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🌍 It’s a rate race

Countries including the US, UK, Norway, Indonesia, and South Africa all raised interest rates this week

A view from below looking up at the Greco-Roman, white stone facade of the Bank of England. Entering from the right side of the frame is a man in a dark suit, appearing to be walking briskly forward. His figure is a blur. The sky above is a slightly washed out blue with wispy clouds.
Isabel Infantes/AFP
A pedestrian walks past the Bank of England in the City of London on September 22, 2022. 
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Here’s what you need to know

Central banks around the world raised interest rates. Following the US Federal Reserve’s hike, countries including the UK, Norway, Indonesia, and South Africa also bumped rates. Bucking the trend, Turkey cut rates and Japan kept them super low

… which led Japan to prop up the yen. It was the first time since 1998 its central bank stepped in to strengthen the currency as it maintains a negative-rate policy.

The UK lifted its ban on fracking. The government cited the need to secure energy supplies amid Russia’s war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, France opened its first offshore wind farm.

The Khmer Rouge trial ended after 16 years. It cost over $330 million and led to the conviction of only three members of a regime that killed 1.7 million Cambodians.

Samsung and SoftBank will discuss a potential partnership. The chiefs of each firm will meet next month to explore a tie-up involving chipmaker Arm.

The UK is investigating Amazon, Microsoft, and Google’s dominance in cloud services. Regulators are seeking to test the strength of competition in the billion-dollar industry.

Airbus won a $4.8 billion jet deal. The European firm will supply 40 jets to China Southern-owned Xiamen Airlines, beating out Boeing, which has historically been its supplier.


What to watch for

A much-anticipated speech from US president Joe Biden, an appearance from Bono, and potentially the world’s largest conference panel may be over at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, but there’s lots still to come before it closes on Tuesday (Sept. 27).

Upcoming events include a talk from Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari today on measuring poverty, and the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Saturday (nothing says world development conference like Mariah Carey and Metallica).

Need to catch up on what’s happened so far? It’s never too late to sign up for our Need to Know: UNGA 2022 newsletter. We’ve also put together a reading list of Quartz coverage from the event:

🌳 From UNGA’s sidelines, a reminder about Europe’s Green Deal

🌍 “Africa has suffered enough,” says Senegal’s president in UNGA speech

💰 We already know what would solve most global development challenges

😎 The most confusing UNGA 2022 event titles—translated from UN-speak into English


Book bans are spiking in the US

As Banned Books Week (Sept. 18-24) draws to a close in the US, the pile of forbidden texts is only stacking up. According to the American Library Association (ALA), the number of banned books in US schools and libraries has more than doubled from last year.

Texas and Florida top the list of states with the most banned titles, with right-wing political groups like Moms for Liberty and No Left Turn in Education spearheading efforts. The top targeted books in 2021 include newer additions like Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, and long-timers like The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Most stricken books are penned by LGBTQ and Black authors, and touch upon topics such as racism and sex.

For those looking to get around state bans: university libraries, interlibrary loans, and digital libraries are three ways students can gain access to censored narratives.

Image copyright: Clarisa Diaz

Words that aren’t words

Across the globe, there are grunts, sighs, and other untranslatable remarks that aren’t really words, but still carry a lot of meaning.

Pop quiz

In French, what does the exclamation “bof” mean?

A. Goodbye
B. I don’t really care
C. Yum
D. Not right now

Find the answer below!

✦ “Bof” is just one of the phrases we looked at in our audio project on “non-words” that’ll help you communicate in countries around the world. It’s one of our favorite stories we’re sharing from the past decade—yes, Quartz turned 10 years old this week! 🎉 Celebrate with 50% off a Quartz membership.



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Surprising discoveries

Blimp cruises may soon take to the skies. But unless you can cough up $200,000, you’re stuck on the ground, buddy.

Italy’s leading right-wing politician is a Lord of the Rings devotee. Giorgia Meloni may well one day rule over Italy as prime minister (though not Middle Earth).  

Americans can’t get enough of Mexican beer. Eight out of 10 imported beers in the US come from its southern neighbor.

A camel encyclopedia could be in the works. An attendee at “The Role of Camels in Unifying the Kingdom” symposium in Saudi Arabia suggested it be written up.

One of Saturn’s moons has all six ingredients for life. Pack your bags—Enceladus was previously thought to lack phosphorus, until now!


Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, Mexican lagers, and camel facts to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Clarisa Diaz, Julia Malleck, and Morgan Haefner.

The correct answer to the pop quiz is B., I don’t really care.

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