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Suez Canal container ship freed

Rescuers fully dislodged the "Ever Given" from the banks of the Suez Canal on Monday, sending the skyscraper-sized container ship on its way after six days of paralysis in the vital shipping route, AP reports.

Why it matters: The massive maritime traffic jam forced shippers with containers carrying oil, commodities and consumer goods to reroute around the southern tip of Africa, adding weeks and tens of thousands of dollars of additional costs to their voyages.


BREAKING: the ship is really moving now and horns are blaring in what sounds like celebration.

The stern has swung away from us and it looks like it’s really facing the right way now after hours of being jackknifed across the channel. pic.twitter.com/gTuvqWO5ta

— Raf Sanchez (@rafsanchez) March 29, 2021

Context: The ship, one of the largest in the world, ran aground in the canal on March 22 after getting caught in poor visibility and high winds from a sandstorm.

  • The 220,000-ton and quarter-mile-long ship, operated by Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine, had been heading from China to the Netherlands.
  • Dredgers and tug boats were able to partially refloat the ship early on Monday morning, before fully freeing it from the bank hours later.

The big picture: About 30% of global container shipping volumes pass through the canal, which links the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea — a vital connection between European and Asian markets.

  • Maersk, the world's largest container shipping company, said in an advisory on Monday that the six-day blockage has triggered a series of disruptions to global trade that could "take weeks, possibly months, to unravel."
  • The company added that it could take at least six days for its current queue of ships to pass through once the Suez Canal is fully cleared for operations again.

Our thought bubble: The trouble in the Suez — like the pandemic — underscores the fragility of a global economy built on just-in-time shipping.

Big European soccer teams announce breakaway league

12 of world soccer's biggest and richest clubs announced Sunday they've formed a breakaway European "Super League" — with clubs Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona Real Madrid, Juventus and A.C. Milan among those to sign up.

Details: So far the breakaway league that's due to start in August consists of six clubs from England, three from Spain and three from Italy.

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Senate Democrats settling on 25% corporate tax rate

The universe of Democratic senators concerned about raising the corporate tax rate to 28% is broader than Sen. Joe Manchin, and the rate will likely land at 25%, parties close to the discussion tell Axios.

Why it matters: While increasing the rate from 21% to 25% would raise about $600 billion over 15 years, it would leave President Biden well short of paying for his proposed $2.25 trillion, eight-year infrastructure package.

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Republican leaders raked in sizable donations from grassroots supporters

Republican leaders turned to grassroots supporters and raked in sizable donations after corporations cut them off post-Jan. 6.

Why it matters: If those companies hoped to push the GOP toward the center, they may have done just the opposite by turning Republican lawmakers toward their most committed — and ideologically driven — supporters.

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CDC: Half of US adults have received one COVID-19 vaccine dose

Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Half of US adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and about a third are fully vaccinated, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still on the rise, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said during Friday's White House COVID-19 briefing. With cases in many states being driven by variants, public health officials have emphasized the need to ramp up vaccinations.

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Israeli intel agencies believe Vienna talks will lead to U.S. return to Iran nuclear deal

Israeli military intelligence and senior officials in the Mossad briefed a meeting of the nation's security cabinet that talks in Vienna between Iran and other world powers will lead to the U.S. returning to the 2015 nuclear deal, two officials who attended the meeting told me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government is very concerned about a U.S. return to the nuclear deal and is trying to convince the Biden administration not to take the pressure off the Iranian regime.

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"It hurts": Latino community of 13-year-old killed by police in Chicago reels after shooting

Residents of Little Village, a well-known and predominantly Latino neighborhood in Chicago, are grieving the death of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Mexican American boy from the neighborhood who was shot and killed by a police officer on March 29, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: Adam Toledo's killing shines a spotlight on police shootings of Latinos, who are killed by law enforcement at the second-highest rate after Black Americans, according to data from the Washington Post.

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Biden adviser warns "there will be consequences" for Russia if Navalny dies

The Biden administration warned the Russian government "that there will be consequences" if jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday.

The big picture: Sullivan also defended President Biden for not mentionining Navalny in a Thursday speech about Russia or in a Tuesday call with Russian President Vladimir Putin,saying the White House aims to deal with the issue "privately and through diplomatic channels."

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Prosecutor on leave for failing to "fully present the facts" after shooting of 13-year-old boy

Cook County prosecutor James Murphy was placed on administrative leave Friday after he implied in court that 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who was shot and killed by a police officer in March, was armed when he was shot, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times report.

Why it matters: Videos of the shooting show that Toledo dropped what appears to be a weapon and put his hands in the air a moment before before he was fatally shot. A lawyer for the Toledo family said Thursday that if the teen "had a gun, he tossed it."

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