Your Friday Briefing: Queen Elizabeth II Dies at 96

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Queen Elizabeth II is dead at 96

Queen Elizabeth died peacefully yesterday afternoon after more than 70 years as the British head of state. She was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Here is her obituary, photos from her reign and live updates.

The queen was widely revered as she presided over Britain’s adjustment to a post-colonial era and saw it through its divorce from the E.U. Her years as sovereign were a time of upheaval. Still, she sought to project the royal family as a bastion of permanence in a world of shifting values, and to preserve the mystique that underpinned its survival.

“There is no analogous public figure who will have been mourned as deeply in Britain — Winston Churchill might come closest — or whose death could provoke a greater reckoning with the identity and future of the country,” writes Mark Landler, our London bureau chief.

Two days before her death, Queen Elizabeth II saw Britain through a fraught government transition. After months of scandal and a divisive campaign, Boris Johnson resigned on Tuesday, and the queen met with Liz Truss, making her the 15th and final prime minister to serve during her reign.

Sogavare claims the country can’t afford to hold national elections next year because it also plans to host the Pacific Games, an international sporting event. Sogavare reportedly sees the games as his crowning achievement, and hopes to win over the public with a sports spectacular.

His opponents see a power grab linked to Beijing’s influence. Sogavare bet big on China, cutting the Solomon Islands’ ties with Taiwan and signing secretive agreements with Beijing. Critics have worried that the budding friendship will weaken the Pacific Island nation’s young democracy and expand Beijing’s influence in the region.

Diplomacy: Australia’s foreign minister said that her government had offered to pay for the elections to be held as scheduled, expanding on similar past assistance. Sogavare described it as “an attempt to directly interfere into our domestic affairs.”

China’s tycoons leave the country

China’s billionaire tycoons helped build the country’s economy into a powerhouse. Now, they are keeping low profiles — or leaving the country.

In the latest exodus, two of China’s best-known entrepreneurs, Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin, resigned this week as leaders of their struggling real estate empire, Soho China. The husband-and-wife team moved to the U.S. during the pandemic and had tried to manage their business remotely.

Updated 

Sept. 15, 2022, 9:57 p.m. ET

Their resignations underscore the growing concern among private entrepreneurs that China is veering away from an era of freewheeling capitalism, toward an increasingly state-driven economy that prioritizes politics and security over growth.

Resignations: Other very wealthy entrepreneurs have also stepped down from top jobs in recent months, including Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba; Colin Huang, founder of Pinduoduo, a rival to Alibaba; and Zhang Yiming, founder of TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance.

Departures: Zhou Hang, a prominent tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist, recently left Shanghai’s lockdown for Canada. There, he denounced China’s current policies.

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One 71-year-old beekeeper, Petro Fedorovych, has stayed put and is still gathering honey. “I built this house with my hands,” he told The Times late last month. “I will never leave.”

Lives Lived: For a time, Anne Garrels was the only U.S. network reporter broadcasting from Baghdad, where she said she subsisted on Kit Kat bars. She died at 71.

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Climate change roils supply chains

Chinese factories were shuttered again in late August, a frequent occurrence in a country that has imposed intermittent lockdowns to fight the coronavirus.

But this time, the culprit was extreme weather, exacerbated by climate change. A record drought crippled economic activity across the southwest, freezing international supply chains for automobiles, electronics and other goods that have been routinely disrupted over the past three years.

The interruptions could be a sign of the toll that climate change will most likely continue to wreak on the global economy. Many major companies source parts and products from places routinely affected by worsening extreme weather. Academics say the effect of these disasters, and of higher temperatures in general, will be particularly obvious when it comes to food trade.

“What we just went through with Covid is a window to what climate could do,” one expert said.

In other climate news:

  • Prescribed burns are crucial to reducing the risk of major wildfires. But in a warming world, they are harder to do safely.

  • Europe is burning wood pellets in the name of clean energy. But much of the wood comes from ancient, protected forests.

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