China targets Evergrande’s executives
Two former executives at China Evergrande, the world’s most debt-saddled real estate developer, have been detained and the company’s billionaire chairman is under police surveillance, fueling fears of a deepening real estate crisis.
Just a few weeks ago, Evergrande was writing its next chapter and working to resolve disputes with its creditors following its collapse two years ago. Now the pages have been torn up.
The fast-moving events have added to mounting pressure for policymakers in Beijing who are trying to address China’s property crisis. Investors sold off their shares in Evergrande, sending its already depressed stock down more than 40 percent over the past week. Evergrande suspended trading yesterday in its three publicly traded companies in Hong Kong.
Context: The turmoil at Evergrande and other developers has exposed deeper problems within the Chinese financial system, which has long accommodated unrestrained borrowing, unchecked expansion and, often, corruption. Yet even as regulators have tightened the rules and tried to force companies to behave, Evergrande continues to stand out for poor corporate governance.
Details: On Monday, the Chinese media outlet Caixin reported that Xia Haijun, a former chief executive of Evergrande, and Pan Darong, a onetime chief financial officer, had been detained. The two resigned last year over their involvement in a plan to siphon $2 billion from a subsidiary into the coffers of Evergrande’s main holding company.
Then on Wednesday, Bloomberg News reported that Hui Ka Yan, the chairman and founder of the real estate company, had been taken away by police and was under residential surveillance. Evergrande confirmed that Hui had been “subject to mandatory measures” by the authorities for suspicion of “illegal crimes.”
Nagorno-Karabakh’s government will disband
The government of Nagorno-Karabakh said yesterday that it would cease to exist, formally ending more than 30 years of separatist rule. The move came a week after a swift attack by Azerbaijan returned the territory to Azerbaijani rule.
The territory’s leader said in a decree that all of its government entities would be dissolved by the end of the year. Ethnic Armenian residents of the territory should decide whether they want to live under Azerbaijani rule or leave, the decree said. The Armenian government said that more than 76,000 people, roughly half the region’s population, had left Nagorno-Karabakh to seek safety within its borders.
How Modi uses Sikh separatism
India’s feud with Canada over the killing of a Sikh leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, on Canadian soil highlights how the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, has amplified the threat of Sikh separatism.
Analysts, political leaders and residents say there is little support in Punjab for establishment of an independent Sikh state, a cause that peaked in terms of deadly violence decades ago, and was snuffed out. But Modi’s pursuit of a small group of extremists in Canada, and amplification the danger they pose, has allowed him to create an important political narrative ahead of a national election next year. It furthers his image as a leader who will go to any extent to protect his nation.
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The Formula 1 driver Yuki Tsunoda is atypical for a top-level Japanese athlete. With an impish persona and a devil-may-care attitude, he’s known for cursing forcefully to his crew over the radio during races — audio that is also broadcast to fans.
His cult following and international appeal outstrip his F1 accomplishments.
Lives lived: Michael Gambon, an Irish-born actor who made his mark in London in the 1970s for his stage and screen work before playing Professor Dumbledore in the “Harry Potter” films, died at 82.
M.S. Swaminathan, a crop geneticist who helped transform India into one of the world’s top growers of wheat and rice, died at 98.
A renaissance from Beyoncé
Beyoncé’s first tour in nearly seven years kicked off in Stockholm in May, with 56 shows scheduled worldwide. Anything Beyoncé does becomes a cultural event, but the Renaissance World Tour has become a cultural movement, my colleague Jenna Wortham writes.
People are crossing the globe to see her, comparing set lists and fashion choices, attending multiple shows. Silver and rhinestones have become tour signals, as recognizable as any brand logo.
As an album, Renaissance is a blueprint for how to cultivate pleasure and hold onto it at all costs, Jenna writes. The tour is a chance to practice the vision for the world we hope to live in, and release grief for the one we do live in.