🌏 Moderna’s big bet

Plus: Let the AI copyright wars begin

Image for article titled 🌏 Moderna’s big bet
Photo: Hannah Beier (Reuters)

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Moderna will develop and manufacture mRNA drugs for use in China. The deal represents a big bet for the US biotech firm amid tensions between Beijing and Washington.

Speaking of, Janet Yellen arrived in Beijing. The US treasury secretary is seen as president Joe Biden administration’s more rational voice on US-China relations, but she has her work cut out for her.


China’s BYD took over an old Ford plant in Brazil. The EV maker picked the Latin American country to set up its first manufacturing hub outside Asia.

Nearly 1,000 migrants have died trying to reach Spain this year. A new report from Caminando Fronteras (Walking Borders) blamed Spain and Morocco for poor coordination and rescue efforts.


Let the AI copyright wars begin

Likely one of the first—and far from last—copyright lawsuits has been filed against OpenAI.

Novelists Paul Tremblay and Mona Awad claim that OpenAI’s large language model, ChatGPT, spit out pretty accurate summaries of their literary works when prompted, something they argue would be impossible unless the AI had been trained on their books without their consent.

There’s no doubt that, increasingly, regulators and courts will be tasked with mulling over the rules of copyright with regards to AI. It’ll open up a whole new murky legal area in the copyright debate… maybe even murkier than the legal rights of a selfie-taking crested macaque.


Nearly all of Mexico’s avocado exports are going to the US

Just about half of all the world’s avocado exports come from Mexico, and one country is gobbling up 86% of it: the US. But the northern neighbor’s $3 billion appetite for guac isn’t sustainable, and is contributing to a host of environmental issues.

Image for article titled 🌏 Moderna’s big bet
Graphic: Clarisa Diaz

Take Toyota’s battery claim with a grain of salt

1,400+ km: Distance Toyota says its new technology can take electric vehicles on a 10-minute charge


To be fair, any advances that boost battery performance, improve the driving range, and cut costs of future EVs are exciting. But Toyota’s previous problems with its cars could make it tricky to convince the public that its latest product is reliable.

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Surprising discoveries

A Japanese airline would rather have you rent clothes than deal with your bag. A new service will provide travelers with a wardrobe for the duration of their stay.


The Taliban’s poppy production ban is putting America’s “war on drugs” to shame. Experts are calling it “the most successful counter-narcotics effort in human history.”

Renovation of a Scottish castle is being postponed because of great crested newts. The protected species has made a home of the site’s pond.


The earliest supermassive black hole was found. Its mass is 9 million times the Sun’s.

Birds divorce for similar reasons as humans do. Infidelity and long periods of time apart sure can ruffle some feathers.


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