David Fuller and Eoin Treacy's Comment of the Day
Category - General

    Xi's Purge of Handpicked Ministers Shatters Stability Image

    This article for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Instead, his government looks like it’s in disarray. Xi’s mysterious purge of his foreign minister in July, followed by the reported ouster of his defense chief less than two months later, is making China appear unstable to the outside world. The Chinese leader also overhauled the generals overseeing China’s Rocket Force, which manages the nation’s nuclear arsenal, without giving an explanation.

    And those are just the firings that have been made public. 

    While most analysts don’t see any threat to Xi, who has amassed more power than any leader since Mao Zedong, questions are being raised about his management style. Morale within the Foreign Ministry in particular is very low, with anxiety running high among a group of bureaucrats that see themselves as professional diplomats who don’t want to get caught up in political power plays, according to Chinese officials who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive information. 

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    AI Accelerates Ability to Program Biology Like Software

    This article from the Wall Street Journal may be of interest. Here is a section:

    “Synthetic biology in its broadest form encompasses a large part of the work that’s being done in biomedicine. That is, how we first understand organisms, but then use that understanding to program them or direct them to do different things,” said Dr. Lloyd Minor, dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs at Stanford University. “And I do think that it offers a huge amount of potential across the board,” he said.

    “The challenge in biology is that it is not terribly difficult to engineer organisms, to engineer living systems, to do things that can potentially be very harmful. So how do we think about monitoring, regulation, safe oversight in the biology world,” he said.

    “It is collapsing time and expanding the aperture by which we are able to run experiments on a broader set of designs that scientists want to test on.” — Jennifer Lum, co-founder of Biospring Partners

    Synthetic biology companies see opportunities for artificial intelligence throughout the product-development life cycle from initial design, where scientists can examine and factor in a greater number of variables and options, to the build phase to testing, where scientists can leverage the predictive nature of AI to quickly determine results.  

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    Fed Leaves Rates Unchanged, Signals Another Hike This Year

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest. Here is a section:

    “We are committed to achieving and sustaining a stance of monetary policy that is sufficiently restrictive to bring inflation down to our 2% goal over time,” Powell said at a press conference following the decision.

    He emphasized the Fed will “proceed carefully” as it assesses incoming data and the evolving outlook and risks, echoing remarks he made at the Fed’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming last month.

    After raising rates rapidly last year, “now we’re fairly close, we think, to where we need to get,” Powell said.

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    Sunak Delays UK's Petrol Car Ban as Part of Green U-Turn

    This article from Bloomberg may be of interest. Here is a section:  

    Sunak said in a speech on Wednesday in London that he would push back by five years to 2035 a plan to bar the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, casting the decision as an effort to protect families struggling with bills. The vast majority of vehicles sold in the UK would likely be electric by 2030 without government intervention, he said.

    “At least for now it should be you, the consumer, who makes that choice, not the government forcing you to do it,” Sunak said in Downing Street. 

    While Sunak insisted he was still committed to reaching net zero by 2050 and not watering down any targets, he said the UK must act in a “more proportionate way.” He affirmed his belief that climate change was “real and happening,” but said that the debate over the issue had been “charged with far too much emotion and not enough clarity.” 

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    Panama Canal to further reduce daily transits if drought continues

    This article from Reuters may be of interest. Here is a section:

    The head of the Panama Canal Authority, Ricaurte Vasquez, said the waterway would opt for reducing daily transits if needed, before planning any further cut to authorized vessel draft, which affects shippers the most.

    Passage restrictions are not planned for this month. But in its budget for the fiscal year beginning October, the canal foresees a possible cut to 30-31 daily transits, he added.

    The El Niño weather phenomenon "has been very severe this year. We have hot temperatures in the Pacific and the Atlantic simultaneously," Vasquez told journalists in a briefing. "We anticipate that in the upcoming months, in the absence of significant rain, we'll have to be prepared."

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