Thought for the day

"Evil cannot create anything new, they can only corrupt and ruin what good forces have invented or made." -- J.R.R. Tolkien

Tensions surrounding Taiwan eased a bit this week as China on Tuesday concluded its military exercises held around the island. Taiwan’s benchmark equity index closed above its 50-day moving average on Thursday for the first time since May 31.

For policy makers in both Beijing and Washington, however, the push to reduce economic dependence on each other appears far from over. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan trip and China’s military responses added tension and put decoupling on a fast track.

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House members will return to Washington Friday to vote on the $739 billion tax, climate and health care bill — a top priority for President Biden's domestic agenda — but all eyes are on the Democratic Party's most far-left lawmakers.   

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is expected to push the legislation through despite widespread GOP opposition. Given a narrow Democratic majority, Pelosi can only afford four defections from her caucus on any vote before having to rely on GOP support. 

Anyone pleased about the type of legislation Washington has come to see as normal does not understand what it means to be responsible.

There was celebration in the White House overnight when the AAA reported that the average retail gasoline prices fell below $4 a gallon to the lowest level since early March.

Outgoing Whole Foods CEO John Mackey issued a dire warning about the encroachment of socialism in an interview this week.

What did Mackay say?

Mackey announced last September that he was retiring from managing the supermarket chain that he co-founded more than 40 years ago. But before his departure from Whole Foods at the end of August, Mackey is warning Americans about socialism.

An armed man who held a bank hostage for more than six hours in Beirut because he could not withdraw savings has been hailed a hero by the public.

Banks in Lebanon have put tight rules on how much money people can access, amid a deep economic crisis.

The suspect entered the bank with a rifle, poured petrol and demanded his money for hospital bills, AFP reported.

His actions captured public support - with cheering crowds gathering outside and chanting: "You are a hero."

China’s government-run Xinhua News Agency announced on Tuesday that the Communist Party would lower gasoline and diesel prices nationwide, a move following growing purchases of cheap Russian petroleum products and of American gasoline leftist President Joe Biden released from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).