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News From the Control Tower - 12/9/2020 Thumbnail

News From the Control Tower - 12/9/2020

News from the Control Tower: Our weekly curated list of news stories affecting you and your finances.

This week’s reads include:

1. The economics of Christmas trees

In America, Christmas trees are a multibillion-dollar business. But who’s making the money?

2. How Some Black Startup Founders Are Thriving in a Pandemic Year

An unexpected side-effect of lockdowns: It can be easier to get a meeting with a venture capitalist. For minority founders in tech, that’s made a big difference as Silicon Valley reckons with race issues.

3. China to expand weather modification program to cover area larger than India

China has long sought to control the weather to protect farming areas and to ensure clear skies for key events.

4. Globalization is Alive and Kicking in Trade’s Big 2020 Comeback

The Covid-19 pandemic was supposed to put the final nail in the coffin of globalization and prompt a retreat into a new era of protectionism. Instead, some are now calling the crisis the Great Accelerator.

5. Big Push Into Helium Could Have the World on Russia’s String

It’s not just party balloons. A huge Siberian production plant is expected to reshape the market for a gas that’s essential to many critical industries.

Bonus: Does anyone out there want to revisit 2020?

In 2020, AP photographers captured a world in distress

This is the world that Associated Press photographers captured in 2020, a world beset by every sort of catastrophe — natural and unnatural disaster, violent and non-violent conflict. And, in every corner of that world, the coronavirus.