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🌍 China’s drying revenue stream

The global economy is getting burned by a heat wave in China

A person steps on rocks along the very shallow Yangtze River in Chongqing, China.
Thomas Peter
This story was published on our Quartz Daily Brief newsletter, The concise, conversational rundown you need to start your day.
  • Morgan Haefner
By Morgan Haefner

Deputy email editor


Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

China’s destructive heat wave will burn the global economy. A dangerously dry Yangtze river basin has forced shutdowns of hydropowered factories, including Toyota, lithium battery-maker CATL, and raw material companies.

The UN and Turkey are sending their leaders to Ukraine. The war with Russia shows no signs of stopping while the world needs Ukraine’s grain—plus there’s the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to worry about.

Google workers petition for abortion rights. More than 650 employees asked Alphabet to guarantee abortion benefits for contractors, stop supporting pro-forced pregnancy politicians, and more.

A Saudi court sentenced a med student to 34 years in prison for spreading rumors. The case of Salma al-Shehab, who had been living in the UK, indicates intensifying crackdowns on dissent.

A huge Russian cyber attack targeted Estonia. Hacker group Killnet said it caused hundreds of public and private institutions to go dark in protest of the removal of Soviet monuments.

The US is closer to homegrown monkeypox vaccines. To ramp up production, the White House is asking the shot’s sole manufacturer, Bavarian Nordic, to outsource production or team up with an American pharmaceutical company.

Asia’s first haute couture designer has died. Japan’s Hanae Mori, also known as “Madame Butterfly,” thought women should stand out, not fit in.

What to watch for

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX), the city’s stock market operator, reported disappointing second quarter results this week, with profits tumbling 27% year-on-year as IPOs and trading slowed.

But it may not necessarily be all doom and gloom. For one, HKEX currently has 189 active applications in its IPO pipeline. And the pipeline may well get busier if more Chinese companies exit US stock markets.

Last week, five Chinese state-owned companies announced that they will voluntarily delist from the New York Stock Exchange over disagreements with US regulators’ auditing standards. More Chinese delistings could follow, possibly including a number of state-owned airlines. While those companies already have listings in Hong Kong, delisting from the US could increase their shares’ trading volumes on HKEX.

Covid has warped how we hear

Before the pandemic, if you were to overhear someone at a nearby café table talking about “knockdown prices,” you’d have been likely to understand what they were saying. But now, you’d probably hear something completely different.

Scientists recently recorded 28 words, but obscured parts of them with a “cough” or other sound a person would hear in a busy environment. About 900 people listened to the recordings and were given a test on what they heard. What the researchers found was striking: there are drastic, long-lasting cognitive effects in the way our brains understand words in the wake of the pandemic.

Here’s a few of the word mix-ups scientists recorded.

Task ➡️ mask
Tempting ➡️ testing
Knockdown prices ➡️ lockdown prices
Injection ➡️ infection

The new US climate law has a gas leak

Under the Inflation Reduction Act, the US will impose its first tax on a greenhouse gas emission. The gas is methane, with a fee of $900 per metric ton going into effect in 2024.

There’s just one problem: The fee won’t apply to most of the country’s methane emissions. Quartz reporter Tim McDonnell explains how the sneaky, dangerous cousin of carbon dioxide will still find its way into the air (hint: it involves farting and burping cows).

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Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, buttless fossils, and mountain wifi passwords to Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Susan Howson, Mary Hui, Sofia Lotto Persio, and Morgan Haefner.

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