🌎 Transparency takes flight

Plus: Another (very expensive) state funeral
🌎 Transparency takes flight

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Here’s what you need to know

The Biden administration called time on airlines’ hidden fees. New rules aim to increase pricing transparency from the start of the ticket search process.

Biogen agreed to a $900 million lawsuit settlement. The pharma giant was accused of paying physicians to prescribe its drugs over its rivals. Meanwhile, drugmaker Eli Lilly was sued for age discrimination in the hiring of sales representatives.

Eight states cracked down on crypto-lending platform Nexo Group. Regulators accused the company of misleading investors by failing to register its interest-earning accounts as securities.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden is now a dual US-Russian citizen. The ex-NSA employee has lived in Moscow since fleeing the US after exposing a government mass surveillance program in 2013.

Cubans boosted LGBTQ rights. A referendum approved a new family law that allows same-sex couples to marry and adopt, and also strengthens gender equality.

The world’s top chess player accused a rival of cheating. Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen lost a match to US teen Hans Niemann earlier this month—and drama ensued.

NASA finally launched a spacecraft into an asteroid. But it will take a few months to understand the extent of the DART mission’s success.

What to watch for

It may take a few more days for Giorgia Meloni, the leader of Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), to officially be assigned the task of forming a government and becoming Italy’s first female prime minister. But the polls—albeit with a low turnout of 63%—spoke loud and clear: Italians chose a hard right government.

Meloni’s party, a post-fascist group that got less than 4.5% votes in Italy’s 2018 parliamentary elections, ranked first, winning 26% of the votes. Italy’s right wing now altogether holds close to 60% in both houses of the parliament.

The new coalition was elected on a populist anti-abortion, anti-immigration, anti-LGBTQ+ platform, and while Meloni herself has rejected anti-NATO and anti-European positions, it remains to be seen whether her allies’ ties to president Vladimir Putin—Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi are known friends of Russia—won’t end up influencing her foreign policy, too.

Another (very expensive) state funeral

Despite raging protests, a rare state funeral for Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe takes place today (Sept. 27). Credited with reviving the country’s economy, he is only the second post-wartime president to get the honor. Abe, the country’s longest-serving head of government, was assassinated during an election campaign speech in Tokyo on July 8.

The official farewell has citizens polarized. For one, they’re divided over Abe’s legacy, which is riddled with autocratic tendencies. Plus, the public worries about the frivolous use of taxpayer money. Abe’s state funeral is poised to cost 1.66 billion yen ($11.5 million), which is likely more than what the Queen’s funeral cost last week.

More than 700 guests from 217 countries are expected to attend. US vice president Kamala Harris, who has already arrived in Japan, and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, who did not attend the Queen’s funeral, will both be in attendance to pay their respects.

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Surprising discoveries

Band tour buses are in short supply. Higher prices are making it difficult for some musical acts to hit the road.

Intestinal loop-de-loops do not form randomly. Gut coils can also reveal more about how our organs develop.

A bee vaccine is in the works. Dalan Animal Health, its developer, has raised $3.6 million to protect the fuzzy pollinators.

A museum in Amsterdam became an insect-safe zone. No spidery corners were cleaned for three months to make an artistic statement at the Rijksmuseum.

A new AI art software turns your text prompts into Pokémon. Now you can really catch ‘em all, no Poké Balls required.

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