Russia cuts Poland and Bulgaria off
Russia is following through on a promise it made to European countries that if they didn’t pay for Russian oil with rubles, they wouldn’t be allowed to buy it at all. So starting Wednesday, Poland and Bulgaria will have their gas supplies cut off by Russian energy giant Gazprom. This shot European gas prices up 17% and is being seen as an escalation by Russia, even if it did make the threat before actually pulling the trigger.
Bezos’ concerns about Musk, Twitter and China
China is important to Tesla. Very, very important. Now that Elon Musk is buying out Twitter, Jeff Bezos, the second-richest man in the world after Musk, has raised some concerns about whether Musk (and Twitter) might be influenced by China when it comes to making decisions about the platform. He seemed to walk back his suggestion a bit a few hours later, though, adding, “But we’ll see. Musk is extremely good at navigating this kind of complexity.”
Hong Kong border controls
Now that Hong Kong has eased COVID rules with social distancing, quarantine and travel (to name a few), many have been speculating that border controls would be next on the list. But Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she has no intention of easing border restrictions anytime soon, even with persistent pressure from business groups to reopen.
Visa’s strong quarter
Payments giant Visa said that despite the omicron variant of COVID, the war in Ukraine and rising inflation, it still had a pretty good fiscal quarter. Payment volumes grew 17% during the quarter, despite the company pulling out of Russia (as many companies did at the beginning of the war), which represented 4% of its net revenue. The company said that a lot of this growth happened because of international transactions rebounding during the quarter.
Still, Visa wasn’t immune to costs going up for some things like staff amid the global worker shortage. Expenses tied to personnel went up 10% for the company.
The Depp and Heard court case
The high-profile Depp and Heard court case has been going on since 2019, and now it’s really heating up. Depp sued ex-wife Heard for US$50 million over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed where she talked about her experience with domestic abuse. She didn’t name him, but it left Depp’s acting career in shambles. The he-said, she-said accusations have been swirling since another libel case was launched by Depp against tabloid newspaper The Sun in 2018, which called him a “wife beater.” He lost that one.
Most recently in this case, though, Depp was questioned over recordings of arguments between himself and Heard and alcohol abuse, calling the later stages of his marriage “horrific.”
In other news …
👍The founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, gave Musk’s buyout a thumbs up, saying, “Elon is the singular solution I trust.”
💰Robinhood got really popular during lockdowns, but as the company exits its “hyper-growth” stage, it’s now laying off 9% of its 3,800-person workforce.
📉Not to shove more Elon news down your throat, but he’s dominating our news wires as well … Investors are worried that Musk will sell some of his Tesla stake to fund the Twitter purchase, and, with that, a rough US$126 billion was wiped off Tesla’s valuation on Tuesday.
🤑YouTube will let you tip more of your favorite vloggers with its Super Thanks feature now open to all partner creators in 68 countries. This comes during a time when its advertising revenue isn’t as strong.