Mexican cannabis, Elizabeth Holmes on trial, and a shredded Banksy | Arts and culture news



The United States announced Friday that it plans to spend up to $ 2,275 per person to help resettle tens of thousands of Afghans who fled their country after the Taliban took power. The move comes days after the United States officially withdrew its troops from the country after 20 years of war.

Afghans are struggling to access money even as banks have reopened. The Western Union money transfer service announced Thursday that it was resuming services in the country after suspending them when the Taliban took power.

The new government faces its own lack of liquidity: A senior Afghan central bank official this week asked the US Treasury and the International Monetary Fund to release the assets the bank holds abroad and the aid that the country received. Both have so far refused.

In addition to the developments in Afghanistan, there was a lot of other important business and economic news this week that you may have missed. But fear not, we’ve got you covered for the weekend ahead.

At least 55

The number of people who were killed after Ida, the fifth strongest hurricane in U.S. history, made landfall this week. At least nine people have died in the southern state of Louisiana and at least 46 others have died in the northeast.

President Joe Biden and state and local authorities are now taking stock of the aftermath of the storm, which also includes hundreds of thousands of people without electricity or access to clean water, as well as damaged or damaged homes and businesses. destroyed.

The devastation could cost insurers as much as $ 18 billion, according to risk modelers. It also draws attention to the urgency with which the United States must tackle climate change and strengthen its infrastructure to withstand stronger and more frequent storms.

Al Jazeera has more as the country takes stock after Hurricane Ida here.

$ 60 million

The investment of the Chinese company Sinovac to open a vaccine manufacturing plant in Chile. Authorities are targeting the second quarter of 2022 to put it into service, and once operational, the Sinovac plant in the Santiago metropolitan area will be able to produce 60 million doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine.

But while Chile’s health minister hailed Sinovac’s announcement as marking “a happy day for Chile”, not everyone is excited about Chinese investments in the copper-rich South American nation.

Al Jazeera’s Odette Magnet has the whole story here.

Legal cannabis companies eager to cash in if the Mexican Senate approves a legalization bill, which it is expected to consider this month [File: Maurio Palos/Bloomberg]

$ 249.6 million

The value the Mexican medical cannabis market is expected to reach by 2025 – and that number doesn’t even count the potential money to be made in recreational cannabis sales if the Mexican Senate legalizes the drug this month.

International legal cannabis companies are striving to enter the lucrative Mexican market. But in a country ravaged by the violence of the war on drugs, are these companies prepared to face the risks of doing business in an industry historically controlled by organized crime?

Al Jazeera’s Ann Deslandes has more here.

More than 1,000 colleges and universities across the United States are requiring students, employees, or both to be vaccinated against the coronavirus this academic year, including Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut [File: Ted Shaffrey/AP Photo]

Over 1000

The number of US colleges and universities that require some or all students and staff to be vaccinated when they return to campus for the fall semester.

Amid the increase in COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant, the list of schools requiring injections has grown over the summer. Others were added after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine the first to gain full approval.

But while some students say that mandatory immunization takes the stress out of going back to school, others think it should be a personal choice. Al Jazeera’s Cinnamon Janzer takes the pulse of American students on the matter here.


The number of jurors who have been sworn in for the upcoming trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.

Just a few years ago, Holmes was a Silicon Valley prodigy who dropped out of Stanford University at 19, donned a black Steve Jobs-style turtleneck, adopted a hoarse voice, and won over investors from foreground with a machine she claimed could test for dozens of diseases using a single drop of blood.

But U.S. officials say the machine hasn’t worked – and Holmes faces fraud and conspiracy charges. Its story has since been the subject of numerous podcasts, books and documentaries, which made it difficult for a jury to be selected. But with 12 jurors ready to go, Holmes’ trial can officially begin.

Al Jazeera’s Anna Davies has everything you need to know here.

While other works by Banksy have sold for more, the painting, which was originally titled “Balloon Girl” and which the artist renamed “Love is in the Trash” after being shredded, bears the highest presale estimate ever placed on its coins. [File: Bloomberg]

$ 5.5 million

The low estimate of what a shredded artwork by Banksy is expected to fetch at a Sotheby’s auction later in October. Yes, you heard right – shredded.

Originally titled “Girl with Balloon,” the artwork sold for £ 1million ($ 1.4million) in 2018. But just after the winning bid was launched, a hidden shredder built into the frame of the image began to transform the work into ribbons before stopping halfway.

The shredded work, now titled “Love is in the Bin”, will be auctioned again in October, Sotheby’s said, and this time is expected to fetch between £ 4m and £ 6m (£ 5.5m to £ 8.3m). of dollars).

As the saying goes: tear it up and start over.


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