Bloomberg Businessweek-Europe Edition June 21, 2021

Each issue of Businessweek features in-depth perspectives on the financial markets, industries, trends, technology and people guiding the economy. Draw upon Businessweek's timely incisive analysis to help you make better decisions about your career, your business, and your personal investments.

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2 min
in brief

Global coronavirus cases have topped 176 million and deaths have passed 3.8 million, while more than 2.4b vaccine doses have been administered. The U.K. extended its final lockdown rules by four weeks to fight the rapid spread of the delta variant. Now the dominant strain in the country, it was first discovered in India. Together, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S. possessed 13,080 nuclear warheads at the start of 2021, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. While that’s down from 2020, the number of operational warheads has grown slightly. Naftali Bennett replaced Benjamin Netanyahu, who’s on trial for corruption, as Israel’s prime minister. The Jewish nationalist joined centrist Yair Lapid to form a ruling coalition. Commanding only 61 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, the coalition…

3 min
alzheimer’s drug furor shows two failures in the u.s. health system

Patients and their families may see hope in the news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug to slow the pace of Alzheimer’s disease. Aducanumab is the first medicine authorized to treat what might be an underlying cause: clumps of a protein, amyloid beta, that accumulate in the brain. Yet the evidence from clinical trials that the drug reduces Alzheimer’s is incomplete; it may be only minimally effective, if it works at all. The FDA’s expert panel strongly objected to the drug’s approval. All of which makes the agency’s announcement this month perplexing and wrong. It threatens to mislead millions of Alzheimer’s patients. At the same time, because Biogen Inc. plans to price the drug at $56,000 a year for the average patient, it also stands to…

1 min
under pressure

The Milken Health Summit on June 22-23 features more than 200 online speakers. They’ll discuss such topics as vaccine development, pandemic prevention, and long-term care. Germany’s CDU votes on its final campaign platform on June 21-22. The party hopes to remain in power after September’s election, when Chancellor Angela Merkel steps down. At Softbank’s June 23 annual meeting, founder Masayoshi Son will speak to shareholders. With the implosion of Greensill Capital and startup Katerra, it’s been a tough year. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, convicted in April of murdering George Floyd, will be sentenced on June 25. He faces several decades in prison. New York’s mayoral primaries, the city’s first to use a ranked-choice voting system, will take place on June 22. The winners will advance to the general election on Nov. 2. The…

5 min
we owe you one, xi

With the Chinese government oppressing Uighurs in Xinjiang, jailing democracy advocates in Hong Kong, and harassing Taiwan, gratitude isn’t something you’d think the U.S. owes it right now. But credit should go where it’s due. Americans should give their most threatening competitor their heartfelt appreciation—for fixing U.S. economic policy. The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Todd Young of Indiana, passed the Senate on June 8 by a 68-32 vote. It’s known as the “China bill” for good reason: It was inspired and made possible by Beijing. The legislation mimics aspects of the Chinese state-led economic model, with $250 billion to fund scientific research and support semiconductor manufacturing. Only China’s rise and hostile foreign policy, and the fear and concern they’re fomenting…

6 min
loud and proud—except at home

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. has courted the American LGBTQ community for years, backing a film series in 2019 that featured Shangela—a breakout star of the reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race— and sponsoring the Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Festival for queer artists of color. In April the company unveiled a 60-second commercial, Chosen Family, made by a gay-owned production company with a cast including drag queens and a male couple expecting a baby with a pregnant woman. A longtime sponsor of Glaad’s annual media awards, Hyundai received a perfect score in this year’s Human Rights Campaign Foundation ranking of the best places for LGBTQ people to work. The company is “proud to partner with organizations that fight for LGBTQ rights every day,” said Angela Zepeda, chief marketing officer for Hyundai Motor…

6 min
the new king of fast fashion

On May 17, Shein—pronounced “she-in”—ended Amazon’s 152-day streak as the most downloaded shopping app in the U.S., a remarkable feat for any 7-year-old clothing brand, let alone one most Americans older than 30 still haven’t heard of. The kids, though, are all over it. Gen Z and young millennial shoppers have propelled Shein’s rise, in thrall to the company’s never-ending, always-changing catalog of clothes at prices that stretch even the most meager allowance. One recent Thursday, the app introduced 6,239 items, including a floral backless halter top ($5), purple dinosaur-print pajamas ($10), and a prom-perfect fitted butterfly-sleeve dress with pearl bead trim ($22). Earlier this year, a U.K. blogger crowed that she’d paid just £100 ($141) for more than 30 Shein bikinis. Anything you want at prices so low you can…