Across much of the world, covid-19 restrictions are starting to ease. The Economist has crunched the data to calculate how close countries are to pre-pandemic levels of normality—but will life ever be the same again? Read more here: https://econ.st/3AG9siz
The Federal Reserve is trying to figure out how to keep cash relevant in a cashless world. It’s considering digitizing the U.S. dollar, giving people money they can access on their phone and bypassing electronic payments that can be slow and costly for businesses. Illustration: Jacob Reynolds/WSJ
The number of working-age people in China is shrinking. Could this threaten the country’s rise as an economic superpower? Read more here: https://econ.st/3dgzqz0
#Paris has been a source of fascination for centuries and the #French capital is one of the most visited cities in the world. By day or by night, it’s a beautiful city packed with towering #monuments, inspiring #museums and romantic cafés and yet, #tourists often say Paris would be so nice if it weren’t for the Parisians. So where does this bad reputation come from? In this episode of French Connections Plus, Florence Villeminot and Genie Gordula turn the spotlight on the City of Lights and its peculiar inhabitants: les Parisiens.
“Of all the frantically acquired coping mechanisms from the past year, you are my favorite.”
“So working from home is no longer an option?”
“I do think it would speed things up if you followed my social media.”
More than 60 percent of China’s population of 1.4 billion currently lives in cities. Within a decade, the share of urban dwellers is expected to increase to 75 percent. Construction is booming and competition for residential land is fierce.
But the right to live in a city in China is conditional. Authorities want their modern cities to be peopled with well-educated, highly-qualified or politically well-connected residents. As a result, certain standards have to be met to be eligible for a modern, urban home. Only members of China’s political classes and the financially successful have a hope of qualifying. Yet more than half of the people who live in cities are so-called “migrant workers.” They come from rural communities and have no official rights to settle in cities. They are there to work. With no proper rights, they are merely tolerated while they serve as merchants, servants, waitstaff, cleaners, construction workers and tradespeople.
But while they are indispensible to daily life in the cities, they are unable to afford their exorbitant rents. This documentary looks at how and where these workers live, and asks whether middle and working class Chinese even figure in the official vision of shiny, high-tech cities. The filmmakers also look at what happens to those who oppose official plans, or stand in the way of the building boom.
The CDC says fully vaccinated Americans can resume many normal activities but should people have to prove they have gotten those shots? Brook Silva-Braga reports on the pros and cons of so-called “vaccine passports” and the medical and legal issues raised.