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Regulators fined the National Stock Exchange in India. Leaders, including the NSE’s former CEO, have been accused of allowing a yogi to guide their decisions for 20 years.
Protestors were cleared from a key trade connection between Canada and the US. One projection found that Michigan auto workers may have lost $51 million in wages during the week-long block.
The US is reopening its Solomon Island embassy. China’s growing influence over the Pacific Islands led to the decision.
US athlete Erin Jackson made Olympic history. She’s the first Black woman to win gold in speed skating.
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What to watch for
American consumers are set to spend close to $24 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts this year, a 9.6% increase from last year, according to the National Retail Federation.
Most people plan to buy V-day classics like chocolate, cards, and flowers. But they’ll be spending more thanks in part to inflation. US prices have risen 7.5% in the last year.
Experiential gifts like theater or concert tickets are also gaining popularity as people return to activities that were stymied by pandemic restrictions last year. The NRF expects Americans to spend $4.3 billion on “evening out” experiences, and restaurant reservation site OpenTable reported a 30% increase in reservations for Feb. 14 compared to last year.
Overall, the average US consumer is expected to spend $175.41 on gifts, up from $164.76 last year. While roses are traditional, orchid sales are booming in the US.
Hot for inflation
Americans aren’t just spending more on gifts. The US’s January inflation report shows that the economy has ironed out some pandemic disruptions—but is still very much mired in others.
For example, prices for rental cars, which skyrocketed in the spring and summer of 2021 as newly vaccinated consumers started to travel and cars got more expensive with semiconductor shortages, dropped by 7% in January after falling 2.7% a month before.
But some goods haven’t been so lucky. If you want to look spiffy for your Valentine, be prepared to spend a little bit more on the garb. Men’s suits are 13.6% more expensive than a year ago.
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US federal trade officials warned of online love scams. Last year, Americans sent $547 million to supposed sweethearts who were actually fraudsters.
The NFT marketplace that sold Jack Dorsey’s first tweet has suspended sales. The site was filled with fakes and plagiarism.
The James Webb telescope took a selfie. It’s one of 18 new images the spacecraft has sent back to Earth.
Koalas need saving 🐨. Australia listed the marsupial as an endangered species after a rapid collapse in population due to bushfires, drought, and land development.
Between 2009 and 2016, the number of women freezing their eggs grew by 1,000%. Learn what’s driving that change in the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast.
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