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Russia said it had gained control of Mariupol. Russian president Vladimir Putin said that the southern Ukrainian city, which has been under constant attack, is now under Russian control—though that still doesn’t include the steelworks where Ukrainian fighters have been holding out.
Russia also tested a nuclear-capable missile to rattle its detractors. The Sarnat is an intercontinental ballistic weapon that will make people “think twice,” Putin said.
Shares in Cnooc soared on its IPO. China National Offshore Oil Corporation shares leapt 44% after it listed on the Shanghai exchange, raising $436 billion. The company was forced to delist from the New York Stock Exchange last year as part of a lingering post-Trump crackdown.
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. The deaths highligh the arduous limbo and 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.
The French presidential hopefuls clashed. Fiery exchanges between incumbent Emmanuel Macron and far-right challenger Marine Le Pen characterised the only televised debate of a tight race.
The Queen of England turned 96. Elizabeth II’s birthday was accompanied by the release of a picture of the monarch leading two white horses through a field.
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
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
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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Ukrainian postage stamps give Russia the finger. Literally.
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