Sep 15, 2018

China and Vatican strike controversial deal over bishops

Pope Francis. Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

In a controversial move, China and the Vatican are preparing to sign a landmark deal this month allowing each side a voice in choosing the church's bishops in China, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The details: Pope Francis will recognize excommunicated Chinese bishops that were approved without the Vatican's green light, and China will acknowledge the Pope as leader of the nation's Catholics and allow the Vatican a voice in bishop selection moving forward. The deal comes with controversy as China's current regime is largely atheist and authoritarian. The agreement is also seen as China recognizing religious autonomy — something the government has notably refused to do in the past. However, WSJ notes the deal "could still fall through or be delayed due to unforeseen events."

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HBCUs are missing from the discussion on venture capital's diversity

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Venture capital is beginning a belated conversation about its dearth of black investors and support of black founders, but hasn't yet turned its attention to the trivial participation of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as limited partners in funds.

Why it matters: This increases educational and economic inequality, as the vast majority of VC profits go to limited partners.

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.