Omicron Surfaces, War Worries, Jokes Gone Wrong: Weekend Reads

The coronavirus is sweeping back with a vengeance via another variant discovered in southern Africa and now showing up in Europe and Asia. Numerous countries again halted air travel to and from the region.

The variant, called Omicron, comes as infections have already spiraled in Europe as winter sets in, with several nations in lockdown. Even as some governments roll out booster programs, the latest wave is a reminder that Covid will resist containment until more people are vaccinated in less developed parts of the world.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue to mount, with Moscow insisting a buildup of its troops near the border is not a sign an invasion is imminent or even intended.

In Asia, JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon found himself on the receiving end of Beijing’s ire for a quip about the longevity of the Communist Party. Questions still swirl about the wellbeing of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai.

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