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A person holds a placard as supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) march to demand a rollout of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, in Pretoria, South Africa June 25, 2021.
Image copyright: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko
In many developing countries, vaccines aren't yet widely available.

Here’s what you need to know

The World Health Organization wants a moratorium on Covid boosters. The global health watchdog is concerned about growing vaccination disparities between rich and poor countries.

China has been slammed by Covid outbreaks as delta hits. The country is limiting cross-border travel and millions are back in lockdown. Meanwhile, South Korea has two confirmed cases of the delta-plus variant, which originated in Europe.

The UK will vaccinate all 16- and 17-year-olds. The teens will be eligible for their first Pfizer dose in the coming weeks.

Robinhood trading halted several times. Shares jumped as much as 80% on Wednesday in the second-straight day of wild trading.

US businesses fell short of hiring estimates. Private companies added 330,000 jobs in July, much lower than the predicted 653,000.

Uber made a $1.1 billion profit last quarter, thanks mostly to its investment in Didi. But Uber’s stake in the Chinese ride-hailing giant has lost a huge chunk of its value as Didi faces intense scrutiny from Chinese regulators.

Rihanna is a billionaire. The artist and fashion mogul is now worth $1.7 billion, making her the highest-paid female musician in the world.

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What to watch for

Image copyright: Everett Kennedy Brown/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Shiseido, Japan’s largest cosmetics company, reports earnings on Thursday. The company has rebounded from the worst of the pandemic, recording a return to growth over 2020 levels in line with the overall beauty market’s recovery. In China and the US, makeup sales are climbing, and last month L’Oréal posted growth numbers that surpassed those of 2019, before the pandemic took hold.

But Shiseido’s biggest market is Japan, which continues to struggle with Covid-19 outbreaks. The company’s home country was the one major market that didn’t grow (pdf) year-over-year as of last quarter. As for this earnings announcement, analysts expect Shiseido’s global sales to rise above 2020 levels, but the situation in Japan is likely to put pressure on its quarterly results.


Charting a US landlord’s stock market returns

Shares of Invitation Homes—America’s largest single-family landlord—have soared more than 40% this year, more than double that of the S&P 500. Rents across the country have jumped 11% in 2021 as of June, according to online marketplace Apartment List, pushing the cost of renting a house well ahead of pre-pandemic trends. As the cost of housing goes up, Invitation Homes raised rents by 8% nationwide in the second quarter.

The American housing market is red hot, from coast to coast. John Detrixhe has more on what’s fueling the boom


Silver medal sadness

Image copyright: Reuters/Leah Millis

The next time you watch an Olympic medal ceremony, look atop the podium and notice the medalists’ facial expressions. Predictably, the gold-medal winner looks elated. Bronze probably looks thrilled, too. But what about silver? Academic studies have found that silver medalists often look sadder than their gold and bronze counterparts. Psychologists chalk up the silver and bronze reactions to counterfactual thinking—a fixation on what could have been. Bronze medalists are generally happy to have placed at all, escaping the cosmic disaster that is a fourth-place finish. Silver medalists, however, might fixate on their proximity to gold, and how close they were to ultimate glory.

📬 A daily guide to the Games, with highlights, histories, and surprising discoveries.

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Surprising discoveries

Image copyright: Louis Vuitton
Vivienne on the move through Louis Vuitton's video game.

Louis Vuitton made its own video game. The fashion house released a mobile app where users can guide its mascot on a journey through Paris.

Iraq reclaimed 17,000 looted artifacts. Cuneiform tablets and other items were held by the Museum of the Bible, a Washington, DC collection run by the family that owns Hobby Lobby.

Harvestmen can detach their own legs. When threatened, these arachnids can pop off a limb at a moment’s notice.

Olympic athletes should watch what they eat… Tainted pork and other contaminated meat can elicit a false positive in doping screens.

…while Olympic horses were spooked by a sumo butt. A life-size statue of a sumo wrestler has bewildered animals and their riders in Tokyo.


With apologies to the Olympic horses, butts are totally not scary—check out the Quartz Weekly Obsession on the evolutionary wonder.

Image copyright: Giphy