Sat. Nov 27th, 2021

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China’s efforts to eliminate Covid-19 come under increasing pressure, with officials warning of a “serious challenge” in the months ahead and dozens of new cases reported over the weekend.

China’s national health commission on Sunday confirmed 74 new infections for the previous day, 50 of which were transmitted locally. The current spate of cases has reached the majority of the country’s 31 provinces, in the widest outbreak since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

The figures were released a day after officials at a press conference in Beijing said that China would continue to adhere to its strict preventive measures even while other countries in the region have abandoned their zero-Covid policies.

In China, which is the host Winter Olympics for the first time in February next year, new business slowed down in mid-2020 and authorities have since responded quickly to any prospect of a major outbreak.

Despite being the epicenter of the pandemic, China’s strict restrictions and strict border controls have helped keep the virus tight. More than 2.3 billion vaccine doses have been administered – by far the highest in the world – according to the FTs Covid-19 vaccine tracker.

Five more stories in the news

1. Elon Musk urged to sell 10% of Tesla stake after Twitter poll The electric car driver has asked Twitter users to decide whether to sell $ 20 billion of its Tesla shares and pay taxes – and the online crowd answered with a resounding “yes”. Musk’s promised sale follows a proposal in the US that billionaires must pay tax on their unrealized capital gains.

2. Iraqi Prime Minister survives assassination attempt by drone Attempted assassination increased tensions as political parties seek to form a new government after last month’s election. Iran-backed political factions, which see Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi as pro-US, have challenged the election results.

3. US and China are encouraged to work together on cancer medicine A coalition will be launched in Singapore later this month for the US and China to work together cancer research, despite divisions between the superpowers during the pandemic. The coalition aims to reduce the time required to gather enough data to prove that a new remedy is safe and effective.

4. Cricket defeat reveals India’s religious separation India’s loss to arch-enemy Pakistan at the T20 Cricket World Cup exposes the deepening polarization between India’s Hindu majority and Muslim minority. Several Indian Muslim students, accused of celebrating Pakistan’s victory, have been jailed and charged with sedition for applauding Pakistan.

5. Vatican to lose £ 100 million in London property sales The Holy See is about to sell a London building to private equity group Bain Capital, a sale that is expected to confirm a loss of about £ 100 million for the Catholic Church. The building is at the heart of an international criminal investigation that has forced the Vatican to review the way it manages its finances.

The Vatican is in the final stages of selling 60 Sloane Avenue, a building in the Knightsbridge district of London, for about £ 200m

The Vatican is in the final stages of selling 60 Sloane Avenue, a building in the Knightsbridge district of London, for about £ 200m © Tolga Akmen / FT

COP26 consumed

  • Colombia‘s president has beaten cocaine users in the west who to proclaim environmental awareness while consuming a drug whose production is one of the biggest causes of Amazon deforestation.

  • For young climate campaigners, dissatisfaction with action on carbon emissions spreads to broader activism for social justice.

  • Despite promises from world leaders, enforcement officials in the Amazon say they lack resources and political support to fight deforestation.

  • USA Democrats arrive in Glasgow for the final days of the environmental conference and have yet to pass promised measures.

The day ahead

Travel After 21 months of travel restrictions, the US reopen its borders vaccinated passengers arriving from China, India, the United Kingdom and many other European countries.

China The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party meets in Beijing to present China’s agenda sixth plenary session. The meeting will pave the way for President Xi Jinping to unprecedented third term at the party’s 20th congress next year.

Apec Asia-Pacific Ministerial Economic Cooperation summit open today. Although officially hosted by New Zealand, the event will be held entirely online.

Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen appear before MEPs in the European Parliament to discuss the negative impact on users of large technology companies’ products and business models.

What else are we reading

Global buyers feel the pinch of rising food prices From France to Brazil and Moscow to Brooklyn’s Eighth Avenue, food prices have risen. In real terms, global food commodity prices are now higher than their 2008 and 2011 peaks, just before the Arab Spring protests. Here’s why.

Line graph of Nominal, 2014-2016 = 100 showing The FAO food index has risen

How China’s technology bases paid out on time When Xi Jinping complained that relentless homeschooling was putting too much pressure on Chinese children, the heads of at least two Chinese educational companies began selling their shares in New York. Documents reviewed by the FT show dozens of others good timely sales by Chinese drivers.

Bankruptcy of Lebanon criticizes Saudi Arabia Comments on the Yemeni war have a diplomatic firestorm between Lebanon and the Gulf states. Saudi Arabia has responded by banning all Lebanese imports, expelling Lebanon’s ambassador and recalling its envoy to Beirut, in a battle for a country already in crisis.

Browse TikTok to see the real stars of the workplace Social media has rewritten the rules. Employees can now promote themselves as much as the brand, and short videos help reach students who are left cold by recruitment scholarships, at a time when so many workers are resigning their jobs in what has been called The Great Resignation.

Do you want to get a salary increase? Grace Lordan provided six life-enhancing life brackets and tell us how to spot the prejudices that keep us from asking for more money.


Just off the coast of Zanzibar, Chumbe Island is a small but successful model of how tourism and conservation can work together. With just seven cottages, a one-off ban on plastic and efforts to hire locals, Chumbe offers a positive model for marine re-wildlife in Africa.

The island's cottages were built with sustainability in mind

The island’s cottages were built with sustainability in mind © Sophy Roberts

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