Extra, Extra

Conscious Uncoupling: “This great disentangling may never become a complete divorce. Relocating the Chinese manufacturing operations of a company like Taiwan’s Foxconn, supplier extraordinaire to Apple, is extremely difficult, as the firm’s bungled factory project in Wisconsin showed. There’s no reason to believe Starbucks coffee shops in China will close anytime soon, if ever. The world has been “flattened” so successfully over the past 40 years that unraveling what’s been done may be close to impossible. Unlike the Cold War, when the U.S. and Soviet blocs were clearly delineated, the two segments of the coming world will likely remain somewhat connected. Yet the outlines of these two spheres are becoming more distinct nonetheless.” Michael Schuman in The Atlantic: The World Is Splitting in Two. (Even the Russian invasion is more broadly a story about China and America.)

+ Long Covid: “China began its most extensive coronavirus lockdown in two years Monday to conduct mass testing and control a growing outbreak in Shanghai as questions are raised about the economic toll of the nation’s ‘zero-COVID” strategy.'” And as America braces for the next wave: For red and blue America, a glaring divide in COVID-19 death rates persists 2 years later. “Post-vaccine, death rates in red states were 38% higher than in blue states.” (Politics has become a deadly sport.)

+ Birkenstock and Two Smokin’ Barrels: “The shoe store below, Footprints, specializes in Birkenstock sales and repairs, helping to cement the town’s identity as ‘the Berkeley of Kansas.’ But few have entered the repair shop out back, where Birkenstocks mailed from anywhere with a U.S. zip code — including Guam — await personal attention. Hidden from view, this workshop is a sacred space.” NPR: For 35 years, Birkenstock lovers nationwide have sent worn-down shoes to this Kansas cobblery.

+ The Call Is Coming From Inside The Phone: “Did you recently get a spam text… from yourself? You’re not alone.”

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