World shares advance…US to order more vaccine to share
UNDATED (AP) – World shares and U.S. futures have advanced after Chinese developer Evergrande said it intends to make an interest payment on its debt that is due Thursday. Shares rose today in Paris, Frankfurt and Shanghai but fell in Tokyo. The Bank of Japan kept its ultra-supportive monetary policy unchanged, as expected. Markets have been rattled by Evergrande’s struggle to meet debt payments and uncertainty over what if anything the Chinese government might do to limit the impact of a possible default.
UNDATED (AP) – President Joe Biden is set to announce that the U.S. is doubling, to 1 billion doses, its purchase of Pfizer’s COVID-19 shots to share with the world. Biden is also set to embrace a goal of vaccinating 70% of the global population within the next year. The stepped-up U.S. commitment will be the cornerstone of a global vaccination summit the president is convening virtually today on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.
UNDATED (AP) – The Asian Development Bank has lowered its outlook for economic growth in developing Asia to reflect renewed coronavirus outbreaks as variants spread, prompting governments to restore or keep in place their pandemic precautions. It expects 7.1% growth in 2021, falling to 5.4% in 2022. The earlier forecast was for 7.3% growth this year and 5.3% in 2022. The regional lender anticipates that most regional economies will remain below their pre-pandemic levels into 2022. ADB economists said some of the losses from the crisis will be permanent. The report says slow and uneven vaccine rollouts are weighing down the region’s prospects.
UNDATED (AP) – Facebook’s semi-independent oversight board says it will review the company’s “XCheck,” or cross check system following an investigation by The Wall Street Journal into the use of an internal system that has exempted high-profile users from some or all of its rules. The board said Tuesday that it expects to have a briefing with Facebook on the matter and “will be reporting what we hear from this” as part of a report it will publish in October. It may also make other recommendations, although Facebook is not bound to follow these.
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) – Apple’s and Google’s cooperation with the Russian government’s efforts to suppress an app opposed to the ruling regime is escalating concerns about whether Big Tech’s pursuit of ever-higher profits has trampled their commitment to protecting civil rights. The debate is being spurred by last week’s abrupt removal of an voting app organizing opposition to Russia President Vladimir Putin. Both Apple and Google expunged the Smart Voting app from their respective app stores in Russia after being repeatedly warned that it was breaking that country’s laws. That galled supporters of free elections and raised worries other government leaders will resort to similar tactics.