From the US-China audit deal to Timothée Chalamet’s backless wonder – Here’s your September 6 news briefing

From the US-China audit deal to Timothée Chalamet’s backless wonder – Here’s your September 6 news briefing
FILE PHOTO: A man sits in front of a board showing market information at a securities brokerage house in Beijing, China August 5, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

To start off, we’re looking into:

What’s up with the US-China audit deal?

As of March 31, 2022, there were 261 Chinese companies listed on major US stock exchanges, with a total market capitalization of US$1.3 trillion. The benefit of this international listing is that non-Chinese citizens can trade shares of these companies. But, US law requires that companies on the stock exchange must allow regulators access to corporate auditors’ records. China and Hong Kong have been holding out for years, which has added to tensions between the two economies and potentially meant that these Chinese companies would be delisted from US exchanges for noncompliance. China’s reasoning, for the most part, has been to keep sensitive information and “state secrets” safe from prying American eyes.

But, a week ago, both countries finally signed an agreement to work together and allow the US to inspect audit work papers related to US-listed Chinese companies. Basically, the agreement allows US regulators to inspect mainland China and Hong Kong accounting firms, which might end the dispute and prevent stocks from delisting.

The UK’s new PM, Liz Truss

UK Truss
Liz Truss arrives at the Conservative Party headquarters, after being announced as Britain’s next Prime Minister, in London, Britain September 5, 2022. REUTERS/Phil Noble

In July, drama wreaked chaos on the British government. The world watched in disbelief as Boris Johnson announced he’d be stepping down as prime minister amid a mountain of scandals, one of which being a record-breaking number of resignations from his own cabinet.

Yesterday, the UK’s current foreign minister Liz Truss won the leadership race for the Conservative Party against former finance minister Rishi Sunak, so she’ll become the country’s next prime minister. Truss’s winning margin is the narrowest in any Conservative leadership election held in the 21st century, and she’s the third woman to assume the role.

Right now, the UK has some major issues that Truss plans to address – the rise of household finances, record inflation, rising industrial action, the war in Europe (where the UK has been a leading supporter of Ukraine) and the energy crisis. And, it’s likely Truss will emulate Biden’s approach toward China; she’s not expected to improve relations.

Russia is hurting

Russia economy
FILE PHOTO – Russia’s President Vladimir Putin attends a parade marking Navy Day in Saint Petersburg, Russia July 31, 2022. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the West has hit Russia pretty hard with a wide range of sanctions. But Russia has been pretty upbeat about the situation, saying that the damage internally is minimal.

Well, a report internal to the Russian government leaked to Bloomberg reveals otherwise. Even the best estimates show three years of GDP loss in the country (more negative estimates say at least eight) and that it will go through a drop in exports, take a hit to its oil industry and perhaps not be able to get the imports it needs.

This report is pretty intensive, too – it isn’t just some email. It took months of work from several departments in the Russian government to compile the data, and it’s intended for high-level, closed-door meetings.

Either way, though, it’s quite a different look than the public face Russia has been putting out there, and it’s probably reassuring to all the countries putting these sanctions on that they might be working.

To end, we’ll look into:

The edit button is coming to Twitter

If you’re a Twitter junkie, you know the struggles of not having an edit button. Whether it’s a typo, a misquote, or you just want to update your tweet to show current info, so far it’s been impossible to use the same edit feature that pretty much every other app known to humanity has figured out how to introduce.

Well, it’s finally here. Or, at least, it’s on its way. Twitter just announced it’s started slowly rolling out the edit button, first to a small sample of people and soon to all those Twitter Blue subscribers out there. (Fancy features for free? You must be new here if you thought that would happen.)

In fairness, there have been some good reasons why Twitter hasn’t had an edit button yet. For one, someone could post something that went viral (like that heartwarming video of Shane Hawkins playing his recently passed father’s drums on stage with Foo Fighters) only to later change it to something significantly worse (say, a video rant about politics). Suddenly, everyone who quote tweeted the original saying, “So heartwarming,” has some explaining to do.

To help deal with that, each time a tweet is edited, there will be a little icon at the bottom that says so and will show you the history of that tweet. That way, if something seems a little off when you see it, you can do some investigating to find the original and know that, in fact, your friend from high school does not actually believe that this crazy political rant is “so heartwarming.”

There’s also the concern that people could use it to go back and clean up their old tweets without just getting rid of them, which would pretty much ruin the whole point of a tweet as being an indicator of how a user felt at a specific time. So, Twitter says edits are only going to be able to be made within 30 minutes of their initial publication.

Basically, the tweet is changing, and truth be told, we asked for it. But only time will tell if the edit button is flying too close to the sun for the little blue Twitter bird to handle.

In other news …

😢Major earthquake in Sichuan: Yesterday, an earthquake rocked the Chinese province of Sichuan, causing landslides which damaged roads and homes. Hitting 6.8 on the Richter scale, this is the strongest earthquake in the area in five years. At least 46 people have perished.

📜New rules for foreigners in the West Bank:  Israel just released a new list of rules in the occupied West Bank, specifically for foreigners entering Palestinian areas of the region to marry Palestinians or to work, volunteer, study or teach. One of the most controversial rules is that foreigners in the West Bank have to report romantic relationships with Palestinians to Israeli authorities.

👩‍⚖️Trump wins bid in documents probe: Former US President Donald Trump successfully won a bid to have a third-party review the classified documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago home by the FBI. A federal judge (whom Trump had appointed during his time in office) granted him this request and temporarily blocked the government from using them in their criminal probe. Hmmmmmm.

🛢OPEC+ agrees to an oil production cut: Yesterday, OPEC+ and its allies agreed to a small oil production cut. This cut could boost oil prices, which have slid because of concern for a lowered global demand due to economic unrest.

🚗Consumers want an Apple car: No, an Apple car isn’t in the works (as far as we know). But, in a survey of new-vehicle owners, 26% said they would consider buying a car produced by Apple, and 24% gave it a top ranking for quality – beating out the 45 other brands mentioned. Tim Cook, jot this down.

💎When life gives you plastic: Scientists have made diamonds out of plastic. Seriously. Researchers in Germany and California used polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to create tiny nanodiamonds. This research could help us figure out new ways to use plastic waste.

🎬Venezia 79: The 79th Annual Venice International Film Festival is going strong and has already created a ton of buzz. Brendan Fraser’s return to cinema in “The Whale” earned him a 6-minute standing ovation, and there’s lots of talk about Harry Styles and Florence Pugh in “Don’t Worry Darling.” We, too, are wondering what, exactly, Timothée Chalamet was wearing to the “Bones and All” red carpet.

Written and put together by Jake Shropshire, Vanessa Wolosz, Christine Dulion and Krystal Lai