US escalates tech war with China

The US is stepping up its effort to cripple China’s advanced high-tech sectors.

What happened: The US government announced a new ban on certain investments in China’s quantum computing, advanced semiconductor, and artificial intelligence sectors. 

China’s topsy-turvy pricing problem

While here in Canada we contend with eye-popping price increases, on the other side of the world, people in China are facing a different pricing problem: Deflation.

What happened: Consumer prices in China fell in July after several months of a near-zero rate of inflation, officially tipping the economy into deflation. That may sound nice (who doesn’t like cheaper stuff?), but it can be crippling for an economy. 

Dirty dollars are sitting in Canadian banks

What do you potentially have in common with the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi? 

You might be banking with the same financial institution. 

Driving the news: Gadhafi—who was ousted from power and killed in 2011—deposited billions of dollars in Canadian bank accounts that are still floating around the financial system, former Libyan ambassador to Canada Fathi Baja told The Globe and Mail

Are big sporting events worth it?

With one year to go until the 2024 Paris Olympics, the event’s budget has already ballooned to €8.3 billion, up from an estimated €6.8 billion in initial costs. 

So our question is: Are the games worth it?

US credit is no longer #1

Fitch Ratings has downgraded America's credit rating from the highest-possible “AAA” to a meagre “AA+”... just like its northern neighbour.   

Catch-up: The credit grader threatened to downgrade the US in May because Congress had not worked out a debt-ceiling deal to avoid throwing the country into default. The US then did strike a deal to avoid hitting the debt ceiling, but Fitch had moved on to other issues. 

Cricket’s push into Canada

Move over soccer and pickleball (especially you pickleball), the title of fastest-growing sport in Canada belongs to cricket

Driving the news: The Global T20 Canada (GT20), an international cricket competition featuring several of the world’s biggest cricketing stars, wraps up in Brampton this weekend. 

El Salvador’s gang crackdown

In Central America, El Salvador’s president has become more popular than the Pope—and no, it’s not because he decided to make Bitcoin legal tender back in 2021.

What happened: The country once known for having the world’s highest murder rate has locked away over 70,000 accused criminals in the last year (part of a sweeping campaign to crack down on powerful gangs) and cut the homicide rate by 92% from 2015 levels.

Saudi Arabia eyes soccer

Forget crypto, the new get-rich-quick strategy is playing pro soccer in Saudi Arabia.  

What happened: Saudi Arabian soccer club Al-Hilal made a record-breaking €300 million bid for French superstar Kylian Mbappé to his current team Paris Saint-Germain, and reportedly intends to offer him a pay package totalling €700 million for a single season.

Canada wants its new tax now

At the age of 156, Canada is going through a rebellious phase. 

Driving the news: Canada is one of just five OECD nations that refused to agree to extend a freeze on implementing a new digital services tax (DST) on big tech firms. The move puts it on a collision course with the US, which spearheaded the proposed measure

The US shatters Ukraine’s NATO dreams

Today marks the start of a two-day NATO summit, where leaders will be discussing the most pressing issue of the day: Barbie vs. Oppenheimer  Ukraine’s odds of joining the alliance.

Driving the news: Ukraine’s path to NATO membership is rockier than it may have initially thought after both US and German leaders said the country wasn’t ready to be let in.