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Pfizer will share the license for its covid-19 pill. The agreement will allow poor countries to make the drug. Pfizer has also asked the US for emergency use authorization for the pill.
Germany introduced a new wrinkle for a Russian gas pipeline. The country’s regulator said the Nord Stream 2’s Swiss owners must form a German subsidiary to get an operating license. European gas prices shot up nearly 11% on the news.
The US and China will make it easier on journalists. Chinese media said the two countries agreed to loosen visa restrictions. Meanwhile, Xi Jinping’s job-for-life is pretty much confirmed with the publication of the full text of a document underlining his “historical” status.
Inflation has been good for Walmart. Shoppers have turned to the US-based retailer for lower cost groceries and other essentials as prices have gone up, helping Walmart to beat analysts’ expectations in its latest earnings report.
Myanmar added election fraud to the list of charges against Aung San Suu Kyi. The country’s ousted president and the capital city’s mayor were also among the 16 people the junta charged with the crime.
What to watch for
Inflation has become a global phenomenon as the lingering pandemic continues to create snags in supply chains and push up prices for goods. Today, the euro zone, UK, and Canada will each release consumer inflation reports.
Prices in all three places have been rising briskly. But the increases are unlikely to top the US’s 6.2% annual rate increase seen in October.
Pressure is mounting on central bankers to raise interest rates. Markets are expecting the Bank of England to be the first of the three regions to act. But, so far, European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde has said she doesn’t see a rate hike in 2022. Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem, meanwhile, has said inflation is transitory.
Coming to US roads: Teen truckers
The truck driver shortage in the US, largely driven by retention issues, got a lifeline. A new law signed by president Joe Biden on Nov. 15 includes an apprenticeship program that would allow trucking companies to hire drivers as young as 18.
21: Previous minimum long-haul driving age
25,000: Number of young drivers that could be certified per year
240: Hours of supervision needed with an older driver
83%: Share of truck drivers who don’t want the age change
The US’s trucker shortage has been particularly worrying in the middle of a global supply chain crisis when there aren’t enough drivers to haul goods out of jam-packed ports. While the industry got a win, it’s unclear how many experienced drivers will want to take on an apprentice, or what it will mean for road safety.
The great kudzu mistake
Which of the following cannot be said of kudzu, the leafy vine imported from Japan that now blankets the southeastern US?
- Its delicate purple flowers make a tasty jelly
- Kudzu may smother entire ecosystems, but it’s at least offsetting carbon emissions
- It’s coming for you
Find out in the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast, which tells the cautionary tale of the South’s most visible invasive species.
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🇮🇳 India’s startup ecosystem doesn’t need China
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🎬 Hollywood’s streaming strategy is killing its releases in China
😬 How do you resolve conflict in the hybrid workplace?
💰 The US’ wealthiest 1% are pulling further away
A roadrunner hitchhiked from Nevada to Maine. The desert bird hopped onto a moving van for the four-day trip.
A lost teddy bear returned home after a year. The treasured toy, which had been inadvertently left at Montana’s Glacier National Park, was kept safe by a park ranger.
Japanese originated in northeast China around 9,000 years ago. Farmers brought a version of it to Japan about 3,000 years ago.
A second person has defeated HIV naturally. The woman didn’t receive any treatment for the infection, which offers hope that a cure can be found for other patients.
A hypothesized mineral was found trapped inside a diamond. The rare, never-before-seen Davemaoite only forms in high pressure environments deep inside the Earth.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, avian hitchhikers, and misplaced toys to firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Nate DiCamillo, Susan Howson, Liz Webber, and Morgan Haefner.