We’re covering the coal scramble in China and the global supply crunch.
As electricity shortage spread, coal rush in China
China’s power shortage is spreading to factories and industries. Despite their previous promises to curb emissions, officials on Wednesday announced burning more coal in response.
Mines that were closed without permission have been ordered to reopen, along with closed mines and coal-fired power plants for repair. Local governments have been warned to be vigilant about limits on energy use.
The reduction exposed a strategic weakness: China is a voracious energy hog and the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. It also questioned whether Beijing could deliver strong economic growth.
Reference: China relies on inefficient factories in energy-hungry industries such as steel, cement and chemicals, but it practically halted new coal investment in 2016 amid concerns about sustainability. With increasing demand as the pandemic subsides, prices have jumped. Power plants were running short of money, so they were running at low capacity.
What will happen next: The winter heating season in the northeast of the country officially begins on Friday. According to a coal data firm, China’s largest provinces have only nine to 14 days of coal in storage.
China opens booster to high-risk residents
Chinese officials are rolling out a third shot of coronavirus vaccines for high-risk groups in at least 10 regions, according to state media, as the country tries to fully vaccinate 80 percent of its population by the end of the year. Running to complete the goal.
Following the outbreak of the Delta variant, China’s top vaccination official, Wang Huaqing, recommended last month that people in frontline businesses, including medical workers, be given additional shots; people with a weakened immune system; who are 60 or older; and travelers from high-risk countries.
A panel of WHO experts on Monday recommended that an additional dose be given to people over 60 who were vaccinated with vaccines made by Chinese companies Sinopharm and Sinovac.
Despite its high vaccination rate, China has shown no signs of abandoning its “zero COVID” strategy, and continues to use a mix of strict border controls, mass testing and snap lockdowns.
description: Last month, China announced that it had fully vaccinated 1 billion people, or about 71 percent of its population of 1.4 billion. The country has administered 2.21 billion doses.
What will happen next: Chinese health officials have said more studies are needed to determine whether the rest of the population would benefit from the booster.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
Biden takes action against stuck supply chains
President Biden said Wednesday afternoon that his administration is taking steps to address supply chains and clear disruptions that threaten the holiday shopping season, including expanding hours at a major port and some large retailers.
He told the White House that the Port of Los Angeles would start functioning round the clock. UPS, Walmart and FedEx will also announce that they are moving to peak hours. Biden said the country should “take a longer view” and fix the supply chain vulnerabilities exposed by the Covid-19 crisis.
Problems in ports, factories and shipping lanes have helped lead to shortages, longer delivery times, and rapid price increases. It’s not clear how much the White House’s actions will help – blockades roil up and down supply chains around the world. Analysts say some issues could last until the end of next year or even longer.
As a result inflation has cooled consumer confidence. On Wednesday, the Labor Department announced that the Consumer Price Index, a key reading of monthly inflation, jumped 5.4 percent in September from the previous year. Federal Reserve officials have struck an increasingly cautious tone, and they prepared for slowing support for the economy at their last meeting.
A pristine beach is one of Japan’s last. Soon it will be filled with concrete to prevent erosion of the sea wall. The project demonstrates how even the most precious ecological treasures cannot escape Japan’s construction obsession, which has long been a response to natural hazards. It is also an important source of economic stimulus in rural areas – but the scheme has broken a small village.
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The end of ‘women’s clothing’
One of the biggest trends from the spring 2022 fashion show, which recently wrapped, wasn’t an accessory or a color. This was the way many designers designed men and women to wear what has long been referred to as “women’s wear”. For example, Raf Simmons showed off a skirt suit for him and her. At Marnie, the models wore oversized sweaters with flowers. “By the end of the season, it had become so common, it barely registered with me,” Vanessa Friedman writes in The Times. “I just saw the clothes.”
Friedman and his fellow Times fashion critic, Guy Trebe, discuss how change reflects social change, particularly among young people, in self-expression and gender identity.
In recent years some shows have featured clothing that goes beyond the traditional categories of gender dress. But “it was something new. Like…gender agnosticism,” Friedman said. Brightly colored clothing with flowy fabrics and ample embellishments was for everyone.
The trend transcends the runway, Trebe said. “Spend any time on social media and you know how easily people are now embracing elements of traditionally feminine apparel and beauty,” she said. “It’s not a huge stretch to imagine wearing men’s clothing or whatever is normal in the workplace.”
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