Crypto crackdown, Doge mania, space tourism and a big divorce

There has been no shortage of headline-grabbing business and economic stories this week.

Once again, the pandemic topped the global news agenda with India’s devastating second wave of COVID-19 infections. But there was also good news: United States President Joe Biden’s administration joined dozens of other nations in backing a plan to waive patent protections on COVID vaccines and boost the global supply of jabs, particularly for less-developed countries.

We’ve rounded up the numbers to know this week, including a sobering read on the labour market recovery in the US; an uplifting (literally) milestone from private space company SpaceX; a high-profile divorce announcement from two of the biggest names in philanthropy; and plenty of crypto-mania, including a regulatory crackdown that came too late for some Turks.

So before you unplug for the weekend, pour yourself another cup of coffee and give these in-depth reads a scroll.

61

The number of countries to have thrown their support behind a proposal at the World Trade Organization to temporarily waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines.

In a move described by World Health Organization as “monumental,” the Biden administration announced this week that it too would back the plan.

389,000

The number of new COVID-19 infections India has averaged each day for the past seven days, bringing the total number of reported cases to 21.4 million.

“The spiralling numbers have overwhelmed the country’s creaking healthcare system, leaving millions scrambling for medicines, oxygen cylinders and beds,” writes Al Jazeera’s Megha Bahree.

10 percent

The plunge in value (a little more than 10 percent, actually) of the Turkish lira against the dollar since the start of 2021, prompting some in Turkey to bet instead on red-hot cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

But hundreds of Turkish investors ended up losing their shirts instead after two cryptocurrency exchanges in the country collapsed within days of each other, prompting regulators there to tighten the noose on the sector.

One

The number of seats available on Blue Origin’s first commercial flight into suborbital space, slated for July 20.

Jeff Bezos’s space firm announced on Wednesday it was ready to take paying passengers — and opened up online bidding for the final seat on its inaugural flight.

Not to be outdone, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched the fifth test flight of its Starship on the same day.

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