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The US will cancel the largest amount of student debt to date

The Biden administration announced it will cancel $5.8 billion in student debt.

Activists demonstrate outside an entrance to the White House calling for the cancellation of student debt in Washington, U.S.
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  • Morgan Haefner
By Morgan Haefner

Deputy email editor

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Here’s what you need to know

The US will cancel the largest amount of student debt to date. Student debt totaling about $5.8 billion will be canceled for half a million people who attended the now-bankrupt Corinthian Colleges. 

New York is set to pass new gun restrictions. It is one of the first US states to pass legislation in response to the Uvalde and Buffalo shootings. Meanwhile, a grand jury has indicted the Buffalo gunman on terror and hate charges as yet another shooting killed four in Tulsa yesterday.

China announced a $120 billion investment in its infrastructure. It’s part of Beijing’s effort to stimulate the economy following months of harsh covid lockdowns. 

US president Joe Biden will meet with NATO’s chief. Discussions today will focus on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is fast approaching its 100th day. Ukrainian officials have claimed that over 260 children have been killed since the start of the conflict.

Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down. The Meta COO helped grow Facebook from a startup into a multibillion-dollar tech giant during her 14 years on the job.

Taiwan is forging stronger relations with the US and EU. The Biden administration announced a new trade pact with Taiwan to strengthen bilateral ties, as annual trade talks between Taiwan and the EU kick off today (see more below).

Elon Musk told Tesla executives they can’t work remotely. Staff should return to the office 40 hours a week or “we will assume you have resigned,” the CEO said in an email to workers.

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What to watch for

Annual trade and investment talks between the EU and Taiwan kick off today. Both sides want to deepen cooperation in strategic areas like semiconductors and supply chain resilience. In January, Taiwan launched a $1 billion credit fund to finance Lithuanian projects following Beijing’s corporate boycott of the Baltic country. Meanwhile, the EU needs Taiwan’s semiconductor expertise to boost the bloc’s chips industry.

4: Where the EU ranks among Taiwan’s trading partners, after China, the US, and Japan

52%: Share of EU exports to Taiwan that fell into the “machinery and appliance” category in 2021

38.9%: Percentage of Taiwan exports to the EU that were information and communications technology in 2019

€64 billion ($64.2 billion): Value of EU-Taiwan trade in 2021

1: Where the EU ranks among Taiwan’s sources of foreign direct investment

Distributing money on the mainland

In a bid to give China’s struggling economy a boost, numerous cities and provinces have in recent days taken measures to jumpstart consumer demand with consumption vouchers, spending subsidies, and limited cash handouts. It’s a good start, but it’s just a drop in China’s economic bucket.

Here’s how the math shakes out in Shenzhen:

💸 Consumption vouchers (500 million yuan) digital currency lottery (30 million yuan) = 0.02% of the city’s GDP

A more impactful countrywide option, suggested by the chief economist at brokerage Zhongtai Securities, could have looked more like this:

💸💸💸 1,000 yuan ✖️1.4 billion citizens = 1.2% of China’s official GDP

In the long run, China will need to rebalance its economy from one driven primarily by infrastructure and real estate investment to one in which households get a bigger share of national GDP.

Cutting fuel taxes won’t help

A post office truck idles next to a sign at a Chevron gas station in California showing the price of regular gas at $6.05.
Image copyright: REUTERS/Mike Blake
California is the only US state where gas prices have crested above $6 per gallon.

Officials announced yesterday that drivers in New York will not pay state taxes on gasoline until the end of 2022. The US state is joining at least three others that have cut taxes to provide relief from record-high gas prices, brought on by turmoil in the global oil market caused by the war in Ukraine.

But gas tax “holidays” are mostly just a way for politicians to ingratiate themselves to voters. In fact, drivers will be left more exposed to future price shocks.

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Poseidon’s ribbon weed is the largest plant in the world. The Australian sea grass has cloned itself for more than 4,500 years to grow to about the size of Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Sex Pistols and the Queen go way back. The band released “God Save the Queen” during Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, and will revive the punk anthem for her Platinum.

France wants its gamers to only speak French. English terms like “esports,” officials say, are polluting the language—though similar efforts to swap “l’access sans fil à internet” in for “le wifi” were unsuccessful.

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