A cyberattack on the U.S.’s largest fuel pipeline on May 7 forced a shutdown that triggered a spike in gas prices and shortages in parts of the Southeast. WSJ explains just how vulnerable the nation’s critical energy infrastructure is to attack. Photo illustration: Liz Ornitz/WSJ
With more than 1.9 billion drinks served every day Coca-Cola is one of the world’s largest beverage companies. From its humble beginnings selling a single product at a drugstore for 5 cents a glass, the company now has a roster of 200 brands that includes Coke, Fanta, and Sprite. But with health and wellness trends on the rise, the company has been forced to pivot. So after 135-years in business, can the soft drink giant stay on top? And what will the secular decline of sugar-sweetened beverages in the U.S. mean for the future of Coca-Cola?
Armed drones are growing in military importance as conflicts around the world have proven the utility of these effective tools of war. Companies in China, Turkey, and Russia, among others, have developed advanced remotely piloted aircraft that can use guided weapons on and off the battlefield.
The widespread use of drones in Iraq and Afghanistan by the United States to target and kill insurgents jump started a new chapter in the history of conflict. These high flying and remotely piloted aircraft could engage targets with impunity while the operators were safely working in a ground control station. Keeping the crews out of danger also made the drones politically cheap to use over dangerous skies.
Now more and more countries are gaining this military capability for their own purposes. “At the moment, we’ve seen over 100 states worldwide using military drones and that number is growing significantly” said Wim Zwijnenburg, Project leader, Humanitarian Disarmament at PAX. “We have over 20 states that are using armed drones in conflicts or outside of armed conflicts.”
Although larger and more complex drones, like the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper are not cheap to develop or operate, smaller drones are becoming more ubiquitous in conflict zones. Limiting the proliferation of these smaller drones, and the ability to weaponize them, is a regulatory nightmare for government agencies around the world.
“Drones are just model airplanes with great sensors on them. And all of these are dual use and have been used in the civilian realm” said Ulrike Franke, a Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “And in fact, drones have risen enormously in the civilian realm over the last five to 10 years. And so controlling their export is really difficult.”
Neodymium is critical to making the wheels of a Tesla spin or creating sound in Apple’s Airpods, and China dominates the mining and processing of this rare-earth mineral. So the U.S. and its allies are building their own supply chain. Photo illustration: Clément Bürge/WSJ
Retail energy companies compete with local utilities to give U.S. consumers more choice. But in nearly every state where they operate, retailers have charged more than regulated incumbents, meaning you may be paying more for your electricity than your neighbors. Here’s why. Photo Illustration: Jacob Reynolds
Coffee prices are heating up, and experts say an even bigger price hike could be coming. WSJ explains the web of economic forces that help determine the cost of coffee. Illustration: Mallory Brangan/WSJ
Emirates, the long-haul carrier known for its luxury services, has set new standards for the way we travel. Like airlines everywhere, the carrier has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic. To keep customers safe and on board, Emirates adopted a variety of new protocols. The company also pivoted to cargo shipments to keep itself afloat. So will Emirates bounce back from the economic fallout pummeling the airline industry?
A growing number of colleges around the country will require students to get Covid-19 vaccinations before returning to campus. But the policies are igniting a debate over whether businesses and institutions like schools can make vaccines a condition of attendance. Photo: Northeastern University
To balance their budgets during the coronavirus pandemic, states including New Jersey and New York have raised taxes on the wealthy. Conservatives warn that it will cause many of those who left at the onset of the pandemic make those moves permanent since they’re no longer bound to the physical locations of their offices or their children’s schools. But available data from 2020 show that the so-called exodus wasn’t as pronounced as initially projected, and the urban exit that did happen, was to suburbs rather than low tax states.
In less than six months, Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma’s Ant IPO, which could have been the world’s largest, was scuttled and his companies brought in line by regulators. The U.S. is also taking aim at big tech, but here’s how China moves faster. Photo illustration: Sharon Shi