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President Joe Biden will require essential, nonresident travelers crossing U.S. land borders, such as truck drivers, government and emergency response officials, to be fully vaccinated beginning Jan. 22, the administration planned to announce. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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President Joe Biden will require essential, nonresident travelers crossing U.S. land borders, such as truck drivers, government and emergency response officials, to be fully vaccinated beginning Jan. 22, the administration planned to announce. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Credit: Elaine Thompson

Credit: Elaine Thompson

U.S. to require vaccines for border crossers in January

President Joe Biden will require essential, nonresident travelers crossing U.S. land borders, such as truck drivers, government and emergency response officials, to be fully vaccinated beginning Jan. 22, the administration planned to announce.

A senior administration official said the requirement, which the White House previewed in October, brings the rules for essential travelers in line with those that took effect earlier this month for leisure travelers, when the U.S. reopened its borders to fully vaccinated individuals.

Essential travelers entering by ferry will also be required to be fully vaccinated by the same date, the official said. The official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to preview the announcement.

The rules pertain to non-U.S. nationals. American citizens and permanent residents may still enter the U.S. regardless of their vaccination status, but they face additional testing hurdles because officials believe they more easily contract and spread COVID-19 and in order to encourage them to get a shot.

Supply shortages are easing in U.S. and worsening in Europe

The supply crunch that has helped drive inflation to multi-decade highs shows some signs of easing in the U.S. — but it’s still getting worse in Europe.

That’s the takeaway from the latest readings on Bloomberg Economics’ new set of supply indicators. The U.S. measure declined in October while remaining at a historically elevated level, suggesting shortages are becoming less severe.

If the trend continues into 2022, sticker-shock for U.S. consumers should begin to fade. That could make life at least a bit easier for newly reappointed Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who is under pressure to tighten monetary policy as prices surge.

The improvement in the U.S.’ supply crunch backs up President Joe Biden’s view that bottlenecks are easing after his administration moved to smooth operations at West Coast ports. His popularity has fallen recently amid economic concerns including inflation, with 43% of voters approving of his job performance, according to an analysis of polls by FiveThirtyEight.

Sweden’s first female prime minister quits hours later

Hours after being tapped as Sweden’s prime minister, Magdalena Andersson resigned Wednesday after suffering a budget defeat in parliament and coalition partner the Greens left the two-party minority government.

“For me, it is about respect, but I also do not want to lead a government where there may be grounds to question its legitimacy,” Andersson told a news conference.

Andersson has informed parliamentary Speaker Andreas Norlen that she is still interested in leading a Social Democratic one-party government.

She said “a coalition government should resign if a party chooses to leave the government. Despite the fact that the parliamentary situation is unchanged, it needs to be tried again.”

Norlen said he had received Andersson’s resignation and will contact the party leaders “to discuss the situation,” the Swedish news agency TT said. On Thursday, he will announce the road ahead.

U.S. consumer spending powers ahead despite inflation pickup

U.S. personal spending rose in October from a month earlier by the most since March, while a closely watched inflation measure posted the largest annual increase in three decades.

Purchases of goods and services, unadjusted for changes in prices, increased 1.3% after a 0.6% gain in September, Commerce Department figures showed Wednesday. After adjusting for higher inflation, spending rose a healthy 0.7%.

The personal consumption expenditures price gauge, which the Federal Reserve uses for its inflation target, rose 0.6% from a month earlier and 5% from October 2020.

U.S. new-home sales increase as prices climb to record high

Sales of new U.S. homes edged up in October, reflecting stabilizing demand even as builders face supply chain disruptions and buyers grapple with rising prices.

Purchases of new single-family homes increased 0.4% to a 745,000 annualized pace following a downwardly revised 742,000 in September, government data showed Wednesday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for an 800,000 rate.

The report, produced by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, showed the median sales price of a new home jumped 18% from a year earlier.