Cornel West at 5% (in New Hampshire).
1. One of the most productive scientific collaborations of the 21st century is pulling apart, as deteriorating relations between the U.S. and China lead researchers to sever ties. The decoupling, which began in recent years with investigations into Chinese researchers in the U.S., has accelerated as tensions have risen between the superpowers. Now some U.S. lawmakers are pushing to let a landmark agreement to cooperate on science and technology, signed in 1979 and renewed routinely since, expire this month. China has built itself into a powerful engine of scientific discovery in recent decades, partly with American help, and many in Washington fear that China could gain a security and military advantage unless the U.S. takes decisive steps to cut off cooperation in scientific research. Many scientists warn, however, that Washington would be severing ties as China is making its greatest contributions to scientific advancements, and cutting it off risks slowing American progress in critical areas such as biotechnology, clean energy and telecommunications. (Source: wsj.com)
2. After a seemingly promising start to the year, how did things in China get so bad again, so fast? There is plenty of ugly news to choose from: exports are falling, foreign investment is drying up and the overall job market is weakening again. But perhaps the most compelling explanation is this: Households have suffered an enormous, and possibly permanent, loss of confidence in both their future income prospects and the safety and value of their main financial asset, housing. And in both cases, Beijing’s recent policies deserve much of the blame, which may be one reason economic data has suddenly become so sensitive. (Source: wsj.com)
3. Country Garden, a Chinese real estate giant, has lost billions of dollars and racked up $200 billion in unpaid bills. It’s on the hook to deliver, by one estimate, nearly one million apartments across hundreds of cities in China. The privately owned developer, founded by a farmer three decades ago, is inching closer to default. In China’s housing market, there are plenty of deadbeat developers no longer paying their bills. The possible collapse of Country Garden is one to pay attention to. (E)xperts fear that Country Garden’s troubles will spill over into the broader financial markets, thwarting any possible recovery of the real estate industry and spreading the damage through the economy. (Source: nytimes.com)
4. China home prices dropped for a second month in July, a further sign of the deepening property downturn that’s weighing on the world’s second-largest economy. New-home prices in 70 cities, excluding state-subsidized housing, fell 0.23% last month from June, when they slipped 0.06%, National Bureau of Statistics figures showed Wednesday. Prices slid 0.47% in the secondary market, according to the data. The declines offer no relief to developers like Country Garden Holdings, which faces a potential default after missing bond payments this month as the housing market sputters. Risks are also spreading to the financial sector, where a trust company with massive exposure to real estate missed payments on some investment products. (Source: bloomberg.com)
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