🌍 A smoother EU supply chain

Plus: In defense of Twitter bots.
🌍 A smoother EU supply chain

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

The EU wants more say over its supply chain during times of crisis. A new proposal would require companies to share information or prioritize orders to avoid shortages.

The trial of Cardinal Zen began. Along with five others, the 90-year-old former head of the Catholic Church in Hong Kong—and a fierce critic of Beijing—is being tried for setting up a legal fund for 2019 protesters.

Super typhoon Nanmadol slammed Japan. Evacuation orders expanded to cover 9 million people as the country experiences one of its worst storms of its kind.

Southwest Mexico was hit with a magnitude 7.5 earthquake. Buildings in Mexico City shook yesterday (Sept. 19), the anniversary of not only the deadliest tremor in its history in 1985, but also a quake that killed more than 200 people in 2017.

Joe Biden committed to defending Taiwan from “an unprecedented attack.” The US president made the statement in a 60 Minutes interview, which drew stern criticism from China.

Scenes from the new Grand Theft Auto VI were leaked. Rockstar Games confirmed the hack, and shares of its owner Take-Two Interactive fell more than 3% yesterday.

Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest. The well-attended event was pricey in both money spent and work lost.

What to watch for

Luxury German carmaker Porsche is moving ahead with its IPO and plans to issue 911 million shares, Reuters reported, with trading expected to begin on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Sept. 29. Since 911, a reference to its most famous model, is a number dear enough to Porsche to make financial decisions around, let’s look at some other important figures:

€75 billion: Porsche valuation targeted by Volkswagen Group, making it worth more than rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz

145,860: New passenger cars sold by Porsche in the first half of 2022

5.1%: Decrease in sales from the same period, a year prior

Despite the market uncertainty, Porsche is betting big on electric vehicles. In 2019, it launched the all-electric Taycan model and has said it expects its EV business to equal the size of its combustion cars business by 2024. The sale of Porsche could help fund VW’s expansion into EVs and help it catch up to Tesla.

Twitter’s bots are actually good

Elon Musk, whose $44 billion proposed acquisition of Twitter hangs in the legal balance, said automated Twitter accounts inspired him to purchase the platform—only to later say they were why he was backing out of the deal.

Granted, the Tesla CEO was mostly talking about spam bots that harass users or try to sucker them into scams. Legal experts are skeptical that arguments over the precise ratio of bots to active human users will scuttle the deal. But in the controversy, something important got lost: Bots are great!

Tim Fernholz pays tribute to the good Twitter bots, including art bots, literature bots, earthquake-tracking bots, Musk-plane-tracking bots, and more. But perhaps the most useless, yet satisfying, is @choochoobot, which offers you a train crossing a random emoji landscape.

A Tweet from trains botting, which shows an emoji train going through an emoji scene.
Screenshot: Twitter/@choochoobot (Other)

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Surprising discoveries

The emoticon celebrated its 40th birthday. It’s over the hill and onto the dash and dots :-).

A trail of slime led security at Germany’s Düsseldorf Airport to a bag of giant African land snails. The line between real life and Scooby-Doo is growing thinner.

Chugging tea can help lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Go ahead, slam those four or more cups a day.

Stop murdering lanternflies in extreme ways, please. People in New York and Pennsylvania have been instructed to kill the invasive species, but flamethrowers seem like a bit much.

Are we ever going to get supersonic flights? Probably not, seeing as Boom can’t even find an engine maker to work with.

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