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These are the 25 books that Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates think you should read to get smarter about business and leadership

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 13:45
  • Many business leaders credit books for giving them the knowledge that helped make them successful.
  • Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates have recommended many books over the years, from biographies to leadership guides to sci-fi novels.
  • Here are 25 books that they say have taught them a lot about business, leadership, and the world.

You learn by doing, but you also learn a lot by reading.

Many influential business figures, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. say they learned some of their most important lessons from books.

The trio has recommended countless books over the years that they credit with strengthening their business acumen and teaching them about leadership.

Here are 25 books recommended by Bezos, Musk, and Gates to add to your reading list for 2022: 

Some of Jeff Bezos' favorite books were instrumental to the creation of products and services like the Kindle and Amazon Web Services."The Remains of the Day"

This Kazuo Ishiguro novel tells of an English butler in wartime England who begins to question his lifelong loyalty to his employer while on a vacation.

Bezos has said of the book, "Before reading it, I didn't think a perfect novel was possible."

"Sam Walton: Made in America"

In his autobiography, billionaire Walmart founder Sam Walton recalls his career building one of the world's largest retailers.

"Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies"

This book draws on six years of research from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business that looks into what separates exceptional companies from their competitors. Bezos has said it's his "favorite business book."

"Creation: Life and How to Make It"

Steve Grand discusses artificial life through the lens of his 1996 computer game Creatures in this book.

"The Innovator's Dilemma"

Clayton Christensen examines various companies' successes and failures in disruptive innovation in this book.

"The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement"

Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox examine the theory of constraints from a management perspective in this novel.

"Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation"

This book imparts lessons about improving efficiency based on case studies of lean companies across various industries.

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Nassim Nicholas Taleb popularized the term "black swan" with this book, in which he defines such events as highly improbable, unpredictable, and impactful. 

Elon Musk's must-reads include a number of sci-fi novels and books on artificial intelligence.Elon Musk, Tesla CEO"Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future"

Peter Thiel shares lessons he learned founding companies like PayPal and Palantir in this book.

Musk has said of the book, "Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and Zero to One shows how."

"The Lord of the Rings"

Musk has said he read a lot of fantasy and science fiction novels as a kid and once quoted a line from Tolkien's famous trilogy on Twitter.

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

In the same vein, Musk read "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" as a teenager and has even said the spacecraft in it is his favorite spacecraft from science fiction.

"Benjamin Franklin: An American Life"

Musk's reading list isn't without biographies, including this Walter Isaacson book on Benjamin Franklin.

"Einstein: His Life and Universe"

Musk enjoyed Isaacson's biography on Albert Einstein as well.

"Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies"

Musk has also recommended several books on artificial intelligence, including this one, which considers questions about the future of intelligent life in a world where machines may become smarter than people.

"Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era"

On the subject of AI, Musk said in a 2014 tweet that this book, which examines its risks and potential, is also "worth reading."

Bill Gates is known to make book recommendations quite often."Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2012"

One of his favorites is Warren Buffett's "Tap Dancing to Work."

"A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety"

Gates also likes former president Jimmy Carter's "A Full Life." 

"Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think"

This book probes the thinking patterns and tendencies that distort people's perceptions of the world. Gates has called it "one of the most educational books I've ever read."

"Origin Story: A Big History of Everything"

David Christian takes on the history of our universe, from the Big Bang to mass globalization, in this book.

"Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World"

"Range" explores the idea that, though modern work places a premium on specialization, being a generalist is actually the way to go. Gates has said Epstein's ideas here "even help explain some of Microsoft's success because we hired people who had real breadth within their field and across domains."

"The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History"

Elizabeth Kolbert plumbs the history of Earth's mass extinctions in this book, including a sixth extinction, which some scientists warn is already underway.

"Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street"

Gates has said this is "the best business book I've ever read." It compiles 12 articles that originally appeared in The New Yorker about moments of success and failure at companies like General Electric and Xerox.

"The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age"

This Archie Brown book examines political leadership throughout the 20th century.

"Making the Modern World: Materials & Dematerialization"

Vaclav Smil examines the materials and processes that made our modern world in this book. 

"What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions"

Randall Munroe, creator of the hit web comic xkcd, proposes funny yet informative answers to life's wildest hypothetical questions in this book.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Drug addiction – a big challenge for Taliban government

Al Jazeera - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 13:35
Taliban officials often round up and forcibly take drug addicts to rehabilitation centres, which are over capacity.
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Ingen offentligt billetsalg til vinter-OL

DR Sporten - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 13:28
Categories: Sport

Bitcoin's slump could be the start of a 'crypto winter' that sees prices crash, UBS says. Here are three reasons why.

