Some of the first governments to go digital have found an answer in cryptocurrency enthusiasts. For these rebels against traditional approaches to finance, the digital trend presents an opportunity to create virtual money for a whole nation.
China Steels Itself for Fight to Cool Rising Commodities Prices
HONG KONG-China's multipronged campaign to roll back rising commodity prices is pitting the world's largest buyer of many major resources and its brand of command economic policy against global market forces. Prices show victory remains elusive.
Chinese authorities aren't giving up yet, signaling that they plan in the near term to double down on measures launched in recent months to cool commodity markets that have been buoyed by economic recoveries around the world. Adding to inspections of pricing platforms and broad warnings against market speculation, Beijing in early July auctioned state stockpiles of copper, aluminum and zinc reserves to increase supplies. The state stockpiler said it plans to sell more.
U.K. House Prices Hit All-Time High in Busiest Ever First Half
U.K. house prices have hit a record high for a fourth consecutive month, rounding off the busiest ever first half of a year, according to new data from property portal Rightmove PLC.
The average price of property coming to the market rose an eye-watering 21,389 pounds ($30,199) in just six months, a rise of 6.7% and bringing the national average to a new all-time high of GBP338,447. The portal measured 95,164 prices across the U.K. over the four weeks to July 10.
U.K.'s Boris Johnson Will Self-Isolate as England Prepares for Reopening
LONDON-Boris Johnson's office said the U.K. prime minister will remain in isolation for the next 10 days after his health minister tested positive for the coronavirus, just hours before a plan to drop almost all Covid-19 restrictions in England comes into effect.
The announcement came as official figures showed new daily cases of the coronavirus reached more than 50,000 this weekend, highlighting how rapidly the Delta variant is spreading in Britain despite mass vaccination. Some employers and trade unions have warned that the level of staff absences as people are asked to stay home after coming into contact with known cases risks hurting the economy.
Germany's Flooding Rearranges Political Picture Ahead of Election to Succeed Merkel
BERLIN-Last week's devastating floods in Germany that have so far claimed nearly 160 lives have become the central issue of the country's coming election that could reshape its political landscape.
The leading contenders-as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel, who isn't running for re-election-have flocked to the worst-hit areas, promising relief and pointing the finger at climate change for one of the country's deadliest disasters since World War II.
Europe Floods Move South and East as Rains Hit Germany, Austria
Flooding moved to southern and eastern parts of Germany and into neighboring Austria on Sunday, as heavy rainfall over Alpine regions swelled rivers and overwhelmed several towns in the valleys.
After the deadly floods that hit western Germany and Belgium last week, authorities farther east were building concrete barriers to protect vulnerable communities, evacuated potential hot spots and towed away cars from parking lots to prevent the torrent from smashing them against houses.
China Wants a Chip Machine From the Dutch. The U.S. Said No.
Some of the tech industry's most important machines are made next to corn fields in the Netherlands. The U.S. government is trying to make sure they don't end up in China.
Beijing has been pressuring the Dutch government to allow its companies to buy ASML Holding NV's marquee product: a machine called an extreme ultraviolet lithography system that is essential to making advanced microprocessors.
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