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Hong Kong is preparing to lift flight bans

Hong Kong will lift some flight bans and is shortening quarantine measures.  

A woman wears a face mask and shield in an MTR train, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Hong Kong, China, March 7, 2022.
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  • Susan Howson
By Susan Howson

News Editor

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Here’s what you need to know

Hong Kong is preparing to lift flight bans. On April 1, nine countries will be given the green light, with some quarantine measures halved to seven days. Indonesia is making similar moves, while Shanghai is dealing with a record surge.

A China Eastern Airlines plane crashed in a mountainous region. More than 130 people were on board the Boeing 737-800 when it went down in Guangxi province. No survivors have been found.

A Russian missile struck a Kyiv mall. The airstrike reflects Russia’s growing use of deadlier methods, while Ukraine rejected Russia’s demands that soldiers defending Mariupol surrender.

Moscow markets partially reopened. But only bonds issued by the Russian government can be traded—in pre-market trading, yields on these bonds rose by a record of nearly 20%.

Russia banned Facebook and Instagram for “extremist activities.” The Russian state communications agency alleged the tech giant discriminated against state media, though WhatsApp will not be affected.

The US said Myanmar’s army committed genocide against Rohingya. The Biden administration’s ruling comes about five years after a mass campaign of killings, rape, and arson attacks drove hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee their homeland.

Nike reported earnings. The sneaker giant’s third-quarter revenues were up, as it continues to navigate supply chain snags.

What to watch for

Tesla CEO Elon Musk traveled to Berlin on Monday ahead of today’s grand opening of his new “gigafactory,” the automaker’s first manufacturing plant in Europe. The long-delayed facility is the fifth plant in Tesla’s arsenal—it already has three in the US and one in China.

Back home, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) faces a deadline concerning Musk. After he was sued over securities fraud charges in 2018, Musk signed a consent decree saying that lawyers would review some of his tweets ahead of time. He now claims that he was coerced into signing that decree and wants the rule thrown out. The SEC has until today to respond to Musk’s efforts to scrap the consent decree.

Steel as a casualty of war

Production at one of Europe’s largest steel plants—the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, Ukraine—has been suspended since Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24. Now, things are looking even worse for the world’s 12th largest steel producer.

On March 20, Russian shelling badly damaged Azovstal. The plant, owned by Ukrainian steel and mining company Metinvest, alone accounted for nearly half of the country’s steel output last year. If Ukraine lost 0.7% of its annual steel production in just the first five days of the war, any long-term damage to the plant will bring about much larger economic consequences for the country and its biggest steel customers.

A bar graph of Azovstal steel plant sales volume by country in 2020. Italy has the most sales with 46%, followed by Ukraine with 12%, and Turkey with 11%.

Beyond profit

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Register today. The hour-long event is on March 23, at 1pm US eastern time.

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