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🌍 Russia’s rattling missile test

Russia tested a nuclear-capable missile as a show of strength to make its detractors nervous.

A missile is seen launching from a launch pad, with clouds of smoke and fire around it.
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  • Susan Howson
By Susan Howson

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Here’s what you need to know

Russia tested a nuclear-capable missile to rattle its detractors. The Sarnat is an intercontinental ballistic weapon that will make people “think twice,” Vladimir Putin said. Meanwhile, refugees fleeing Ukraine to other countries top 5 million as the war nears its eighth week.

China ratified treaties on forced labor. Despite growing international rebuke over its Xinjiang camps and treatment of the Uyghur ethnic minority.

Six Rohingya refugees were killed fleeing a Malaysian detention center. A riot broke out at the center highlighting the arduous limbo and rising xenophobia that migrants face even after they escape genocide.

YouTube shut down the account of Hong Kong’s likely next leader. Google said it was complying with US sanctions on John Lee, a former police chief who led the crackdown on the city’s pro-democracy movement in 2019.

Lululemon said it wants to double sales to $12.5 billion in five years. The athleisure giant plans to do this by growing its men’s offering, online sales, and ramping up its presence in international markets.

What to watch for

This week, more factories started up in Shanghai, after the government released a “white list” of companies, including Tesla, that should be prioritized for resuming operations. It’s not business as usual yet—workers have to be tested multiple times and sleep at work.

Yesterday (April 20), 4 million more of the city’s 26 million residents were allowed to emerge from lockdown, at least into their own neighborhoods. The city’s overall daily case counts have been declining in recent days, and a city health official said the outbreak was “under effective control.”

Meanwhile, starting today, people in Hong Kong with proof of vaccination will be able to go to restaurants, gyms, hair salons, and places of worship—but bars and public beaches are still banned. Movie-going is also permitted, but if any customer or staff member hasn’t had three covid shots, nobody gets popcorn or soda.


Cable is dead, long live cable

The logos for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video shown on a remote control
Image copyright: Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
The logos for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video shown on a remote control.

Netflix’s stock is down 37% since announcing its first decline in overall users in a decade. In response, CEO Reed Hastings admitted that the company is now open to advertising-supported streaming options, a major shift from his previous disinterest in the strategy.

The streaming service faces new competition and struggles to find new areas of growth as roughly 100 million (including 30 million in the US alone) of its users share passwords. Many of its competitors had already embraced ad-supported content.

But even before the pandemic, analysts were predicting “the great rebundling,” leading to consumers eventually using a single aggregator app to access their favorite streaming services. In fact, it wouldn’t be far off the mark to call it akin to cable TV, especially since now it seems bound to have plenty of ads.


MU5735’s black box

Camouflage-clad people look through the wreckage of a plane in a clearing on a hillside. Part of the plane's tail appears to be visible.
Image copyright: Zhou Hua/Xinhua via Reuters

The voice and data recorders of the China Eastern flight that crashed into a hillside last month have been found, but both were badly damaged. That’s rare—these non-black, non-boxes that have changed the aviation industry (and are required on other vehicles as well) are built to withstand the worst possible conditions. It’ll take up to a year, says the Civil Aviation Administration of China, to piece together a comprehensive narrative for what happened.

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