🌎 Golf wars

Plus: What’s making Elon nervous?
🌎 Golf wars

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

Eleven golf players filed an antitrust lawsuit against the sport’s biggest league. The athletes are suing after they were banned by PGA Tour over their participation in the rival, Saudi-backed, LIV Golf.

Walmart announced corporate layoffs. The US’s largest retailer is cutting 200 positions, but it’s still hiring in areas such as e-commerce.

OPEC+ agreed to a small rise in crude oil production. Analysts have called the decision an insult to Biden’s diplomacy, but it contributed to lowering oil prices to pre-Ukraine invasion levels.

Hackers stole $200 million from crypto wallets. Cyber criminals targeted the Solana and Nomad platforms in back-to-back hacks.

Tennessee sued Walgreens over the opioid crisis. The state accused the pharmacy store chain of flooding the market with an oversupply of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills.

The US Transportation Department proposed stronger air passenger rights. Airlines would have to refund travelers in the event of major disruptions to their journeys.  

Fallen debris found on Australian farmland belongs to SpaceX. The parts are likely from a 2020 mission. Elon Musk’s company has yet to claim ownership.

What to watch for

Alibaba’s growth once symbolized the dynamism of the Chinese economy. Now, as analysts expect the company to declare its first quarter of declining revenue, it serves as an example of the challenges Chinese companies face at both a local and global level.

Alibaba’s earnings report, due for release pre-market opening today, follows the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) announcement that Alibaba risked delisting over failure to comply with disclosure requirements. It’s a stunning turn of events for a company whose 2014 IPO was the New York Stock Exchange’s biggest.

Complying with the SEC’s request is not fully in Alibaba’s control, as it depends on Beijing’s approval of Washington’s request to access audit files—something the Chinese government is currently considering. In the meantime, Alibaba is applying for a primary listing in Hong Kong to obtain dual-primary status.

What’s making Elon nervous?

An image of Elon Musk in a black suit and dark tie, standing with his hands clasped in front and head raised, eyes closed. In the background are consecutive vertical white and black bars, three blurry figures stand in between them.
Elon Musk takes a breath.
Photo: Christian Marquardt (Getty Images)

Well, who knows what’s going on in the SpaceX and Tesla founder’s famously mercurial brain. But we did ask experts what should be making Musk toss and turn:

😰 Kathaleen McCormick. The ruling of the Delaware Chancery Court chancellor in Twitter v. Elon Musk could force him to complete the $44 billion deal, rather than merely pay damages.

😬 The SEC. The US regulatory body is currently investigating whether Musk and his brother Kimbal violated insider trading rules, and whether Musk broke the law by waiting more than two weeks before reporting a large purchase of Twitter stock.

😳 Luigi Crispo. This shareholder is suing Musk for breaching his contract with Twitter and his fiduciary duty to Twitter shareholders. If it obtains class-action status, the suit could spell serious trouble for Musk.

🙀 Tesla shareholders. If Musk loses in court, Tesla shareholders could get squirrely, and he needs his Tesla shareholdings to use as collateral.

Sri Lanka’s scientific exodus

When Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled a popular uprising and emailed his resignation from exile on July 14, he left behind an economy in shambles. The covid pandemic affected both tourism and remittances, depleting Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange reserves and the country’s capacity to repay loans. When Russia, who buys tea from and sends tourists to Sri Lanka, invaded the island nation’s other big tourist source, Ukraine, things only got worse.

Ananya Bhattacharya and Malaka Rodrigo explore the devastating impact these dire economic straits have had on Sri Lankan scientists and researchers, who are now starting to look for greener pastures.

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Surprising discoveries

Thousands of racing pigeons in southern France disappeared. Belgian fanciers say a storm may have proven deadly.

Embryos were created without a sperm or egg. The research may help grow replacement organs for humans in the future.

Hard seltzer hype has ended. The carbonated market has gotten overcrowded.

The movie Batgirl was axed because of taxes. Neither a theatrical nor a streaming release was deemed financially prudent, according to sources.

350-year-old Spanish treasures were recovered from a shipwreck. The haul included an emerald and gold pendant that once belonged to a knight.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, justice for Batgirl, and decor for Ariel’s undersea grotto to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Sofia Lotto Persio, Julia Malleck, Susan Howson, and Morgan Haefner.