To start off, we’re looking into:
Elon Musk promises to buy Twitter
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been flip-flopping back and forth about buying Twitter for months. When he threatened to pull out of the purchase, Twitter decided to take him to court. But recently, the court put the lawsuit on hold, giving Musk until Friday to close the deal or else it’s back on.
On Monday, Musk promised the bankers helping with the deal that he would close the acquisition once and for all by 5 p.m. this Friday, according to people familiar with the situation. Musk’s determination this time is that court-issued deadline for closing the deal.
Either way, Twitter is facing a new era of uncertainty – from a possible US national security review because of financial backers like Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and the Chinese-owned crypto exchange Binance to Musk’s comments on firing about 75% of the company’s staff.
Russia’s “dirty bomb” accusations
Earlier this week, Russia accused Ukraine of planning to use a “dirty bomb” – a powerful explosive with radioactive materials that scatter through the air when exploded. But, the US, the UK and France dismissed Russia’s claims with a joint statement, suspecting it was an excuse for Moscow’s potential use of tactical weapons.
Now, the West has speculated that Russia might be planning to use a dirty bomb and blame it on Ukraine in a “false flag” attack. Ukraine has asked the UN to come inspect its nuclear power facilities to prove Russia’s claims wrong. Energoatom, Ukraine’s state nuclear body, has also said that Russian forces have been working on some secret project at the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, and it wants international officials to come see what’s going on.
On Wednesday, Russia rehearsed its response to a nuclear attack in an exercise with nuclear submarines, strategic bombers and ballistic missiles.
Our current climate pledges won’t cut it
We’ve been seeing the effects of climate change all around the world in a big way. Freak weather events have been disastrous, from the drought crisis in China to massive hurricanes in Central America to historic heat waves in Europe. With the COP27 climate conference coming up in just a couple of weeks, the world really needs to move toward sustainability by limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Global temperatures have already risen about 1.2 Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The UN released a new report saying that the world’s climate plans aren’t enough to limit rising temperatures to 1.5 Celsius, the number set in the 2015 Paris Agreement. By the terms of current pledges, we’re actually headed toward a global heating of 2.5 Celsius, which would lead to a catastrophic climate breakdown. So, countries need to make deeper cuts in emissions to subdue this rise. A few countries, like Australia and Indonesia, have already improved their climate action plans since COP26. But more have to get on board.
To end, we’ll look into:
Dating people like your ex
Have you ever dated two people with similar personalities, looks or both? Your current significant other may be more similar to a former partner than you realize. And, it turns out, there may be a scientific reason behind that. While it may seem strange to date someone who reminds you of an ended relationship, having a “type” may not be all that weird.
Yoobin Park, a postdoctoral scholar at the Network for Emotional Well-being lab at the University of California, San Francisco, conducted a study on this idea, working through an explanation for the phenomenon. Over nine years, he investigated the personalities of the exes and current partners of 12,000 people. They were surveyed in the cases of breakups and new relationships.
As a baseline, you may just date someone like your ex because you are choosing from a similar pool of people. Because of the types of places you go and the people you meet, the people you date will likely have a similar level of education, political attitude and personality. This also means they may be similar to you, too.
But, one person may be distinctly similar to another you’ve dated before. Evidence suggests that individuals really have a “type” when dating; it’s known as distinctive partner similarity.
Park explains: “In every relationship, people learn strategies for working with their partner’s personality. If your new partner’s personality resembles your ex-partner’s personality, transferring the skills you learned might be an effective way to start a new relationship on a good footing.”
But, if you continue having the same problems across relationships, Park suggests that you evaluate what kind of partner you were in your previous relationships. If you’re dating similar people or even behaving the same way – it may be you, not them.
Your idea of an “ideal partner” may change over time, though, especially after a breakup. Of course, there’s no reason to change your preferences when you’re in a stable relationship or even single. But a breakup is the perfect time to re-evaluate exactly what we want.
In other news …
📉Stocks: MSCI’s global gauge of stocks is down 0.07% to 2535.67 at the time of writing.
- Dow Jones stayed steady at 31,839.11.
- Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.04% to 10,970.99.
- S&P 500 dropped 0.74% to 3,830.60.
- Hang Seng Index went up 1% to 15,317.67.
