Daily Memo: More Chip Production Put on Ice

And Taiwan accused China of pressuring BioNTech out of a deal for COVID-19 vaccines.

Chip freeze. The collapsing power grid in Texas, which has wrought havoc in energy markets far beyond the state and even beyond the U.S., is set to deepen the global chip crunch as well. Austin Energy announced Tuesday that it had shut down power for power-hungry fabrication facilities in the city run by Samsung, NXP Semiconductors and Infineon Semiconductors. Vaccine blockade. Taiwan is accusing China of pressuring German company BioNTech, which developed one of the leading COVID-19 vaccines with U.S. firm Pfizer, to back out at the last minute of a deal to supply some 5 million doses of its vaccine to the self-ruled island. China is giving up on wooing back Taiwan. Astana talks. During trilateral talks that also involved Moscow, Turkey and Iran agreed to continue cooperating against Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra fighters in Syria and reaffirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia said that it was concerned that Islamic State sleeper cells were activating in Syria and that it was open to discussing Syria with the United States. Russian mediation. Israel is in Russian-mediated talks with Syria over the return of an Israeli girl who accidentally crossed the border into Syria, Israel’s Kan […]

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