Biden pushes for air travel pricing transparency — Quartz Daily Brief — Quartz

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Here’s what you need to know

The Biden administration called out airlines’ hidden fees. New rules aim to increase price transparency from the beginning of the ticket search process.

Biogen agreed to a $900 million settlement. The pharma giant has been accused of paying doctors to prescribe its drugs over its competitors. Meanwhile, drugmaker Eli Lilly has been sued for age discrimination in hiring sales representatives.

Eight states have cracked down on crypto lending platform Nexo Group. Regulators accused the company of misleading investors by not registering its interest accounts as securities.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden is now a US-Russian citizen. The ex-NSA employee has lived in Moscow since fleeing the US after exposing a government mass surveillance program in 2013.

Cubans have strengthened LGBTQ rights. A referendum approved a new family law that allows same-sex couples to marry and adopt and also strengthens gender equality.

The world’s top chess player accused a rival of cheating. Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen lost a match to US teenager Hans Niemann earlier this month – and drama ensued.

NASA has finally launched a spacecraft into an asteroid. But it will take a few months to understand the extent of the success of the DART mission.

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What to look out for

It may be a few more days before Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), is officially tasked with forming a government and becoming Italy’s first female prime minister. But the polls, albeit with a low turnout of 63%, said it loud and clear: Italians have opted for a far-right government.

Meloni’s party, a post-fascist group that received less than 4.5% of the vote in Italy’s 2018 general election, took first place with 26% of the vote. Italy’s right wing now collectively holds almost 60% in both chambers of Parliament.

The new coalition was elected on a populist anti-abortion, anti-immigration and anti-LGBTQ+ platform, and while Meloni herself has dismissed anti-NATO and anti-European positions, it remains to be seen whether her allies’ ties to the president Vladimir Putin – Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi are well-known friends of Russia – will not ultimately influence their foreign policy.


Another (very expensive) state funeral

Despite angry protests, a rare state funeral for Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is taking place today (September 27). He is credited with reviving the country’s economy and is only the second post-war president to receive the honor. Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, was assassinated on July 8 while delivering a campaign speech in Tokyo.

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The official farewell polarized the citizens. For one thing, they are divided on Abe’s legacy, which is laced with autocratic tendencies. In addition, the public is concerned about the frivolous use of taxpayers’ money. Abe’s state funeral is expected to cost 1.66 billion yen ($11.5 million), which is likely more than what the Queen’s funeral cost last week.

More than 700 guests from 217 countries are expected. US Vice President Kamala Harris, who has already arrived in Japan, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who did not attend the Queen’s funeral, will both be present to pay their respects.


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Surprising discoveries

Band tour buses are in short supply. Higher prices make it difficult for some music acts to hit the streets.

Bowel loops don’t form randomly. Intestinal coils can also reveal more about how our organs are developing.

A bee vaccine is in the works. Dalan Animal Health, its developer, has raised $3.6 million to protect fuzzy pollinators.

A museum in Amsterdam became an insect-proof zone. No spider corners were cleaned for three months to make an artistic statement at the Rijksmuseum.

A new AI art software turns your text prompts into Pokémon. Now you can really catch them all without using Poké Balls.


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