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 13:27
UBS said there are a number of challenges that could trigger a crypto winter.
  • A growing number of factors suggest a "crypto winter" could be on its way, analysts at UBS have warned.
  • The case for bitcoin as a currency and inflation hedge is dwindling, and its tech has several flaws, they said.
  • Bitcoin has fallen sharply in recent weeks as investors brace for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

Crypto markets could be set for another "winter" of price crashes and could fail to recover for years, analysts at investment bank UBS have warned, as clouds gather to take the shine off digital assets.

Interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve in 2022 are set to dent the appeal of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in the eyes of many investors, the analysts, led by James Malcolm, said in a note to clients on Friday.

That's because rising interest rates are putting paid to arguments that bitcoin is a good alternative currency or store of value, they said.

Other factors are the technology has a lot of shortcomings, and regulation could stymie the development of the industry.

Bitcoin's price has slumped in recent weeks as markets became more convinced the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates three or more times in 2022. The leading cryptocurrency by market value was down around 1% to $42,722 Monday, far below a record high of close to $69,000 touched in November.

But the UBS analysts believe there are reasons to think things are about to get worse, leading to a "crypto winter" where assets slide and then fail to come back for a long time. 

The last crypto winter occurred at the end of 2017 and early 2018, when bitcoin tumbled from around $20,000 to stand below $4,000 more than a year later, causing many investors to lose interest in digital assets.

If central banks are moving to get a handle on inflation, then that damages the argument that investors should hold bitcoin as protection against price rises, , Malcolm and his colleagues said.

It's also simply bad for the price, as central bank stimulus was a key factor lifting crypto tokens in 2020 and 2021.

The Fed, which held US interest rates low last year, is seen as likely to bring in at least three increases this year, as it grapples with sky-high inflation.

Read more: 2022 bitcoin price outlook: Here are the price targets set by top analysts from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and other leading Wall Street banks so far this year

The analysts also said there's also a dawning realization among crypto investors that bitcoin is not "better money", because it's very volatile and its limited supply makes it inflexible.

Another problem that could lead to a sharp fall in prices is the shortcomings of crypto technology.

For example, blockchain technology is hard to scale up because of its decentralized design, which requires all members of the network to be able to oversee and verify transactions, the UBS analysts said.

Regulation is a third major problem, they wrote. Rampant speculation on crypto networks "inevitably invites closer oversight to guard consumers [and] protect financial stability," UBS said.

"High-flying stablecoins and [decentralized finance] projects seem almost sure to face bigger setbacks from authorities in the coming months."

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Taliban says all Afghan girls will be back in school by March

Al Jazeera - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 13:26
Senior Taliban leader Zabihullah Mujahid says the group is looking to open classrooms for all girls by March 21.
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Djokovic back in Serbia after Australia deportation over visa row

BBC News - World - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 13:25
The tennis star arrives in Belgrade after being deported from Australia over his Covid vaccination status.
Categories:

Diaby: The Away Game

Al Jazeera - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 13:20
A talented young Malian footballer’s dream comes true when he joins a professional European football club.
Categories:

An accountant got $20,000 in student debt wiped out. 5 months later, he quit his job and ran for office.

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 13:15
  • In August, David O'Keefe, 36, got his remaining $20,000 student debt load forgiven.
  • That gave him the financial security to quit his job and run for office five months later.
  • He told Insider that without student-loan forgiveness, there's no way he could've pursued his passion.

When Insider spoke to David O'Keefe in August, it was just days after his $20,000 student-debt balance turned to $0.

Now, free of that financial burden, the 36-year-old is quitting accounting and running for office as a county commissioner in his hometown of Tallahassee, Florida.

"Running for office absolutely would not have been a possibility if PSLF didn't process my application," O'Keefe said, referring to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, a federal program that forgave his debt after 10 years of working in the public interest and making payments.

"If you look at why we don't have young people running for office or even people in their late 30s running for office, it's partly because you have this debt burden that keeps you from doing anything other than working a regular job," he told Insider.

David O'Keefe.

45 million Americans collectively hold a $1.7 trillion student-debt load, and it can hold back homeownership, employment opportunities, and even retirement.

