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The World

House Democrats expect to propose raising the corporate tax rate to 26.5% from 21% and imposing a 3-percentage-point surtax on individual income above $5 million. The tax increases would be part of the House Ways and Means Committee’s plans to pay for the party’s priorities in a fast-moving budget bill. Those items include an expanded child tax credit, a national paid-leave program and renewable-energy tax breaks. House Democrats also are considering raising the minimum tax on U.S. companies’ foreign income to 16.5% from 10.5% and increasing the top capital-gains tax rate to 28.8% from 23.8%. (Wall Street Journal)

U.S. business mood darkens as Delta variant upends forecasts: The failure by the U.S. to bring Covid-19 cases under control is scrambling business expectations of a rapid economic revival, forcing companies to reset plans and revise forecasts as they also grapple with a new federal vaccine mandate. Revenues have fallen at a quarter of U.S. small businesses in each of the past three weeks while just 8 per cent saw revenue growth, according to an Economic Innovation Group study. A growing minority now expects a full economic recovery to take more than six months.  The country’s largest airlines this week disclosed a slowdown in demand as cases of the highly contagious Delta variant climbed. United Airlines reined in its capacity plans for the key Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and American Airlines and Delta Air Lines flagged lower than expected revenues for the quarter. (Financial Times)

Beijing wants to break up Alipay, the 1bn plus-user superapp owned by Jack Ma’s Ant Group, and create a separate app for the company’s highly profitable loans business, in the most visible restructuring yet of the fintech giant. Chinese regulators have already ordered Ant to separate the back end of its two lending businesses, Huabei, which is similar to a traditional credit card, and Jiebei, which makes small unsecured loans, from the rest of its financial offerings and bring in outside shareholders. Now officials want the two businesses to be split into an independent app as well. (Financial Times)

North Korea carried out successful tests of a new long-range cruise missile over the weekend, state media said, seen by analysts as possibly the country's first such weapon with a nuclear capability. The missiles are "a strategic weapon of great significance" and flew 1,500 km (930 miles) before hitting their targets and falling into the country's territorial waters during the tests on Saturday and Sunday. (Reuters)

Hospital telehealth leveling off at one-fifth of medical appointments, research finds. And of the facilities reporting higher virtual volumes, many said they expected telehealth use to decline over the long term. (Healthcare Dive)


Economy

For the past several years, Texas has been selling itself as a tech haven attracting start-ups and tech companies such as Oracle, Hewlett-Packard Enterprises, and even Elon Musk, Tesla’s billionaire co-founder and CEO, who has moved to the state. Big Tech companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Apple all have grown their presence in the state, opening new warehouses, data centers, and production facilities. But Texas’s recent swerve to the right on abortion, voting restrictions as well as a ban on coronavirus vaccine mandates has many workers and industry leaders like Bhaskaran worried about retaining workers and recruiting top tech talent to the state. In August, Texas had 33,843 tech job openings — the second highest in the U.S. after California — according to a report from the Computing Technology Industry Association. That’s up 56% from a year earlier. (Washington Post)

  • Salesforce told thousands of employees in a Slack message that if they and their families are concerned about the ability to access reproductive care in the wake of Texas’ aggressive anti-abortion law, the company will help them relocate. “These are incredibly personal issues that directly impact many of us — especially women,” Salesforce told employees in the message, which CNBC obtained. The company did not take a stance on the law. “We recognize and respect that we all have deeply held and different perspectives. As a company, we stand with all of our women at Salesforce and everywhere.” The note continues, “With that being said, if you have concerns about access to reproductive healthcare in your state, Salesforce will help relocate you and members of your immediate family.” (CNBC)

More Europeans are looking for work in Britain since the end of lockdown restrictions, but job searches from the Continent remain far lower than they were before the pandemic. In a promising sign for businesses grappling with staff shortages, searches from inside the EU for positions in Britain have risen steadily since hitting the floor in April last year. (The Times)

Stripe, the online payment processor, is exploring going public as early as next year via a direct listing. (Bloomberg)

Despite the pandemic, wage growth held firm for most U.S. workers, with little effect on inequality. (Pew Research Center)


Technology

A new study finds that Microsoft’s companywide shift to remote work has hurt communication and collaboration among different business groups inside the company, threatening employee productivity and long-term innovation. That’s one of the key findings in a peer-reviewed study of more than 61,000 Microsoft employees, published by Microsoft researchers in the journal Nature Human Behaviour. It coincides with Microsoft’s announcement that employees won’t be returning to the office Oct. 4 as previously expected. But the researchers call it a warning sign for other companies, as well. (GeekWire)

Apple’s iPhone sales have been booming since it launched models last year with ultrafast 5G cellular capability—boosted in large part by wireless companies’ attractive offers to get customers using the new technology. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile US have rolled out huge subsidies over the past year to retain customers and reduce the cost of buying new iPhones so users will upgrade to their 5G services. As Apple prepares to show off a new crop of 5G-enabled iPhones Tuesday, a big question is how long that expensive fight among the carriers for customers will continue to propel iPhone sales. (Wall Street Journal)

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's biggest contract chipmaker, is looking to build an advanced plant in south Taiwan as part of a $100 billion expansion to address the unprecedented global chip shortage. (Nikkei Asian Review)

Eight things we learned from the Epic v. Apple ruling: 1) Mobile games are a huge deal, especially for Apple; 2) Fortnite's still not coming back to the iPhone yet; 3) Apple probably got the better end of things; 4) We're still not sure what a video game even is; 5) Apple's not definitely breaking the law, but its fees are iffy; 6) No, the App Store is not like Nordstrom, either; 7) Lawmaker pressure is still on; 8) Appeals? Probably. (Protocol)


Smart Links

Workers want to do their jobs from anywhere and keep their big-city salaries. (Wall St. Journal)

One World Trade Center is most expensive office tower in U.S. (Wall St. Journal)

Harvard University will divest its $42bn endowment from all fossil fuels. (The Guardian)

Snowbirds are heading to Florida and Arizona despite the Delta variant. (Wall Street Journal)

Tropical Storm Nicholas to bring up to 16 inches of rain to Texas. (New York Times)

Cheaper hydrogen production. (Science Daily)