Economic Headwinds Mount as Leaders Weigh Costs of Confronting Russia

The interruption of wheat exports from Ukraine and Russia, which together account for 28 percent of global exports, along with supply chain disruptions, a severe drought in India that has caused it to ban shipments of grain and Covid-related lockdowns in China, are also causing food prices to spiral and increasing global hunger, particularly in Africa and the Middle East. The question for both American and European policymakers is how to corral leaping prices without sending their economies into recession. The Federal Reserve has begun raising interest rates to tame…

The World Tries to Move Beyond Covid. China May Stand in the Way.

As the rest of the world learns to live with Covid-19, China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, wants his country to keep striving to live without it — no matter the cost. China won a battle against its first outbreak in Wuhan, Mr. Xi said last week, and “we will certainly be able to win the battle to defend Shanghai,” he added, referring to the epicenter of the current outbreak in China. But pressure is mounting for a change to the zero-Covid strategy that has left Shanghai at a standstill since…

Your Thursday Briefing: A Journalist Killed in the West Bank

Good morning. We’re covering the killing of an Al Jazeera journalist, China’s uncertain wheat harvest and rising religious violence in India. Journalist killed in the West Bank Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was fatally shot in the head while reporting in the West Bank city of Jenin. Al Jazeera, citing Palestinian authorities, said Israeli forces shot her during a raid. The news network said it held the government and military accountable. Israel’s military said that it was not clear who shot her, and that it…

Your Monday Briefing: Russia’s Pre-Holiday Push

Good morning. We’re covering Russia’s nationalist holiday, Hong Kong’s new leader and a Taliban decree targeting women. Lee, the top architect of the crackdown on Hong Kong’s antigovernment protests in 2019, plans to push through laws on treason, secession, sedition and subversion, and to root out critics in the civil service. He inherits a city that has been tamed and cowed: Sweeping national security laws imposed two years ago have quashed dissent, gutted the free press and put critics behind bars or sent them into exile. He will also face…

China’s Covid Policies Have European Companies Wary of Investing

A business group warned on Thursday that China’s “dynamic zero Covid” policies had left European companies considerably less willing to continue investing in the country. A survey by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China found that the tone among European businesses in the country had soured since January, when a survey found broad optimism and plans for further investment. “We had a double whammy in February and March with the Ukraine invasion and the Covid lockdowns, and it had an incredible impact,” said Joerg Wuttke, the chamber’s president.…

Your Thursday Briefing: Russia Cuts Gas Supplies

Good morning. A gas crisis looms over Europe, anger grows in Shanghai and Singapore executes an intellectually disabled man. Russia cuts gas supplies to Europe In its toughest response yet to European sanctions, Russia halted natural gas shipments to Bulgaria and Poland. The E.U.’s top official denounced the move as “blackmail,” but European officials said they were prepared to weather the near-term impact: Poland’s gas storage facilities are 75 percent full, and it has been working for years to avoid being held to ransom by Moscow over energy. Germany also…

China’s Covid Lockdowns Stir Memories of a Planned Economy

Yang Wenhui should be a proud example of China’s rise from economic rubble to global powerhouse. Growing up poor, he ate so much cabbage that he didn’t touch it again for many years. He worked as a farmer and a construction worker before joining the country’s nascent logistics industry. In 2003, he started his own freight logistics company, striking gold as online shopping took off in the 2010s and products moved swiftly between provinces. Then the Omicron variant started spreading in China. In the government’s zealous pursuit of its “zero…

China’s GDP Data Hint at Heavy Cost of its Zero Covid Strategy

BEIJING — Faced with its worst Covid-19 outbreak yet, China has been enforcing an expanding number of mass quarantines, strict lockdowns and border controls. The measures may yet work, but official data released on Monday show they are exacting a grim toll on the world’s second-largest economy. China’s economy expanded 4.8 percent in the first three months of this year compared to the same period last year. That pace was barely faster than the final three months of last year, and it also obscured a looming problem. Much of that…

China’s Widespread Lockdowns Will Bring an Economic Toll

Nearly 400 million people are estimated to be under some form of lockdown in China as officials try to stop a fast-moving Omicron outbreak that is beginning to weigh on the world’s second-largest economy. Hundreds of thousands of people have been sent to isolation facilities in China, and millions more have been told to stay in their homes. Officials in dozens of cities have shut down normal daily life across the country in a race to track and trace the coronavirus and stamp out China’s worst outbreak since the start…

Your Wednesday Briefing: Putin’s defiance

your wednesday briefing putins defiance

Good morning. We’re covering Vladimir Putin’s defiant remarks, Sri Lanka’s default and China’s economic pivot. Putin’s defiance President Vladimir Putin of Russia said that peace talks with Ukraine had reached a “dead end.” He also said there was “no doubt” that Russia would achieve its goals in a campaign that has left cities in ruins, forced millions to flee their homes and raised disturbing accounts of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers. Here are the latest updates. “What we are doing is helping people and saving people, on the one hand,…