While older Americans hold significant amounts of student debt, those in O'Keefe's generation aren't immune. The average millennial has an average debt balance of $29,500, are they're also the most likely to support broad debt relief, a Morning Consult poll found.

O'Keefe is more than grateful to be free of that burden — but he wishes more people could say the same.

"There are millions of people just like me who cannot start their own business, who cannot run for office, who cannot start families, who are putting off important parts of life because this debt is holding them back," he said.

'Feeling useful and having a sense of purpose is very important'

As a public accountant, O'Keefe qualified for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The federal program was created to forgive student debt for public servants, like government employees, after ten years of qualifying payments.

O'Keefe made those payments — and then some. Due to interest that kept accumulating, he paid off $60,000 and was still left with $20,338.42 a decade later, even though he originally borrowed $61,236.

But after repeated denials of loan forgiveness and an "anxiety-producing" process following-up with his student-loan company, he got the notice on August 19 that his PSLF application was successful, and his student debt was gone.

Now he was free to chase his dream. Three years ago, O'Keefe started thinking about running for office. Although he'd worked as an accountant for 15 years and made a comfortable salary, he'd started to become more involved in local issues. That helped him realize he didn't feel fulfilled from his job — but his student debt was holding him back from making any significant life changes.

"I think for a lot of people in my generation, feeling useful and having a sense of purpose is very important," O'Keefe said. "But it's very difficult to do with the realities of our financial situation."

Once O'Keefe found out he would not longer be footing a $600 monthly bill, he and his wife decided they had the financial security to pursue a run for office "to make a bigger impact and be more useful to more people," he said. He's now gearing up for the primary election in August and is a member of The Debt Collective — the nation's first debtor's union that advocates for cancellation of all forms of debt.

While O'Keefe's decision to take a different career path was motivated by student-debt cancellation, it also reflects a growing trend of Americans quitting their jobs for better conditions. Insider previously reported that reasons 38 million workers have joined the "Great Resignation" in 2021 include stress from the job and better pay, and it's raising standards for workers across the country.

Student-loan forgiveness would likely help more follow that trend. The Education Department recently announced reforms to PSLF to make it easier for borrowers to be relieved of their debt burdens after the program ran up a 98% denial rate for years, but when it comes to broad cancellation, President Joe Biden has not acted.

And O'Keefe said it's hindering community involvement.

"These student loans got me through college and helped me get independent and support myself," O'Keefe said. "But there's a whole generation of people saddled with student loan debt that can't participate in this important part of civic life."

Do you have a story to share about student debt? Reach out to Ayelet Sheffey at asheffey@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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As a Syrian torturer is jailed, a debate on justice begins

Al Jazeera - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 13:10
The verdict against Anwar Raslan, who is now serving a life sentence in Germany, was welcomed, but some urge caution.
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Global employment won’t recover before 2023: UN labour body

Al Jazeera - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 12:57
The International Labour Organization projects 207 million unemployed in 2022.
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What next for Djokovic after deportation?

BBC News - World - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 12:53
Novak Djokovic has been deported from Australia following the row over a vaccine exemption. What happens next for the Serb?
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Novak Djokovic arrives back in Serbia after deportation

BBC News - World - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 12:48
Novak Djokovic arrives back in Belgrade after losing his Australian visa battle and getting deported.
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Global shares rise with focus on Europe and Asia, while US markets take a breather after weaker start to the year

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 12:43
  • US markets were closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Day, with Q4 earnings reports due Tuesday.
  • Economic growth reports in Europe and Asia expected to be focus this week as China reports sluggish growth.
  • Cardano soared over the weekend, bringing gains for the "ethereum killer" to 30% in the last 7 days.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Global shares edged up on Monday in thinner trade than usual, given US markets were closed for a public holiday, leaving investors to pour over Chinese economic data.

US markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr public holiday, meaning no trading in stocks or bonds. 

The major benchmark indices bounced back towards the end of last week, having hit three-month lows on the back of growing fears of a far less stocks-friendly environment if US interest rates rise quickly and inflation refuses to die down.

Earnings reports are expected to be the main market movers in the US this week, given that Federal Reserve policymakers will not be making any public comments ahead of next week's interest-rate decision. 

Fourth-quarter earnings season continues on Tuesday in the US after kicking off Friday with JPMorgan beating expectations and posting profits of $10.4 billion. 

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 rose 0.5%, boosted by gains in the media, technology and healthcare sectors. 

