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🌍 What kind of leaders will the UK have?

Prime Minister Liz Truss and King Charles III both have obstacles ahead.

A portrait of King Charles III wearing a tan coat, over a light pink shirt, maroon tie, and what looks like a gray suit. His complexion is slightly ruddy as he looks off to the left, with the hint of a smile. The UK flag hangs in the background.
Chris Jackson - WPA Pool
King Charles III, formerly the Prince of Wales, visiting the new Emergency Service Station at Barnard Castle on February 15, 2018, in Durham, England. 
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Good morning, Quartz readers!


Here’s what you need to know

Queen Elizabeth II died at age 96. A Buckingham Palace statement said she died peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. News that her 70-year reign had ended broke first on Twitter.

The ECB made its biggest-ever rate hike. It raised interest rates by three quarters of a percentage point with promises for more to come.

Mercedes and Rivian made a deal on EVs. The two automakers plan to manufacture electric vans together in Europe as a cost-saving measure.

Israel and Guatemala signed a free trade agreement. The deal includes industrial and agricultural products, Reuters reports. Israel is working on similar agreements with India and China.

The US will send Ukraine $2.6 billion in aid. US military assistance to Ukraine now totals over $15 billion. Meanwhile, Ukraine reported its wartorn economy saw a 37% drop in the second quarter. 

A promising malaria vaccine was announced. It could cut deaths related to the disease by 70% by 2030, according to scientists at the University of Oxford.

Tesla tripled sales of its cars made in China. It sold 76,965 vehicles in August following increased output from its Shanghai plant.



What to watch for

A new day is rising in the UK, bringing with it a double leadership change. King Charles III will assume the throne following Queen Elizabeth II, who died yesterday at the age of 96 after reigning for 70 years. Meanwhile, Liz Truss assumed office at 10 Downing Street just 48 hours before the Queen’s passing.

Neither the new King nor the prime minister have easy jobs ahead.

Charles follows arguably the most popular monarch in modern history, and will need to chart his way through accusations of racism and sexual abuse in the royal family, even as calls to modernize or even scrap the monarchy altogether grow. Meanwhile, Truss has inherited a country saddled with the worst economic conditions in decades, rising labor unrest, deepening economic inequality, and a party wracked with scandals.

It’s too soon to call what kind of leaders they will be, but both will need to carve out their own identities as they face increasing calls to address social injustice, economic inequity, and climate change.


GameStop knows how to meme

The quintessential meme stock, GameStop’s stock price has long been untethered to business fundamentals. Here are some interesting numbers from GameStop’s second-quarter results:

$1.136 billion: Net sales

4%: Decrease from the same period last year

$108.7 million: Losses during the quarter

43%: Increase in losses from the same period last year

10%: Increase in stock price in after-hours trading on Wednesday 🤔

Right as the market closed, GameStop announced a partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Essentially, GameStop will start carrying FTX gift cards for customers who want to buy a friend or relative cash that they can only use to buy crypto on one specific exchange. Will this actually make GameStop any money? Unlikely. But did they correctly bet that it would sound cool enough to get people excited? For sure.


Quartz’s Best Companies for Remote Workers

Image copyright: Michael Haddad

What has at least 250 employees, good pay and benefits, and a knack for nurturing its workplace culture even when the staff is spread out? Why, it’s any of the 20 companies on Quartz’s 2022 global list of the best large companies for remote workers.

This year’s No. 1 is digital marketing agency 3Q/DEPT, which is fully remote—but some of the companies we recognized have a mix of WFHers and office goers. Explore the full ranking, which also includes a list of the best small- and medium-size companies for remote workers.

✦ Want to read more fresh takes about the evolving nature of work? Help make that possible by signing up today for a membership, and take 40% off, our treat.



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Surprising discoveries

Lobster fishing is driving North Atlantic right whales to extinction. The gear used to fish the crustaceans litters the mammals’ migration routes.

Vermeer’s Milkmaid painting could have looked much different. The painter initially drew other elements in the woman’s background, but ultimately decided less is more and left the wall blank.

Peppa Pig introduced a same-sex family. In an episode aired on Tuesday in the UK, the cartoon’s eponymous piglet was introduced to her friend Penny Polar Bear’s mothers. 

A newly discovered protein plays a key role in human reproduction. The protein contributes to the fusion of the sperm and the eggs and could help improve IVF’s chances of success.

Cyborg cockroaches powered by tiny solar powers go further in their missions. As the battery doesn’t run out, the remote-controlled creatures are also less likely to go rogue.


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