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The waiting game continues at the European Central Bank. After a widely anticipated rate-setting meeting, during which ECB president Mario Draghi had to face up to the future of quantitative easing, the bank chose once again to leave interest rates and asset purchase levels unchanged. Instead, Draghi says the ECB will take up the question of bond buying next month as it keeps an eye on the strong euro. For a deeper dive into the issue of what, when and how much, check out our explainer. — Andy Reinhardt
Deep roots. As monster hurricane Irma barrels toward the Bahamas and expected landfall in Florida on Sunday, it’s shaping up to be among the most devastating and expensive storms in American history. To what extent its intensity can be blamed on climate change is controversial, but what’s certain is that the seeds of its formation date back more than six months. One major contributor: a widely anticipated El Nino failed to materialize over the Pacific Ocean.
Get digging. Demand for rechargeable batteries—especially due to surging sales of electric cars—will strain supplies of lithium. Rest assured, there’s enough of the mineral in the ground for a long time: The next dozen years will gobble up less than 1 percent of reserves. But battery makers are going to need more mines to support their production, and they’ll have to build them much more quickly than anyone thought.
Turkish squabble. After last year’s failed coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his allies set to work creating a sovereign wealth fund to safeguard what is now about $200 billion of assets, including cash, property and shares. But the main thing the fund has done so far is trigger a power struggle between two rival camps, one based around Erdogan and the other around an increasingly assertive prime minister, Binali Yildirim. Infighting over how to deploy the assets has led to paralysis.
The wrong track. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was awarded one of Russia’s highest honors for foreigners in 2013 during his tenure as CEO of Exxon Mobil, and his appointment after Donald Trump’s election provoked delight in Moscow. But now, says Russian president Vladimir Putin with a smile, Tillerson seems to have “fallen in with bad company and is going slightly in the other direction.” Putin says he hopes “the wind of cooperation and friendship will blow him onto the right track in the end.”
Changing the rules. In most Arab countries, women are entitled to inherit only half what their brothers do. Often, the laws are said to derive from Islam’s holy texts. But Tunisia’s 90-year-old president Beji Caid Essebsi is proposing to erase that inequality—a risky undertaking in a climate of religious extremism. His call has found echoes across the Muslim world, stoking a wider debate about modernizing Islam and the role of women.
Speeding up. BMW will add a low-slung electric sedan to its stalled “i” sub-brand, part of plans to accelerate the rollout of battery-powered cars to catch up with Tesla. The four-door model is set to go on sale by 2021. Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover will offer electric options across its range of sleek sedans and upscale SUVs as it pivots toward electric vehicles. Jaguar will start selling the I-Pace battery-powered performance SUV next year.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt