Humans are losing the race against heat. First came the hottest June in recorded history. Now it’s the hottest-ever July. This year is already highly likely to replace 2016 atop the heat ranking. Scientists suspect the last several years have been warmer than any point in the 125,000 that came before. This acceleration of heat is the result of burning enough fossil fuels to raise global average temperatures about 1.2C since the Industrial Revolution. The bottom line is that heat is intensifying faster than attempts to counteract it, and it’s beginning to look like the time humanity has to change its ways is a lot shorter than previously thought.
According to the current projections from researchers at Climate Action Tracker, all the existing emissions-cutting policies by governments around the world would result in the global average temperature increasing about 2.7C by 2100. A separate team at the United Nations compiled an end-of-century estimate of 2.8C. The problem is clear: Existing weather is visibly outrunning our combined efforts to stem global warming. “Climate policy is not keeping pace,” says Ann Mettler, vice president for Europe at Breakthrough Energy, a consortium of nonprofits and venture capital funds. Shifting to clean energy, she says, “whatever that cost, would pale in comparison to what these extreme weather events cost.” But there’s still hope: Here’s how experts at eliminating carbon pollution think we can catch up.
New data Friday showed key measures of US inflation and labor costs cooled significantly in recent months, adding to growing optimism that the economy may achieve a soft landing. The employment cost index (ECI), a broad gauge of wages and benefits, increased 1% in the second quarter, marking the slowest advance since 2021, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. A separate report showed the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the personal consumption expenditures price index, rose 3% from a year earlier in June, the smallest increase in more than two years. Core prices—which exclude food and energy and are regarded as a more reliable signal of underlying inflation—advanced by a less-than-expected 4.1%, also the least since 2021. “The moderation in second-quarter ECI offers the most encouraging sign yet of disinflation,” Anna Wong of Bloomberg Economics writes, “suggesting that the stickiest component of inflation is coming down. It also shows that recent wage disinflation is not a fluke, and has legs.” Here’s your markets wrap.
The growing euphoria on Wall Street has industrial shares on a tear, junk-bond spreads narrowing, quants ramping up Treasury shorts and everyone piling into stocks. Cash and hedges are out, replaced by demand for everything from small caps to meme stocks. Fueling the surge is all that data showing the US economy to be thriving amid mounting evidence the Federal Reserve is beating inflation. This cheery outlook has sent the S&P 500 to the brink of its sixth advance in seven months and pushed prices in the Nasdaq 100 to almost 35 times profit. It’s heaven for bulls—even as it leaves them with precious little wiggle room should anything in the economy or monetary policy not unfold as hoped. “It’s dangerous and consensus, but it’s late July, so who feels like fighting it?” said Peter Tchir, head of macro strategy at Academy Securities. “We are now at stage where people feel obligated to fully commit capital.”
As Vladimir Putin was welcoming African heads of state to a summit in St. Petersburg, renegade mercenary Yevgeny Prigozhin stole the limelight in the Kremlin leader’s home city,schmoozing with visiting officials and lauding a military coup in Niger. The Wagner group leader was supposed to go into exile in neighboring Belarus under a deal to end last month’s armed mutiny that shook Putin’s rule. It hasn’t worked out that way.
Ukrainian forces claimed to be advancing as part of a concerted push with added soldiers and western equipment on the southwestern front lines of Russia’s war. Also, Romania plans to rapidly expand one of the key transit routes for grain from Ukraine as Russia’s escalating attacks in the Black Sea are exacerbating risks for the global food trade. Romania has already facilitated the transit of more than 20 million tons of grain from Ukraine, about half of the entire 41 million tons shipped via the so-called solidarity lanes since Russia’s invasion began. Now, it may open new crossing points with its neighbor, increase staff at existing crossings and bring in retired and military pilots to speed up the transit of ships through the Danube canals, Foreign Minister Luminita Odobescu said.
A bulk carrier sits at anchor in the Black Sea on July 23 before entering the Sulina Canal, a channel to the Danube River, near Sulina, Romania. The threat of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and ships is forcing the country to export its enormous quantities of grain by river, road and rail. Photographer: Andrei Pugnovschi/Bloomberg
Singapore conducted its first execution of a woman in 19 years on Friday and its second hanging this week for drug trafficking, despite calls for the city-state to cease capital punishment for drug-related crimes.
A US government probe found flaws in airport fast-track service Clear Secure’s process for speeding customers through security lines. Clear Secure created the potential for human error, such as last July when a man slipped through its screening lines at Reagan National Airport near Washington before a government scan detected ammunition in his possession. When police were called in to investigate, officials discovered something altogether more troubling: the man had almost managed to board a flight under a false identity.
How to ensnare a billionaire owner of a soccer team? On a September night in California, aboard the superyacht Aviva, one of the UK’s richest men sat down for dinner with staff from his sprawling private investment empire. Joe Lewis, whose family has a controlling interest in London’s Tottenham Hotspur, treated the floating palace as his part-time home and boardroom, often hosting trusted employees, athletes and executives from biotech companies in which he owned a stake. But US prosecutors and regulators alleged this week that it was also where he gathered inside information, eventually passing tips to staff, jet pilots and love interests.
Joe Lewis Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg
In the world of pizza, Chicago will forever be associated with the gut-busting deep-dish version. But recently, it’s the city’s crisp-crusted, tavern-style pie that’s dominating menus from New York to Los Angeles. “Nothing is more Chicago than a cracker-thin pizza,” maintains Tony Scardino, a Windy City pizzaiolo who runs the Professor Pizza pop-up. His family started serving tavern pies to Chicagoans 80 years ago.
A pepperoni-topped tavern pie from Professor Pizza at Tetto’s in Chicago. Source: Professor Pizza