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Daily global covid-19 cases are surging to record highs. In the US, the seven-day average topped 267,000 yesterday, while new infections totaled nearly 1.5 million worldwide on Monday.
John Madden and Harry Reid died. The football coach and broadcaster, whose name sold millions of video games, and the former US Senate majority leader were in their 80s.
Apple put a Foxconn plant in India on probation. The US tech giant acted after weeks of protests over working conditions at the iPhone manufacturing facility.
One of Hong Kong’s last independent news organizations is shutting down. Police raided Stand News and arrested six people, including editor Ronson Chan, who heads the Hong Kong Journalists Association, and pop star and former board member Denise Ho.
Boeing’s 737 Max can fly again in Indonesia, where 189 people died in a 2018 crash. The plane was grounded worldwide in 2019, following a separate air disaster in Ethiopia.
The US is monitoring covid outbreaks on at least 86 cruise ships. But that’s not stopping many travelers from boarding.
What to watch for
With record numbers of job openings, and employers doing everything they can to retain workers, US jobless claims—the number of people filing for unemployment insurance—are hitting 50-year lows.
On Thursday, economists will get another look at initial jobless claims, which they expect to stay low. By the end of 2022, Federal Reserve officials expect the unemployment rate to fall to 3.5% because of the hotness of the labor market.
Fed officials look at many data points, including the unemployment rate, to determine whether maximum employment has been reached. As the labor market continues its pandemic recovery into next year, jobless claims will continue to be a key early indicator for economists.
CEOs say covid is the least of their worries
CEOs are getting anxious, according to a global survey of 3,000 executives from the management consultancy AlixPartners, but not from the most obvious disruptive force of the past two years: covid-19.
Instead, the vast majority of executives—who hail from companies with more than $100 million in revenue from the US, China, Japan, and other major economies—rank other worries ahead of covid-19. Even so, many of their fears are, in one way or another, a symptom of the pandemic. Although executives say they aren’t thinking about covid-19, they’ll be spending 2022 grappling with its consequences.
🥽 Meta’s Oculus was the US’s most-downloaded app on Christmas
🛢 Oil and gas discoveries are at the lowest level since 1946
🛰 China has safety concerns about Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites
🗣 “Tactical empathy” is the key to navigating workplace negotiations
🕷 Spider-Man: No Way Home earned $1 billion without a release in China
Legos have a better rate of return than gold. A study found the market for second-hand plastic bricks increases in value by 11% annually.
Researchers digitally “unwrapped” the mummy of Amenhotep I. New scans indicate the pharaoh, who ruled in the 16th century BC, died of a virus or infection.
A Finnish man blew up his malfunctioning Tesla. He decided it wasn’t worth the $22,600 to replace the car’s battery.
Alexa told a 10-year-old to touch a phone charger’s live prongs with a penny. The Amazon voice assistant found the “challenge” by searching the web.
You must report stolen property as income on your tax returns in the US. That’s according to the Internal Revenue Service’s 2021 federal income tax guide.
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