Happy Monday. An 18-year-old car thief recently hid from the police inside of a stuffed teddy bear. They found him when they noticed the bear was breathing. I believe the movie version of this story is already slated for production.
✍🏼 Award-winning author Salman Rushdie was stabbed ten times Friday before an event in New York.
💦 The Environment Agency in England has declared that eight of fourteen areas of England are in an official drought. The group of experts expect two more areas to move into drought by the end of August.
📑 The U.S. FBI released the search warrant and property receipt for former president Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home Friday. It shows 11 classified documents were recovered, including several top secret documents.
🚨 U.S. actor Anne Heche died after her family took her off life support following a car crash. She was 53.
China is checking out of the New York Stock Exchange.
Five state-owned companies announced they would soon delist from the NYSE: massive oil company Sinopec, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co, China Life Insurance, Aluminium Corporation of China (Chalco), and PetroChina. Is this the latest increase in U.S.-China tensions or a sign that China will soon cooperate with U.S. auditing standards?
Among all of the other boiling-kettle tensions between the two countries, the U.S. has long been trying to gain access to the books of Chinese companies listed in the U.S. The five that are delisting were flagged by the U.S. securities regulator in May for barring access.
Some think that the delisting decision means China is moving companies with sensitive info out of the line of fire so the country can comply with oversight of its other NYSE-listed companies. Others think this is a warning from China: stop this auditing nonsense OR ELSE.
But China says, what audit? "These companies have strictly complied with the rules and regulatory requirements of the U.S. capital market since their listing in the U.S. and made the delisting choice for their own business considerations," the China Securities Regulatory Commission said in a statement.
Regardless of why, the companies will all be delisted by the end of August. We’ll see if more follow.
The Inflation Reduction Act passed the U.S. House Friday, and President Biden is expected to sign it this week. Though there is a lot of debate about how much it actually does to reduce inflation, if at all, but most people agree that it is the biggest climate action the country has ever passed. Will it help the climate or just enrich the companies that lobbied for the legislation? That remains to be seen.
One of the parts of this legislation people are excited about is the tax credit for electric vehicles. The $7500 tax credit for new EVs could even out the playing field, bringing the cost of going green more in line with gassier options.
No tax credits for sedans over $55,000 or SUVs and trucks over $80,000
No tax credits for individuals who make more than $150,000/yr
No tax credits for EVs that are not produced in North America (this is what EV companies don’t like)
“Unfortunately, the EV tax credit requirements will make most vehicles immediately ineligible for the incentive. That’s a missed opportunity at a crucial time and a change that will surprise and disappoint customers in the market for a new vehicle,” John Bozzella, CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation said.
There’s a chicken-egg quandary with this one. Will the domestic restriction limit options for consumers so much that they just opt for gas? Or is this the incentive EV companies need to move to more domestic production?
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You can sing in the rain, but you might not want to drink it.
A new study from the University of Stockholm found that rainwater almost everywhere in the world now contains unsafe levels of ‘forever chemicals.’ These are chemicals made by humans that don’t break down naturally. Sure, they repel stains and keep food from sticking to pans, but that also means that they repel biodegrading. Forever.
And now these chemicals are in our rainwater.
In the industrialized world, many people don’t rely on rain for their drinking water, but running water is a privilege. Those who need the rain to keep them hydrated can no longer assume it is safe to drink. And what about the animals?
There is some disagreement about what, exactly, the health risks of forever chemicals are, but they have been tied to increased risk of cancer, fertility problems, and developmental delays. And the water cycle means that unless a lot of money is spent, these forever chemicals will keep raining down on us all.
Whole Foods is trending because Whole Foods CEO and cofounder John Mackey said that he thinks “socialists are taking over.” Mackey is retiring soon and apparently does not care that most of his customers are wannabe socialists.
Rand Paul is trending because the U.S. senator from Kentucky thinks the Espionage Act should be repealed. The 1917 Act prohibits sharing secret info that could hurt the U.S., and it’s one of the things the Mar-a-Lago search was looking into. It's also the act Julian Assange is wanted for alledgedly violating.
Steve Martin is trending because he’s maybe sort of kind of done with acting after his latest TV series Only Murders in the Building wraps.
News By The Numbers
4 times. That is how much faster the Arctic is heating up than the global average, according to new research. Previous studies thought it was “just” two times faster.
1,400. That is how many people have been shot in Philadelphia this year, over 300 of which were fatal.
1.6%. That is how much Hong Kong’s total population declined over the last year, the steepest drop recorded. Experts point to Covid regulations and China’s political crackdown for the exodus.
When a person on social media has a ton of followers and mentions a brand, people pretty much know that person is getting paid for the mention. But most people don’t suspect that a guest on their favorite podcast could be shelling out cash for the same reason.
Call it pay-for-play, payola, or just smart marketing. An unknown and possibly increasing number of podcast guests are paying to be interviewed. Why?
“When you’re the guest, you’re the star,” CEO of Life on Fire Nick Unsworth told Bloomberg. “If you can be in that position and make your offer, you have no barriers. No one is listening to that episode thinking it’s a commercial. There’s immediate trust and a perception that you’re held in a high light.”
Unsworth paid John Lee Dumas, host and creator of the podcast Entrepreneurs on Fire, $35,000 for two interviews and 12 weeks of ads. According to Bloomberg, Dumas discloses “sponsor payments at the end of each episode.”
So there are some disclosures, but they are not required, and they aren’t always visible to the naked eye. Bloomberg found that pay-for-play is more common in the wellness, crypto, and business spaces.
Just something to keep in mind!
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