🌎 Black Friday strikes

Plus: Holiday travel is getting pricey
🌎 Black Friday strikes

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

Amazon workers in more than 30 countries set up Black Friday strikes. The Make Amazon Pay initiative called for global action on one of the e-commerce giant’s busiest shopping days of the year.

Joe Biden renewed plans for stricter gun control laws. The US president said he’ll try to pass a ban on the sale of assault weapons before the 2024 election.

Adidas launched a probe into Ye’s time at Yeezy. An anonymous letter raised allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior against the rapper.

Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers sued Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase. The two lawsuits claim the banks enabled the convicted sex offender’s alleged sex-trafficking scheme.

Colombia’s gender quotas blocked the appointment of a central bank co-director. A court determined a woman should be nominated to the post instead, a task that falls to leftist president Gustavo Petro.

The new Pokémon games broke new sales records at Nintendo. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet sold 10 million units worldwide in the first three days of their launch at a time when the gaming industry is struggling. 

KPOP, a new musical, is taking over Broadway. The show marks a step forward for Asian American representation in the US theater scene.

What to watch for

India’s much-awaited Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022, introduced last week, is now open for public comment. The fourth and latest version of the controversial legislation should be more palatable than its predecessors to global technology companies, but internet freedom advocates argue that the country deserves better.

An earlier draft of the bill prescribed partial and total data localization obligations with respect to “sensitive personal data” and “critical personal data.” Companies such as Google, Twitter, and Amazon raised objections to these provisions. Now, the new draft eases the free movement of data to trusted geographies and also narrows down the law’s scope to only personal data protection, leaving out non-personal or anonymized data.

Some experts have criticized these changes, arguing that they have “watered down” the goals of a data privacy protection framework. Campaigners are now gearing up to convey those concerns during the consultation.

US holiday travel’s rising costs, by the digits

Thanksgiving travel rates are almost back to pre-pandemic levels, despite concerns of renewed chaos following a US summer season marked by delays and cancellations, misplaced baggage, and booked up accommodations.

Americans looking to go on holiday during the festive season are also facing the highest travel costs in five years, as these seven figures show.

31%: Americans who intend to travel between Thanksgiving and mid-January, down from 42% last year

12%: Increase in hotel room rates since 2019

46%: Jump in rental car rates since 2019

32%: Spike in inflation-adjusted airfare in 2022 compared to a year ago

16.9%: How much more Americans spent on domestic flights this year (through Oct. 17) compared to the same period in 2019

125%: How much more airlines spent on jet fuel in 2022 compared to 2021

777,000: Passenger and cargo airline employees working this holiday season, surpassing pre-pandemic employment

The future of effective altruism

The spectacular collapse of FTX hasn’t just threatened the crypto ecosystem, but has also delivered a credibility blow to the philosophy of effective altruism, a style of philanthropy espoused by the company’s billionaire founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

Effective altruism’s guiding principle is to maximize the good a human can do in the world, both now and in the future. To do this, one of its main proponents, William MacAskill, has encouraged people to make as much money as possible—for instance, by getting a job on Wall Street. 

Bankman-Fried’s questionable and possibly fraudulent business practices don’t just tarnish the philosophy by association—they also invite the scrutiny of certain organizations, such as the Centre for Effective Altruism, that have sprung up in its support.

✦ On Saturday, the Weekend Brief will take a look at the philosophy of effective altruism, its founders, and their followers. To get our take, grab a Quartz membership today at 60% off.

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Seal conservation is ready for its close-up. Facial recognition technology could be the key to protecting the marine mammal.

We finally know why lightning zigs and zags. It’s due to “singlet-delta metastable oxygen molecules,” but that doesn’t rule out Zeus being snubbed by a nymph, right?!

Dreaming of electric sheep is good for AI. Artificial neural networks may need down time to avoid episodes of amnesia.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, electric dreams, and lost doubloons to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Ananya Bhattacharya, Niharika Sharma, Cassie Werber, Sofia Lotto Persio, and Julia Malleck.