🌎 New rules for Big Tech

Plus: The challenges facing the UK's new leaders.
🌎 New rules for Big Tech

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

The White House unveiled new rules for Big Tech. The six principles aim to increase competition and accountability in the industry dominated by Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, and Meta.

Queen Elizabeth II has died. 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.

Oil companies aren’t putting their money where their mouth is. A surge in ads boasting green credentials doesn’t match investment decisions. Meanwhile, more people now work in clean energy jobs than in fossil fuels.

Ernst & Young is splitting up. The big four firm’s leadership approved a long-anticipated break-up of its accounting and consulting businesses.

United Airlines went shopping for electric air taxis. The carrier agreed to buy 200 aircraft from Eve Air Mobility, to be delivered by 2026.

Clinical trials of a new malaria vaccine showed promising results. It could cut deaths related to the disease by 70% by 2030.

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.

A time of great challenges is an opportunity to show leadership—both the new monarch and the new prime minister’s legacies will be determined by how they deal with the most pressing issues of our time: 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.

“Brain drain” in an outdated term

When it comes to Africa’s tech sector, the phrase “brain drain” doesn’t really apply anymore, so writes Quartz’s east Africa correspondent Faustine Ngila. In part, that’s because work-from-home is the new norm, so you don’t have to move to Silicon Valley or Shenzhen to nab a tech job.

Big Tech and startups alike are helping to level-up skills in Africa’s expanding pool of talent. One person making that happen is Andrew Mori, CEO of a Cape Town-based tech training startup called Deimos, who wants to help the continent produce 10 million cloud engineers.

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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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