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US secretary of state Antony Blinken at a press briefing, looking down, with an American flag and world map behind him.
Image copyright: Brendan Smialowski/Pool via Reuters
US secretary of state Antony Blinken

Here’s what you need to know

The US said it would uphold Ukraine’s right to join NATO. Russia had threatened retaliation if Washington responded to the Kremlin’s demands thusly. The US embassy has urged Americans in Ukraine to think about leaving.

Boris Johnson won’t resign. The British prime minister dismissed calls to step down over Downing Street parties during lockdown; the results of an investigation into these gatherings has yet to be published.

The US central bank said it would start raising interest rates “soon.” Fed chair Jerome Powell said it would work on reducing its balance sheet after the rate-raising has begun.

Tesla had a great quarter. The automaker’s revenue was up 65% while its income more than septupled, though shares fell in after-hours trading as the company indicated supply chain issues were still hampering production.

Intel won its appeal of a 2009 EU antitrust decision. A European regulator had charged Intel a $1.2 billion fine, which it will no longer have to pay.  

Apple is once again China’s top-selling smartphone vendor. The iPhone 13 helped the tech giant capture its biggest share of the Chinese market in six years in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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What to watch for

LG Energy Solution, South Korea’s top maker of batteries for electric vehicles, starts trading Thursday after its initial public offering on Jan. 14 became the country’s biggest on record. LG is riding the global surge in demand for EVs, which surpassed 7% of global vehicle sales in the first half of 2021, up from 4% the year before.

LG plans to expand in the US, part of an ambitious plan by South Korea’s government to topple China as the world’s top battery producer. But the company has a long way to go to catch up with its chief rival, China’s CATL.

$10.8 billion: Sum raised in LG’s IPO

$4.7 billion: Sum raised by South Korea’s previous IPO record-holder, Samsung Life Insurance, in 2010 (inflation-adjusted)

5.6 million: EVs sold globally in 2021, up 83% from 2020

18.5%: Share of global electric vehicle battery market controlled by LG; CATL has 31.2%


Why Taiwan is investing in Lithuania

After Taiwan opened a de facto embassy in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius using its own name last November, the Beijing-led backlash against Lithuanian goods and multinationals with ties to the country was swift. To ease the economic burden, this month Taiwan announced a $200 million investment fund and set up a $1 billion credit fund to finance Lithuanian projects.

While $200 million may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the $44 billion capital expenditure budget that chip titan Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has earmarked for 2022, it’s actually a sizable amount relative to Taiwan’s annual spending on international cooperation and development programs.

Mary Hui breaks down what both sides have to gain—and why much depends on what China and the EU do next.


Markets haiku: AT&T falls on merger limbo

Image copyright: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Forget that 5G,
Investors want merger deets.
AT&T’s mute.

Despite announcing solid fourth-quarter results on Wednesday, AT&T saw its stock fall more than 8%, mostly because of its looming split with WarnerMedia. Many aspects of the deal are still unknown to investors.

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How to make stress work for you

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Is one of your goals this year to reduce your stress levels? Perhaps it’s time to change your mindset. While you need to manage your biological response to stressful situations and avoid burnout, you can also learn to work with life’s pressures and use your stress to actually improve your health and wellbeing.

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Surprising discoveries

A flying car got a regulatory green light in Slovakia. The future we were promised is finally here.

The Weeknd is now the most-streamed artist on Spotify… Justin Bieber, your reign of terror has come to an end.

…And here’s another star to keep an eye on… Astronomers think they’ve found a new class of neutron star with a super-strong magnetic field.

…But don’t take your eye off the moon. A SpaceX rocket part will crash into it—but it’s “not a big deal.”

Methusaleh is the world’s oldest aquarium fish. The Australian lungfish is 90 years young, likes figs and belly-rubs, and is probably female.


Just ask Fiat Chrysler—the future is now.

Image copyright: Giphy