"Today's market open looks set to see European stocks open higher, with the main focus this week, away from US earnings, set to be on the latest wages, unemployment and inflation numbers from the UK economy, and the Bank of Japan tomorrow." Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said.

In Asia, the Chinese central bank cut borrowing costs for medium-term loans for the first time in almost two years to help protect the economy from further slowdown, following data that showed GDP growth of just 4% in the final quarter of 2021 after outbreaks of Covid and property market woes stifled activity. 

Meanwhile, tensions between Russia and Ukraine continued over the weekend as the Ukrainian government warned citizens to "be afraid and expect the worst." This increased risk sentiment will likely continue as talks between the US, its NATO allies and Russia didn't progress. 

Finally, in the cryptocurrency market things stayed relatively flat over the weekend with some altcoins seeing gains while bitcoin and ethereum remained largely unchanged. Cardano was the big winner though, jumping 30% over the past week and up over 10% in the last 24 hours. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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McDonald's restaurants are open 10% fewer hours than before the pandemic, CEO says

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 12:36
McDonald's is struggling with staff shortages, CEO Chris Kempczinski has said.
  • McDonald's US restaurants are open 10% fewer hours than pre-pandemic, the boss of the chain has said.
  • In an interview with The WSJ, CEO Chris Kempczinski pointed to staff shortages.
  • McDonald's has about 13,000 locations in the US.

McDonald's restaurants across the US are open for fewer hours than before the pandemic because they don't have enough staff, the boss of the burger giant has said.

CEO Chris Kempczinski told The Wall Street Journal that the 13,000 McDonald's restaurants in the US had cut their opening hours by 10% on average.

Record numbers of Americans are quitting their jobs in search of better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Others have returned to education, switched industries, or taken early retirement. This has caused a huge labor shortage across industries such as education and trucking, with restaurants hit particularly hard.

Meanwhile, there has been a huge increase in the number of workers calling off sick as coronavirus cases soar amid the spread of the Omicron variant. Some restaurants have been forced to slash opening hoursscale back their menusditch on-site dining, and hike up prices – either because they don't have enough staff or because the staff they do have are self-isolating.

Kempczinski said at McDonald's most recent earnings call, on October 27, that its service was getting slower because it couldn't find enough staff, and that some restaurants had cut their hours. He added that McDonald's staffing hadn't recovered as quickly as he'd expected and predicted the problems would persist into "the next several quarters."

According to The Journal, Kempczinski said that McDonald's workers didn't need a union, and the company's younger employees would view unions as too restrictive in the future.

Many workers across the US have attempted to unionize during the pandemic, including staff at Starbucks, Alphabet, and Amazon.

A report by Kalinowski Equity Research in October estimated that McDonald's labor shortage was pushing the chain's sales down by 3 to 4%.

Companies have been scrambling to attract new hires, offering perks like higher wages, sign-on bonuses, and long-term benefits. Kempczinski said at McDonald's October earnings call that the company's corporate-owned restaurants had raised their wages by an average of 15% in the year to date, and he told The Journal that the chain needed to provide jobs that people wanted and look after its workers.

Some McDonald's franchisees have been taking matters into their own hands. Insider previously reported that a McDonald's in Illinois was offering iPhones to some new hires, while another in Florida gave $50 to anyone who came for an interview.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Meet the Congressman pushing a 4-day work week law: 'I care about making capitalism sustainable and more humane'

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 12:30
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) (L) shakes hands with Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) during a rally and news conference with leaders from LGBTQ advocacy organizations before the House votes on the Equality Act May 17, 2019 in Washington, DC.
  • Rep. Mark Takano, a California Democrat, wants to make a 32-hour work week law.
  • He says it'd be part of building a new normal that reflects the past two years.
  • It would also raise wages by ensuring workers get paid overtime for hours worked over 32.

Representative Mark Takano wants you to work less — or at least collect a lot more overtime pay.

The California Democrat proposed legislation in July that would slash the standard work week to 32 hours. That also means anyone who works over 32 hours a week would receive overtime. The legislation is still awaiting a vote and recently garnered the support of the powerful Congressional Progressive Caucus.

In Takano's vision, the shorter work week would help address three of the biggest issues raging in the workplace right now: low wages, how much power workers have, and how to navigate a new work normal shaped by ongoing pandemic trauma.

"There's a great sort of opening for people to see it as part of a new normal, a new normal that they'd like to build," Takano told Insider. "800,000 Americans dying within a two to three year span has been traumatizing, and we have an opportunity now to look at the world with far more experienced eyes."

