President Biden and Xi Jinping meet
The leaders of the US and China held their third conversation in 10 months, a three-hour virtual summit, in an effort to keep “the lines of communication open” and prevent military action such as tensions rise.
Among the main problems were human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region, trade measures, the future of Taiwan and cybersecurity. China has increased its military presence in the South China Sea in recent years, and cyberattacks have intensified.
Xi was joining the virtual meeting from China, where he has been since January 2020, while Biden participated from Washington. Since becoming president, Biden has spoken with Xi twice, but they have not met in person this year.
Avoid climbing: Biden has repeatedly said that believes that it is possible to improve relationships and wise. Xi said in his opening remarks that the countries must work together.
Analysis: “No relationship is shaping the planet more”, writes our correspondent Raymond Zhong. “And no relationship boils, through such a broad and consistent set of themes, with more tension and mistrust.”
A review of the US infrastructure.
President Biden signed a $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill It was signed into law yesterday, a bipartisan victory that will pour billions onto the nation’s highways, ports and power lines.
The bill is a hallmark of President Biden’s political goals. While he fell short of realizing his large-scale ambitions to reform America’s transportation and energy systems, Biden said it was evidence that lawmakers could work across party lines and solve big problems.
Among the law’s top expenditures are $ 47 billion for climate resilience, $ 73 billion for the country’s electrical grid, $ 66 billion for rail lines, and $ 65 billion for high-speed internet. Here is a summary.
European nations focus on the unvaccinated
The governments of Europe, once again the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, are pointing to the unvaccinated.
Austria took the toughest line yesterday, initiating a lockdown on the unvaccinated as it grapples with a 134 percent increase in cases in the past two weeks. Those not vaccinated should stay home unless traveling for work, school, food, or medical care.
In Germany, the incoming government has said that unvaccinated people will need a negative test to travel on buses or trains. In France, booster shots will be required for people over 65 to get a health pass. And in Italy, vaccines or negative tests are required for them to work.
Some European leaders saw the hard steps as too far a measure.
Despite the flood of new cases in Britain in recent weeks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has resisted mask mandates and sanitary approvals. Still, he said he was concerned about “the storm clouds that are gathering over the continent.”
In the remote south-west of Bulgaria, the Rhodope Narrow Gauge Railway, a 100-year-old railway and the last of its kind in the country, is the only means of transport connecting locals with a nearby commercial town, lo that keeps your income. But passenger numbers have dropped and maintenance costs are high, threatening the railroad’s survival. See what it’s like for commuters who trust the train.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Ukraine wants to be the crypto capital of the world
An international cryptocurrency competition appears to be underway. Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Malta, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam are all in the running. But tech entrepreneurs like Ukraine, above, and Ukrainians like cryptocurrencies.
Ukrainians are among the most avid cryptocurrency users in the world, ranking fourth in an index compiled by Chainalysis, behind Vietnam, India, and Pakistan. The volume of cryptocurrency transactions each day, around $ 150 million, exceeds the volume of interbank exchanges in government-issued currency.
Residents lack better options. Banks in Ukraine are so sclerotic that sending or receiving even small amounts of money from another country involves an obstacle course of paperwork. The country itself has suffered too many scandals to expect a large influx of international investment banks.
The government hopes to bury its bad reputation with the help of cryptocurrency. The first step in this ambitious campaign was to legalize and regulate Bitcoin.
But the status quo remains attractive to some. “I like that it’s corrupt here,” said a crypto entrepreneur originally from New Jersey. “Here, we can play the game that only the elites play in the United States.”
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook
And here it is the spelling bee.
That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. – Melina
P.S. Raymond Zhong, a technology reporter currently living in Taiwan, will join our Climate Desk as a climate science reporter.
The last episode of “The newspaper“Look at how the US military covered up a deadly airstrike in Syria.
Matthew Cullen and Victoria Shannon contributed. You can contact the team at [email protected].