🧠Some quick factors to bear in mind:
- In the US, markets were mixed. Earnings have been mostly good, and the dollar’s decline helped boost commodities. Some big tech earnings were not so good – Meta’s stock fell over 19% in after-hours trading on Wednesday as its quarterly profit was cut in half from the year before, and Microsoft closed down more than 7%.
- Investors are balancing positive earnings with forecasts of the Fed’s rate hikes.
- Meanwhile, the market has been gloomy lately in the East as investors anticipate a continued zero-COVID policy. In the mainland, Wuhan locked down one of its central districts until the end of this weekend.
- But, the yuan strengthened sharply against the dollar. China’s central bank and regulators said they would maintain healthy markets, improving investor sentiment.
- In Hong Kong, stocks rebounded slightly from an early-week slump as investors look toward the Fed potentially turning less aggressive in its rate hikes. Tech stocks supported the Hang Seng Index in early morning trade. Meituan surged more than 8% at one point, and Tencent jumped briefly around 5%.
👄Some comments and chatter:
- “They [the Fed] obviously don’t want to be too dovish and the market is obviously looking for any sort of a sign from the Fed that we’re hitting the break, so to speak, on rate increases. If they continue on their too hawkish stance, there is a risk that things kind of get out of hand on that end as well. So they’re definitely walking a very fine line,” said Dustin Thackeray, chief investment officer at Crewe Advisors.
- “China’s economy is still on a recovery path, and that will support the yuan and stock prices. There is still room for foreign investors to raise their positions on Chinese assets,” said Wang Chengjin, an analyst at Guosheng Securities.
- “I wouldn’t want to take the optimism too far. We think it’s still too soon for the Fed to make a significant pivot and the stronger markets are, the more likely it is that the Fed wants to be more cautious about wanting to make a pivot,” said Andrew Sheets, chief cross-asset strategist at Morgan Stanley.
🛢Oil: Oil prices ended higher as US supply data showed a rise in crude supplies, plus the dollar’s weakness didn’t help. US crude went up almost 3% to US$87.91, and Brent went up 2.40%, ending at US$95.69.
👛Bitcoin: Bitcoin was up 3.43% to US$20,775.10 at the time of writing.
✈Ukraine says stay away: Ukraine has asked refugees who left due to Russia’s invasion not to come back home just yet. Because Russian attacks are compromising Ukraine’s power grid, it may fail if people come back. As winter approaches, that would spark a huge crisis.
💣Warnings to North Korea: The US, Japan, and South Korea warned on Wednesday that they’d launch an “unparalleled” scale of response if North Korea runs a seventh nuclear bomb test. They believe North Korea could start nuclear bomb testing for the first time since 2017.
☮Ethiopia peace talks begin: Peace talks for Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict officially began on Tuesday in South Africa. This is the biggest push yet to end two years of fighting responsible for an estimated hundreds of thousands of deaths. The African Union-led talks will most likely continue until Sunday.
📞Biden’s and Sunak’s first call: US President Biden and the UK’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke for the first time over the phone on Tuesday. They agreed to coordinate support for Ukraine and “counter” China.
💵Chinese state banks sell dollars: Late Tuesday night, some Chinese state-owned banks sold US dollars in onshore and offshore markets to support the yuan. The Chinese currency is facing a lot of pressure, with the yuan at its weakest since 2007.
🚗Mercedes-Benz pulls out of Russia: Mercedes just became the latest Western company to leave Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine. It stopped production there in March but will now leave the Russian market entirely and sell shares in subsidiaries to a local investor. Earlier on Wednesday, Ford announced it would leave the Russian market, too.
🐧Emperor penguins may be in trouble: The US said on Tuesday that emperor penguins could be threatened due to rising global temperatures and sea ice loss as it finalized protections for the bird under the country’s Endangered Species Act. Not cool, Earthlings.
🕌Iran mosque attack: On top of all the ongoing turmoil in Iran right now, 15 people were killed in a mosque attack on Wednesday. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting, but the story is still developing.
📱Bye-bye Lightning charger: On Monday, the EU got final approval to enact the common charger law, which mandates that electronic devices like mobile phones and tablets need to support USB-C chargers by 2024. Apple confirmed it would have to comply. Analysts have said Apple will likely do it with all its devices, not just in the EU.
😎Germany is legalizing weed: Germany just made plans to legalize marijuana, which had been promised by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government. Germany would be one of the first European countries to legalize recreational weed.