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Here’s what you need to know
The WHO declared monkeypox a global health emergency. Director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus overruled a panel of advisers to make the declaration (see more below).
China sweltered in a heat wave. Temperatures hit 40°C (104°F), triggering warnings for glacial melt and forest fires, while officials are worried high air conditioning use will strain the power grid.
Omicron is surging in Japan. Over 200,000 people have tested positive for covid—a record high for the hypervigilant nation.
China just launched another space module. They’re two thirds into building a permanent space station.
Infosys missed profit expectations. The Indian IT company didn’t anticipate having to spend more to hire and retain employees.
California truckers are on strike. They’re opposing the state’s new “gig-worker” law that requires independent contractors to become employees of one company.
What to watch for
For the second time in two years, the World Health Organization issued its highest alert for a disease, declaring monkeypox a global health emergency.
The announcement comes as cases have climbed to more than 16,000 across 75 countries. In the agency’s second meeting about the disease, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the speed at which the outbreak has spread and how it is spreading led to the decision.
The WHO’s declaration allows for a more coordinated international response and resources toward controlling the outbreak. But there’s still a lot of unknown. We put together a reading list to give some context to the WHO’s announcement:
Americans are cranking up the AC
More than 90% of Americans who own air conditioners are cranking it up this summer. It’s a trend that’s grown in recent years as the season becomes hotter and longer.
Higher AC usage is straining the electrical grid and boosting carbon emissions that will further contribute to global warming. While ACs aren’t as common in other places around the world—less than 10% of households in Europe have an AC unit, for example—that number is predicted to increase as extreme summer temperatures like the ones currently scorching the region become more common.
What if Microsoft bought Netflix?
To win the streaming wars, offering on-demand content just isn’t enough anymore. Disney has its theme parks, Apple its hardware, and Amazon its e-commerce empire. Where does that leave Netflix?
The streaming service’s relative lack of diversity in business operations has gradually transformed it from an early tech innovator into a one-note company with an uncertain future. Netflix can’t build a theme park in a day, but an acquisition by tech giant Microsoft, its new ad partner, might just be its best hope.
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Quartz’s most popular
Hong Kongers are scraping paint off public walls. They’re revealing tags by the late graffiti artist Tsang Tsou-choi, which are finding new resonance during the current political climate.
A mysterious $20 pink sauce is all the rage on TikTok. But errors in the nutritional label hint at its dubious provenance.
Central Park’s famous boathouse is closing. The doors are shuttering in October to the dismay of romantics the world over and the 163 workers facing layoffs.
Some fish fins were made for walking. Paleontologists discovered a fossil suggesting that ancient fish once walked on four limbs, but then decided they liked water instead.
Cricket is lifting spirits in Sri Lanka. Amid a political and economic meltdown, the men’s national team is on a winning streak.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, hidden art, and walking fish to email@example.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Morgan Haefner and Anne Quito.
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