🌍 British Airways cancels 10,000 flights

Plus: The battle of the prequel.
🌍 British Airways cancels 10,000 flights

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

British Airways is canceling more than 10,000 flights. Persistent staff shortages and an extended visitor cap at Heathrow Airport have forced the airline to sell fewer trips.

Ford is shedding 3,000 jobs. The cuts, which will mostly affect workers in North America and India, come as the carmaker focuses on electric vehicles.

Former Pakistani leader Imran Khan was charged under an “anti-terror” law. The former cricketer has been accused of engaging in hate speech against the country’s authorities at his rallies.

Bangladesh took new steps to save power… School and office hours will be cut to cope with fuel shortages due to increased energy costs associated with Russia’s war in Ukraine.

…while Cyprus found more gas. The deposit discovered at the Cronos-1 well is estimated to contain around 2.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

A lawyer strike could disrupt courts in England and Wales. Criminal barristers will hang up their robes and wigs on Sept. 5 unless they get a bigger raise.

What to watch for

Ethereum, the blockchain that enabled the rise of nonfungible tokens (NFTs), is about to launch one of the most closely watched experiments in the crypto world.

On or around Sept. 15, the process of validating crypto transactions will shift from what’s known as proof of work, or mining, to proof of stake. “The merge,” as it’s being called, will instantly cut 99% of ethereum’s carbon emissions, according to the Ethereum Foundation.

While some see it as a long-awaited upgrade for ethereum, switching to a more sustainable and secure consensus mechanism has implications beyond the ethereum universe. A big test of the merge will be whether proof of stake can work at ethereum’s massive scale. It’ll also hurt those who have invested thousands in crypto mining machinery. Some people may choose to just keep mining anyway, though it’ll probably be less profitable.

The battle of the prequel

HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon debuted to millions of subscribers over the weekend, and the streaming service even saw some outages as demand swelled. The show aired just 11 days before the release of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings prequel, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

Even before Dragon dropped, it was drawing more enthusiasm. Google Trends data on the two series over the last 30 days shows that Dragon garnered far more interest from potential viewers than the tale based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s sword and sorcery source material. Searches for the two shows were nearly identical until July, when the first trailers for both shows were released.

A bar chart showing Google Trends search interest in May and August for House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power. Search interest was much higher for House of the Dragon in July and August.
Graphic: Quartz

It’s clear Amazon is still finding its original content studio legs, and could learn a thing or two from the way HBO kept its budget in check and promoted the series (the High Valyrian language on Duolingo was a nice touch).

Is coupon clipping a lost art?

For decades, kitchen drawers across the US held clipped printed discounts that were brought to the store to get a few cents off shopping cart items when budgets were tight.

That practice is fading, and not even the pandemic, or the record high grocery prices that came with it, have rekindled Americans’ interest in it. But it’s not an entirely lost art: the penny-pinching technique is just taking on a new form.

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Surprising discoveries

Brazil is putting its first emperor’s heart at the center of its independence celebration. Dom Pedro I’s embalmed organ will receive military honors to mark the 200-year anniversary of Brazil’s breakup with Portugal.

A 1970s Apple-1 computer prototype sold for nearly $700,000 at an auction. The auctioneers described it as “the holy grail of Steve Jobs and Apple memorabilia.”

Tales of “Welsh Atlantis” may be rooted in historical fact after all. A medieval map depicts two islands off the Ceredigion coast that have since disappeared.

A bull took an Israeli bank branch by storm. At least it wasn’t a china shop.

French supermarket chain Carrefour will freeze prices on 100 products for 100 days. The decision follows a similar move by competitor E.Leclerc to help consumers tackle inflation.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, Apple memorabilia, and bulls at the market to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Nate DiCamillo, Scott Nover, Adario Strange, Sofia Lotto Persio, and Morgan Haefner.