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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING - Stocks Tumble, Led by -3-

01/21/2022 | 06:51am EDT

China's Ministry of Transport has summoned four leading freight-delivery platform operators and warned four internet ride-hailing companies over recent driver complaints, in a sign of Beijing's continued scrutiny of the country's massive tech sector after a year-long crackdown.

The ministry on Friday said it has summoned four internet freight delivery firms, including the cargo businesses owned by DiDi Global Inc. and Inc., to discuss recent driver complaints about arbitrary pricing rules, membership fee increases, unfair competition and illegal practices such as overloading.

The SPAC Ship is Sinking. Investors Want Their Money Back.

Wall Street's favorite pandemic bet is taking on water.

SPACs, or special-purpose acquisition companies, burst onto the scene in 2020 as the hip way to take Silicon Valley's hottest startups public. Unlike traditional initial public offerings, SPACs were seen as modern and accessible, allowing any investor to put money into the companies of the future at the same time as professional money managers.

Blinken to Meet Russia's Foreign Minister Amid Ukraine Border Crisis

KYIV, Ukraine-As Secretary of State Antony Blinken prepares for a high-stakes meeting with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Friday, Ukraine's foreign minister warned that his country's soldiers and civilians could "pay with their blood" for any delays to a sanctions package that could be imposed on Moscow immediately should it choose to invade.

The meeting in Geneva follows a string of meetings Mr. Blinken's deputy, Wendy Sherman, held earlier this month with European allies and her Russian counterpart at NATO's headquarters, followed by more gatherings Mr. Blinken held this week in Kyiv and Berlin.

Afghans Housed at Military Base in Kosovo Risk Being Denied Entry to U.S. for Alleged Terrorist Ties

WASHINGTON-Afghan evacuees housed on a U.S. military base in Kosovo are at risk of being denied entry to the U.S. because of their alleged links to the Taliban and other terrorist groups, U.S. officials have said, potentially leaving them without a home country.

Fewer than 10 Afghans have been declared ineligible for entry after security officials found disqualifying information about them during an extensive vetting process, according to a person familiar with the issue. About 90 other individuals continue to be vetted at the Camp Bondsteel base in Kosovo, according to administration officials.

Biden Seeks to Reassure Ukraine, Vowing a Strong Response to Russia and Transferring Weapons

President Biden said Thursday that any Russian troop movement into Ukraine would be considered an invasion, seeking to clear up confusion over his position on a potential incursion as the administration gave approval for U.S.-made weapons to be transferred to Kyiv.

"I've been absolutely clear with [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin. He has no misunderstanding," Mr. Biden said at a White House event. "If any-any-assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border, that is an invasion."

Belarusian Officials Charged With Aircraft Piracy in Diversion of Ryanair Flight

The U.S. Justice Department charged four Belarusian government officials with aircraft piracy, alleging they conspired to fabricate a bomb threat to divert a Ryanair passenger jet last year to arrest a dissident journalist.

In an indictment filed Thursday in New York, the Belarusian officials were also accused of conspiring to cover up the fake bomb plot after the Boeing 737 made an emergency landing in May in the nation's capital, Minsk. The aircraft, carrying 126 passengers, was en route from Athens to Vilnius, Lithuania, when Belarusian air-traffic controllers told the pilots of the purported threat, according to the indictment.

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This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

01-21-22 0651ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DIDI GLOBAL INC. 2.05% 1.49 Delayed Quote.-70.08%
RYANAIR HOLDINGS PLC -3.71% 13.12 Real-time Quote.-10.66%
S&P 500 2.39% 4023.89 Real-time Quote.-15.57%
THE BOEING COMPANY 3.30% 127.2 Delayed Quote.-36.82%
US DOLLAR / RUSSIAN ROUBLE (USD/RUB) -0.78% 64 Delayed Quote.-13.93%
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