World Bank Cuts China Economic Forecast — Quartz Daily Brief — Quartz

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The World Bank has lowered its economic forecast for China. It projects GDP growth to slow to 2.8% amid zero covid measures and a struggling property market. Meanwhile, for the first time since 1990, many regional developing countries in Asia are expected to grow faster than China.

Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines are both leaking. The detection of underwater explosions near the Russian natural gas network has raised suspicions of sabotage.

Russia made another nuclear threat. The “saber blows” coincided with the end of the referendum organized by Russia in the occupied regions of Ukraine. Meanwhile, more than 194,000 Russians have fled to neighboring countries to avoid conscription.

Nigeria raised its interest rate. The rate went from 14% to a record high of 15.5%. Morocco also raised its interest rate for the first time since 2008.

Adani Group plans to invest $100 billion over the next decade. About $70 billion will go into its green energy business.

Meta shut down two disinformation networks launched in China and Russia. The separate operations sought to influence opinions on US policy and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

To monitor

The first U.S.-Pacific Islands Summit kicks off today in Washington, DC, as U.S. President Joe Biden seeks to strengthen ties with Pacific nations and counter China’s growing influence in the region. The two-day summit comes amid a global pivot to the Pacific, from Australia’s ‘Pacific intensification’ to the UK’s ‘Indo-Pacific tilt’.

This year has seen a marked US push into the region, beginning with a tour of Oceania, the launch of the Partners in the Blue Pacific initiative and the presence of US Vice President Kamala Harris at the Pacific Islands Forum. The Biden administration has now pledged to reopen an embassy in the Solomon Islands and to establish embassies in Kiribati and Tonga.

But a big part of that is catching up with the United States. It wasn’t until 2019 that Biden made his “Pacific Pledge.” China established a dialogue in 2006 and more recently signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands. It remains to be seen whether the United States can establish credibility and partnerships in a region it has long neglected.

When was the last time the pound crashed?

The pound hit a historic low against the US dollar this week after the announcement of huge tax cuts by the new government of Liz Truss. It’s been a while since the pound flirted so closely with parity with the dollar – in fact, the last time was when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister.

Image copyright: Clarisse Diaz

In this situation, central banks often buy their national currency in the foreign exchange (FX) markets to strengthen it. But you need significant reserves to do so. Building these has simply not been a priority for the UK, which is the world’s fifth-largest economy but only ranks 18th for foreign exchange and gold reserves.

There are not many solutions. The Bank of England has made it clear, at least for now, that it will not support the pound. And the IMF has warned the UK that its recent fiscal package will likely threaten its monetary policy and increase inequality.

Reassess the 9 to 5

Image copyright: Joe Miner

Like many of us, you may have begun to question aspects of work that we once took for granted. For example: why do I work five days a week when I could do the same in four? Could the offices be designed better? Why is good feedback so hard to get and give?

These questions did not come to mind spontaneously, but the pandemic has certainly given them a boost. And now, widespread change seems possible. We are delighted to present our new podcast, Work reconsidered, available on October 6, which will document this moment of change. Check out the trailer and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

🎧 Listen on: Google | Spotify | megaphone | embroiderer

✦ Our 10th anniversary is the perfect time for a new podcast, but we also have another gift for you. How about six months of annual subscription, free?

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Surprising discoveries

The music you listen to as a teenager shapes your taste for life. Personality traits can also play a role in what you like to do.

Engineers have invented a sound-powered camera. The battery-free device is designed to take pictures underwater and is 100,000 times more efficient than current models.

Darth Vader’s voice has been immortalized in the AI. A program captured the sound of 91-year-old actor James Earl Jones in 1977.

Queen Nefertiti’s final resting place may have been discovered. Hieroglyphs from Tutankhamun’s tomb may reveal his location.

Misinformation about a coup in China has gone viral. The unverified story even reached India’s top news channel.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send news, comments, teen-era playlists and recordings by James Earl Jones to [email protected] Reader support makes Quartz accessible to everyone – become a member. Today’s Daily Brief is brought to you by Sofia Lotto Persio, Julia Malleck and Morgan Haefner.