In December, Jobs site Indeed surveyed people who had quit two jobs during the pandemic; 92% said "the pandemic made them feel life is too short to stay in a job they weren't passionate about."

A record-breaking 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in November, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data. But hiring remained robust, suggesting that workers — especially the record 1 million leisure and hospitality workers who threw in the towel — are switching into different roles.

All told, the data suggests that Americans are ready for a new normal, or at least a rethink of work, particularly better-paying, more flexible work. According to Takano, that's exactly what a 32-hour workweek could achieve.

Americans are experiencing a 'Great Realization'

"This much stronger connection to human mortality has made people value their time," Takano said. "I think there was a Great Realization among a lot of Americans — how hard they're working and that they wanted to move on from the jobs that they were working at. So a four-day work week is something that connects a lot of Americans." 

A four-day work week would also address another priority for Takano: Inequality in income and working conditions. His bill is a revision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which instituted the 40-hour work week.

"I care about making capitalism sustainable and more humane — and less low road and less cutthroat," Takano said.

The substance of his legislation, Takano said, is a work week where overtime kicks in once someone has worked 32 hours. That doesn't mean that all workers have to cut their hours down to 32 — but they'll be paid time and a half for any hours worked beyond that.

"What begins to happen for workers who are covered by this law is that they have greater leverage in a labor market — meaning that they are likely to be able to make more money for the hours that they do work," Takano said. 

Takano said that a 32-hour work week would make employers "think twice" about cutting hours back in a tight labor market. Employers who are looking for workers would have to weigh trying to find more workers to train — a tall order as labor shortages persist and some workers remain on the sidelines for a better deal — or incentivize the current workforce by paying more for those now-longer hours.

It would help enshrine some of what's already happening in the economy into law. Wages have been growing sharply over the past year, soaring 4.7% year-over-year as of December 2021. Leisure and hospitality workers, who work in the country's lowest-paid sector, have seen their wages grow by 14.1% in just one year. 

Four-day work weeks have started to catch on around the world

A trial of the shorter week in Iceland saw that productivity and quality remained the same — and workers felt more positive and happy. Countries like Spain and Scotland have said they'll test it out, and several companies have already adopted it or are considering slashing hours. But experts warn it could be harder to implement in the US, in part because the US is less unionized — and the US's obsession with ever-present employees.

Takano said that, in tandem with a shorter work week, workers need easier access to labor unions and organizing. The Build Back Better Act contains some provisions from the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) that would do just that.

"I think we do have a chance of seeing people actually making a livable salary, a livable wage at 32 hours a week," if it's coupled with stronger unions, minimum wage, and overtime provisions, Takano said. "We want a world where there is a sustainable wage for everybody. We need workers to be able to have some leverage with regard to employers. It can't be that all the power is with employers."

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China tells citizens to avoid mail from abroad and open packages with gloves, claiming that Omicron is spreading through foreign post

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 12:29
Delivery workers sort parcels at a makeshift logistics station in Beijing, China.
  • China is advising people to avoid foreign mail and open packages outside, citing COVID-19 risks.
  • Beijing's disease center said an Omicron infection could have come through international mail.
  • Experts say the virus is unlikely to spread via mail, as it doesn't last long on surfaces.

Officials in Beijing are telling people to avoid international mail and to open their packages outdoors and with gloves, saying cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant could have spread through foreign mail.

Experts have repeatedly said that there is little risk of getting the coronavirus from mail. There is no indication that this has changed with the Omicron variant, though it is more infectious.

But Robin Brant, the BBC's China correspondent, tweeted on Monday that Beijing was telling residents not to order goods from abroad, and to open packages outside with gloves and a mask on.

The South China Morning Post also reported on Monday that Beijing's center for disease control and prevention said that people should order as little as possible from abroad, and that people should wear gloves and masks when opening any mail from high-risk countries.

It comes as the center said the first recorded case of the Omicron variant in Beijing could have entered via mail.

The man who was infected said he was sent mail from Canada on January 7, which had passed through Canada and Hong Kong before arriving in Beijing, the state-run People's Daily reported.

Pang Xinghuo, the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention's deputy director, said "we do not rule out the possibility that the person was infected through contacting an object from overseas," the Post reported. Pang said the Omicron variant was found on the letter, the report said.

Canada's post office noted, citing the country's public-health agency and the World Health Organization, that any risk of spreading coronavirus through mail is low as the virus does not live long on surfaces.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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