China’s PMI sank fastest since Feb. 2020
- The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) slumped at the fastest pace since February 2020 to 46 in April from 48.1 a month earlier, remaining below the contraction threshold of 50.
- The regional COVID outbreaks in the country and the restrictions to contain the disease have resulted in disruptions in supply chains and demand, contributing to a slow down in China’s manufacturing activities.
- However, positive signs appear as Shanghai loosens COVID measures, and Beijing, where the infections are still on the rise, seems attempt to avoid a lockdown like the one in Shanghai.
U.S. tones down rhetoric against China on Russia
- With U.S. President Joe Biden’s trip to Asia drawing near, an anonymous “Biden administration official” told Reuters that "We have not seen the PRC provide direct military support to Russia’s war on Ukraine or engage in systematic efforts to help Russia evade our sanctions." The statement was reported days after China issued a list of the “falsehoods spread by the U.S. on the Ukraine issue.”
- Biden’s visit to Asia, like the recent one by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to the region, does not include a stop in China. The U.S. and its allies share a complex position on China during the Russian war with Ukraine: On one hand, they want to distance themselves from a country not sharing their hostility against Russia, while on the other, they don’t want to push China too far away to become a power against them.
U.S. Supreme Court could overturn abortion rights
- A leaked draft on the repudiation of the Roe v. Wade decision, a landmark ruling that legalized abortion, caused fierce opposition from the Democrat officials and abortion rights supporters. The U.S. Supreme Court confirmed the document was authentic but said it was not final.
- The draft, which was written by the right-leaning Justice Samuel Alito, was supported by another four Republican-appointed justices, strongly suggesting that an overturn could become the case. Only three out of nine Supreme Court Justices are appointed by Democratic Presidents.
- Chief Justice John Roberts called the leak by POLITICO a “betrayal of the confidences of the Court” and an “egregious breach” of the trust of the Court.
Europe sues Apple for monopoly abuse
- Almost two years after opening an antitrust investigation on Apple, the EU charged the tech company with restricting competition over Apple Pay. In a statement of objections on Monday, the European Commission “preliminarily” found that Apple had abused its dominant position by limiting access to the contactless payment technology Near-Field Communication (NFC), or “tap and go.” Apple could face a hefty fine if the Commission confirmed the violation.