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Where to ride out the pandemic

The Reading List
Bloomberg

This week, it's all about location, location, location. Our inaugural Covid Resilience Ranking shows which of the 53 biggest economies had the best overall response to the pandemic, and we look at a cold place with a warm welcome for the well-heeled.

Home prices Down Under continue to defy gravity, while college life in Hong Kong may never be the same as it was before last year's protests. The pandemic has upended shopping in the toniest districts, and there's a high-stakes race to ultra-fast trains to get from place to place.  

Jacques Pepin left France for America to become one of TV's most-beloved chefs, and his latest offering is all in a good cause. And we say farewell to the sublime Diego Maradona, who thrilled millions with his magical boots. —Adrian Kennedy

 

The Best and Worst Places in the Age of Covid

The tragic loss of life from Covid-19 has upended preconceptions over which countries would fare best, with advanced economies like the U.S. and U.K. rocked by mass fatalities and costly lockdowns. We ran the numbers and it turns out the Asia-Pacific region is home to four of the five best places to be in 2020. Top of the list? Aotearoa, New Zealand.  

 

No Frosty Reception Here

Expats are snubbing big cities like London and Hong Kong, according to a new poll, so why not try... Iceland? The Nordic economy was too small to make our resilience ranking, but the Land of Fire and Ice has had only 5,000 infections and a handful of deaths since March. It has also quietly changed its visa rules to welcome remote workers who already enjoy six-figure incomes and want to avoid lockdowns elsewhere. 

 

Bubble Trouble Warning

A recent auction in Sydney saw an intense bidding war for a four-bedroom terrace house, which eventually went under the hammer for a cool $2 million. Low rates are helping Australia's $5.2 trillion housing market defy both the pandemic and a recession, forcing economists to scrap forecasts and dashing the hopes of wannabe buyers. Bears say the bubble must one day burst.  

 

Clampdown on Campus

A year after Hong Kong Polytechnic University was wracked by some of the worst police-protester violence seen in months of bloody scuffles, the once bustling, freely accessible campus is locked down. It's emblematic of the changes in a city now subject to a tough national security law, and adding to an academic atmosphere of fear. 

 

Fast and Furious

China and Japan are racing to be first to develop and deliver on a new type of ultra-fast, levitating train, with the prize being huge export orders. A handful of short-range magnetic levitation — or maglev — trains exist, but they're working on 15-year-plus projects costing a combined $100 billion.

 

Missing the Christmas Rush

Holiday shopping in the likes of the Champs-Elysees or Hong Kong's Causeway Bay is not normally for the faint of heart, with crowds, hard elbows and queues. Maybe not this year, due to social-distancing rules and a near-shutdown of global travel. We visited the world's most famous luxury-shopping streets to see how stores are faring.

 

This Recipe Makes a Difference

Jacques Pepin, a longtime pal of Julia Child, has a non-traditional, online cookbook for those who back his charity, which funds culinary training for those struggling to get work due to prison records or homelessness. Cook with Jacques Pepin and Friends has guest recipes from the likes of Justin Chapple, who has a show-stopping but dead simple roast vegetable galette.

 

The Divine Diego

The world is mourning the loss of Diego Maradona, the soccer player whose electric footwork helped Argentina win the World Cup. Maradona may not technically have been the best to kick a ball, but he was the greatest nonetheless, writes Bloomberg Opinion's Bobby Ghosh, Unlike Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who are backed by brilliant players, Maradona took mediocre teams to the top of the sport. 
 

 

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