🌏 EU caps natural gas prices

Plus: Chief Twit no longer?
An employee of Deutsche ReGas watches as a tugboat pulls the "Neptune," a Norwegian-flagged FSRU ship, backwards into Lubmin Port, Germany to a new terminal for importing liquified natural gas (LNG) on December 15, 2022.
An employee of Deutsche ReGas watches as a tugboat pulls the "Neptune," a Norwegian-flagged FSRU ship, backwards into Lubmin Port, Germany to a new terminal for importing liquified natural gas (LNG) on December 15, 2022.
Photo: Sean Gallup (Getty Images)

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Here’s what you need to know

The EU capped natural gas prices. The €180 ($191) limit starts Feb. 15 as the bloc seeks to soften market volatility amid an energy crisis. It comes a day after the EU expanded its carbon market (more below).

The UK ruled that deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda is lawful. The High Court’s decision on the controversial Boris Johnson-era policy sets the stage for deportations.

Elon Musk asked Twitter users if he should step down as CEO and they said yes. Musk said he’ll abide by the poll results (more below).

Subaru will stop developing plug-in hybrids. The car maker is going all-in on electric vehicles, according to Nikkei. Meanwhile, Hyundai is laying off workers at a factory in Russia that hasn’t operated since March.

The EU hit Meta with antitrust charges over Marketplace. The bloc accused the Facebook owner of quashing competition with classified ad services by linking the e-commerce site to its social network.

The Netherlands officially apologized for its role in slavery for 250 years. But Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte’s acknowledgement didn’t include reparations.

What to watch for

The curtains are about to close on 2022’s IPOs—and it’s all quite anti-climatic.

Alphavest, the blank cheque company (a.k.a. SPAC) that registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Nov. 4, is launching what it hopes to be a $60 million IPO on Nasdaq today (Dec. 20). The company, which aims to target businesses in Asia (excluding those with China operations), is one of the last sizable IPOs in a year that hit a three-decade-low for stock market debuts.

Companies hesitated to go public via SPAC, or otherwise this year, as global market instability and interest rate hikes shrank investor appetite. This wait-and-see approach is expected to last through the first half of 2023. But companies that eyed an IPO in 2022 should have enough breathing room to hold off for now on going public—that is, if they managed their funds raised in 2020 and 2021.


Chief Twit no longer?

The tweets have been tweeted, the polls have been polled, and the results are in: The Twitterdees and Twitterdums have voted the chief Twit out. On Dec. 18, Elon Musk asked users on the social media platform, via poll, if he ought to step down. And the internet spoke: 57% of respondents said “yes.”

Musk said he would heed the public’s decision—but it’s not like the CEO (x3) has never gone back on his word. Should he vacate the highest Twitter roost, the question is who will take his place, and from where Musk might perch next.

In the meantime, here’s a roundup of some notable chapters in Musk’s time so far as CEO of the internet’s town square.

✈️ Jetting off “free speech”

🥣 Stirring the Twitter rage pot

🍏 Taking a bite out of Apple

☑️ One check, two check, Twitter Blue check


The world’s biggest carbon market is getting bigger

European Union lawmakers have agreed to reform the bloc’s carbon market to not only speed up the EU’s decarbonization efforts, but also create the necessary conditions for the bloc’s carbon market to reach beyond its own borders.

The world’s various carbon markets—in Europe, Canada, the US, China, and elsewhere—are disconnected, and carbon border tariffs could spark retaliatory trade wars. But in the long term, the global economy is clearly traveling toward universal, inescapable carbon pricing—so the earlier companies can cut their carbon footprints, the more of a competitive edge they’ll have in the future.

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Surprising discoveries

You can now talk to Alexa via toilet. The smart loo experience is yours in all its automated glory for just $11,500.

“Still Life With Bread and Eggs” contains some secret Cézanne-ing. A self-portrait of the French artist has been found beneath the original painting.

Salads got trippy in Australia. Retail chain Woolworths has recalled bags of “hallucinogenic” spinach.

Great Barrier Reef coral was put on ice. Freezing the marine invertebrates’ larvae could help with future rewilding efforts.

Black bears can be brown. Don’t be fooled by the American black bear which can have a cinnamon-colored coat.


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