Good morning, Quartz readers!
Here’s what you need to know
Americans are still quitting their jobs at record rates. The Great Resignation continues even as the number of job openings decreases.
US household debt reached a new record high. Credit card debt topped $16 trillion for the first time.
Uber had positive cash flow for the first time. It still reported a net loss of $2.6 billion in the second quarter, but is picking up business from an increase in post-pandemic rides.
Kansas rejected abortion restrictions. Voters opposed an amendment that would have allowed lawmakers to limit access to—or altogether ban—the procedure.
Nancy Pelosi pledged solidarity with Taiwan. The US house speaker’s visit enraged China, which organized military drills in response and imposed a ban on more than 100 Taiwanese exporters.
The US added more individuals and companies to the Russian sanctions’ list. Among them is Alina Kabaeva, a former gymnast and media executive believed to be Vladimir Putin’s partner.
Coca leaf producers clashed with Bolivian police. Protesters demand the closure of a parallel market for the plant that, they say, is illegal but enjoys government support.
What to watch for
Monkeypox deaths in Brazil, India, and Spain, the first outside of Africa, have raised global concerns to new heights. Like covid, this is bad news for everyone—except pharmaceutical companies, who have already seen a boost from pandemic fears and preparation as rich countries like the UK and US buy up vaccines.
💉 Bavarian Nordic, the Danish maker of the smallpox vaccine used for monkeypox, has already revised its earning estimates several times, and its stock has gained 105% in the past six months.
💊 SIGA technologies’ stock, an American maker of antiviral treatments for smallpox, has gained 178% since March.
🌡️ Japan’s Precision Systems, Roche, and several Chinese makers of monkeypox diagnostics haven’t seen such dramatic increases in stock prices, but are likely to see significant growth in revenue as testing (especially rapid) becomes more widespread.
BeReal is the app for people who hate social media
If someone were to take a photo of you right now, would you want it posted on social media? Chances are absolutely not, but that’s the premise behind BeReal, a French app which has taken American college campuses by storm and is currently the most popular app in Apple’s US App Store.
The basic premise of BeReal, which launched in 2020, is that at a different time each day, users receive a notification nudging them to post a photo of whatever they’re up to at that particular moment. There are no ads, no filters, no likes, no followers, just your friends sending pictures of themselves looking into a freezer or sitting on the couch with pets.
The experience of documenting the mundane on BeReal may be a small way to resist the idea that our lives have to be remarkable to have value. Its 20 million downloads suggest this approach is resonating with users, especially at a time when giants like Meta are struggling to stay relevant and profitable.
An awareness breakthrough in leaded fuel
Six weeks ago, we brought you news of our investigation into the maddening persistence of leaded aviation gasoline, which is poisoning millions of children who live in close proximity to lead-emitting general aviation airports.
While a solution remains elusive, US lawmakers held hearings in late July to talk about the problem and probed the slow pace of progress in developing unleaded alternatives. It’s not a panacea, but it’s a step toward getting federal agencies to phase out leaded airplane fuel altogether.
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Rulers of the Mayan people may have been made into pelota balls. An archeologist believes their bodies were incinerated and their ashes mixed with rubber to create props for the popular game.
Stephen King was called as a witness for the prosecution. The bestselling author testified in an antitrust case against book publisher Penguin Random House.
An online candy retailer is hiring for a work-from-home product tester. The job sounds like a real treat.
South Korean researchers made a tattoo health monitor. They’ve developed an ink that can show a patient’s vital stats when applied on their skin.
Teeth held in a Bulgarian museum revealed the existence of Europe’s last panda. The previously unknown species roamed the continent 6 million years ago.
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