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The World

Congress’s nonpartisan scorekeeper, the Congressional Budget Office, found that the roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill would widen the federal budget deficit by $256 billion over 10 years, countering negotiators’ claims that the price tag would be covered by new revenue and saving measures. The score was released as the Senate advances amendments for the bill this week and didn’t create any immediate obstacles to final passage of President Biden’s economic agenda. (Wall Street Journal)

President Biden signed an order offering temporary “safe haven” to thousands of Hong Kong residents, allowing them to remain in the U.S. The move is in response to Beijing’s crackdown on opposition lawmakers and activists in the city after a national security law was imposed last year. (South China Morning Post)

The FDA expects to have a strategy on Covid-19 vaccine boosters by early September that would lay out when and which vaccinated individuals should get the follow-up shots. The Biden administration is pushing for the swift release of a booster strategy because some populations — people age 65 or older and people who are immunocompromised, as well as those who got the shots in December or January shortly after they were rolled out — could need boosters as soon as this month. (Wall Street Journal)

  • President Xi said China promises to provide 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to other countries in 2021. China will also donate US$100 million to the Covax global vaccine distribution program for developing countries. (South China Morning Post)

  • Italy announced that proof of at least one dose of vaccine, a negative coronavirus test or recent recovery from COVID-19 will be required to access indoor dining, theaters, swimming pools, gyms, museums and other facilities. (Axios)

  • CNN fired three employees who came to work without getting a Covid-19 vaccine, as the company steps up efforts to keep the virus from spreading in its offices. The company was targeting Sept. 7 as its official return-to-office date, but the return will now be postponed. The company is tentatively planning for a return to the office sometime in mid-October, but plans could change. Wells Fargo, BlackRock and Amazon also announced that they were delaying plans for staff to come back to the office — with Amazon setting a January 3, 2022 date. (Wall Street Journal, Financial Times)

  • Yelp will let businesses list their vaccination policies, including if customers must show proof of vaccination, wear masks, or if all staff are vaccinated. (The Verge)

Twitter avatar for @vergeThe Verge @verge
Yelp will let businesses list their vaccination policies
theverge.com/2021/8/5/22610… Image

The number of Japanese college students studying abroad has plummeted over the past two decades — more students come from Vietnam and South Korea — with the steep cost of higher education in the U.S. being a chief reason. (Nikkei Asian Review)

The US is last on a ranking of healthcare systems among 11 of the wealthiest countries in the world, despite spending the highest percentage of its GDP — 17% — on healthcare, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund. The country struggles with deep problems in affordability of healthcare, which affects access and equity, and it is the country that has the most administrative hurdles when dealing with healthcare. (The Guardian)

Barcelona football club said Lionel Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest of all players, is leaving because of “financial and structural obstacles” that it blamed on financial regulations imposed by La Liga, which runs the top two divisions in Spain, requiring the team to rein in its spending. Messi, the frontman of FC Barcelona’s success for more than a decade, will be leaving a club where he has spent the entirety of his career, winning every leading trophy and personal accolade. (Financial Times)

‘None of the above’ leads a pivotal German election race. (Financial Times)

Overwhelmed firefighters battle to save California communities and assess mass destruction. ‘We’ve lost everything’: Survivors reeling as downtown Greenville leveled by Dixie fire. (Los Angeles Times)

  • U.S. forest fires threaten carbon offsets as company-linked trees burn. BP and Microsoft among groups that bought into projects designed to help achieve net-zero emissions targets. (Financial Times)

Twitter avatar for @TheInsiderPaperInsider Paper @TheInsiderPaper
JUST IN 🚨 Greenville, CA turned to ghost town, incredible damage by Dixie Fire. #DixieFire Image


President Biden set a goal for half of all new cars sold in the country to be zero-emissions vehicles by 2030, freezing out builders of conventional hybrids as the White House aims to accelerate America's sluggish transition to electrics. In the U.S., EVs comprise about 2% of the market and Tesla dominates sales, against about 6% in China, 10% in Europe and 11$ in the UK. (Nikkei Asian Review, Financial Times)

  • Exxon Mobil Corp. is considering a pledge to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050, in what would amount to a significant strategic shift by the oil company. (Wall Street Journal)

The Bank of England has called an end to its pandemic stimulus by declaring that “some modest tightening of monetary policy is likely to be necessary” after warning that inflation will peak at 4% later this year, the highest level in a decade. Under the Bank’s new forecasts, interest rates rise from 0.1% to 0.2% in 2022, an earlier increase than expected at other central banks, and to 0.5% by August 2024. (The Times)

VC investment and unicorn creation show no signs of slowing. The furious pace at which venture investment was deployed globally in 1H21 is not waning. In fact, July 2021 is tied as the biggest month for venture funding so far this year. (Crunchbase)

Not made at GE. The company known for promoting from within is seeing a shift in ethos with CEO Larry Culp, who has begun filling key leadership roles with outside hires. (Bloomberg)

Weekend read: Deal Of The Century: How Michael Dell Turned His Declining PC Business Into A $40 Billion Windfall. After years battling Silicon Valley skeptics and Wall Street adversaries, Michael Dell has pulled off the deal of the century, borrowing and flipping his way to a $50 billion fortune. His biggest ambitions lie ahead—and they have nothing to do with space. (Forbes)


Apple intends to install software on American iPhones to scan for child abuse imagery, raising alarm among security researchers who warn that it could open the door to surveillance of millions of people’s personal devices. Apple detailed its proposed system — known as “neuralMatch” — to some US academics earlier this week. The automated system would proactively alert a team of human reviewers if it believes illegal imagery is detected, who would then contact law enforcement if the material can be verified. The scheme will initially roll out only in the US. (Financial Times)

The FTC has dismissed as “inaccurate” Facebook’s claim that it cut off a group of researchers’ access to data to comply with a privacy agreement with the agency. Meanwhile, Mozilla's analysis says Facebook's justifications for cutting off access to researchers running NYU's Ad Observatory project “simply do not hold water.” (Washington Post, Wired)

Google announced a new line of home security cameras and a video doorbell under its Nest brand. The new models, which include an indoor-only camera, an indoor / outdoor camera, a floodlight, and the video doorbell, replace the older Nest IQ cameras and Nest Hello doorbell. The main themes with the new devices are a unified design language and more accessible pricing — each model costs less than the camera it’s replacing, while adding more capabilities. (The Verge)

South Park creators Trey Stone and Matt Parker sign a six-year, $900M+ deal with ViacomCBS for 14 spinoff movies for Paramount+ and episodes for Comedy Central. (Bloomberg)

  • NBCUniversal's Peacock now has 20 million active accounts, according to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. No word on how many people pay for Peacock's premium tier. (Protocol)

Smart Links

University endowments post highest returns since 1986. (Inside Higher Ed)

New global map shows populations are growing faster in flood-prone areas. (Nature)

How to show proof of your Covid vaccine on your phone. (Wall Street Journal)

Vietnam emerges as Southeast Asia's next fintech battleground. (Nikkei Asian Review)

PE secondaries market sees surge in interest. (Private Equity Wire)

Silicon Valley has a new recruitment strategy: The four-day workweek. (Protocol)

Just getting more sleep might not improve productivity and well-being: MIT study. (Fast Company)

Looking for work? Here’s how to write a résumé that an AI will love. (MIT Technology Review)

Using two CRISPR enzymes, a COVID diagnostic in only 20 minutes. (UC Berkeley)



Friday, August 6, 2021