopes to send any “surplus” to low- and middle-income countries

600 million: People in India who have received at least one dose

85%: Portion of Covax’s supply SII’s Covishield, the Indian brand name for the AstraZeneca vaccine, is meant to cover

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IP-oh just kidding

Last week, podcast and audio platform Ximalaya became the latest Chinese company to reconsider a US IPO. For years, Chinese companies have found it appealing to go public in the US because of the market size and corresponding liquidity. More recently, Hong Kong has become a listing destination for Chinese tech darlings due to the rising tensions between China and the US. Beijing’s crackdown on tech is giving Chinese companies a further hint that they should consider Hong Kong or mainland exchanges for listings.

Quartz’s latest Forecast email looks at China’s crackdown on its tech unicorns, including the impact on where and how they list.

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What we’re reading

🌾  A rapid switch to organic farming has sparked an economic crisis in Sri Lanka. A new rule banning chemical fertilizers is having far-reaching consequences.

👩‍🏫  US schools are losing teachers at an unprecedented rate. The pandemic has prompted many educators to consider early retirement or a new career.

⏱  ByteDance is getting ahead of China’s crackdown on tech for teens. The company will limit the usage of its app to 40 minutes a day for children under 14.

📈  Why is natural gas so expensive right now? Cold winters, hot summers, and lackluster output from renewables are driving prices to record highs.

🙌  Keeping employees motivated during the pandemic is the “challenge of a lifetime.” But simply being there for them can be enough.

🎢  US-China tensions didn’t dampen the opening of Universal Studios’ Beijing theme park. It’s a sign Hollywood’s bet on China is paying off.


Surprising discoveries

Image copyright: Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Shot in the arm.

Vaccinations in India magically tripled on Narendra Modi’s birthday. Most likely, the numbers were artificially deflated leading up to the date.

A first edition of the US Constitution is up for sale. It’s one of only 11 in existence and can be yours for somewhere around $20 million.

Google is very into chip puns. It’s marketing its Tensor system on a chip with Google-branded potato chips in Japan.

Cardboard beds get a new mission. The notorious Olympic Village furniture will be reused by Covid-19 patients in Osaka.

Venetian musicians performed on a floating 39-foot violin. The concert was nearly stymied by bureaucrats—may we suggest a concert for them courtesy of the world’s tiniest violin?


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