🌎 AMC Networks cuts cord with CEO

Plus: Senate passes a landmark same-sex marriage bill
Christina Spade speaks onstage at the WICT Network Leadership Conference & Touchstones Luncheon at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on October 10, 2022 in New York City.
Christina Spade speaks onstage at the WICT Network Leadership Conference & Touchstones Luncheon at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on October 10, 2022 in New York City.
Photo: Gary Gershoff (Getty Images)

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

AMC Networks’s CEO stepped down just three months in. The cable TV company will also lay off 20% of its staff as it rescues monetization models “in disarray.”

The US Senate passed a landmark same-sex marriage bill. The legislation to enshrine same-sex unions in federal law picked up momentum after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Amazon Web Services is far from freezing hiring. As the e-commerce behemoth pauses hiring in other business areas, its most profitable arm plans to add staff and data centers in 2023.

Twitter stopped enforcing its covid misinformation policy. No announcement was made, but a note added to its website said the practice ended Nov. 23, just weeks after mass layoffs.

San Francisco police won the right to deploy killer robots. Supervisors voted 8-3 in favor despite serious ethical concerns.

China’s Zhengzhou is lifting its covid lockdown. The city, which is relaxing measures following nationwide anti-covid restriction protests, is host to Apple’s key iPhone factory.

Qatar and Germany signed a 15-year natural gas deal. Qatar will send Germany 2 million tons of the energy source starting in 2026 as the European country seeks to make up a Russian supply shortfall.

What to watch for

As Americans tighten their purse strings at a time of persistently high inflation, they’re turning to dollar stores for more than just holiday decor and party favors. Shoppers are frequenting them for essentials—especially cheaper food and beverages—and, increasingly, they’re paying more with credit than cash.

Dollar Tree posted strong earnings this past quarter, and come Thursday (Dec. 1), Dollar General, another chain, is poised to do the same. Dollar stores aren’t entirely immune to economic headwinds: Dollar Tree trimmed its guidance for the year. Yet they are among the most resilient features of the retail industry, and have been able to compete against e-commerce giants like Amazon.

The greatest asset for these stores, which stock wide varieties of items at low prices under one roof, is that they’re ubiquitous—and that, unlike Amazon Prime, they don’t come with a $139 annual price tag for deliveries that still take a day.

China should be off the hook for climate finance

China has the world’s largest carbon footprint. So it’d make sense that the country should pay up for a new UN-administered fund that aims to cover the costs of climate change-related impacts on developing countries, right?

Well, not exactly. If per-capita income is used as a proxy for a country’s ability to pay into the fund, and per-capita cumulative emissions since 1990 is used as a proxy for a country’s contribution to the climate crisis, it doesn’t look like China crosses the paying threshold. The country’s per-capita income hovers around $10,500, while its cumulative emissions since 1990 are 128 tons of CO2—less than a quarter of the US’s 530 tons.

Image for article titled 🌎 AMC Networks cuts cord with CEO
Graphic: Tim McDonnell

During COP27, Xie Zhenhua, the Chinese climate envoy, said his country wouldn’t contribute to the fund, and honestly, the data seem to give his argument some moral backing. In fact, Liechtenstein, Qatar, and Singapore may be better candidates.

🔔 What it takes to lead a flock

Cast the dice, read the cards, interpret the stars—there are many ways humans try to predict the future. When it comes to markets and the macro-economy, a bellwether (a term for a sheep with a bell around its neck that leads a flock) indicates trends and helps analysts get a read on our financial futures.

One of the most famous economic chimes that traders listen to is FedEx. The US multinational delivery and transportation company, founded in 1971, has long been considered a bellwether, not just for the US, but also the global economy. It helps when your business touches 220 countries and territories comprising 99% of global GDP.

✦ But what are the origins of the phrase, and how did it come to be used in business lingo? Find out in the next edition of the Quartz Weekly Obsession email. Sign up today so you don’t miss it, and grab a Quartz membership too—it’s 50% off!

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The first hydrogen-powered jet engine roared to life. It could one day be a zero emissions alternative to kerosene-based plane fuels.

New minerals just dropped. A 15-metric ton meteorite that landed in Somalia contains two never-before-seen substances.

Deep-water seaweed could be the carbon sink we need… A species found 100 m (328 ft) below the surface of Antarctic waters has provided hope.

… but we definitely don’t need to awaken 48,500-year-old “zombie viruses.” Nearly two dozen of the infectious agents were sampled from the Siberian permafrost.

Wolves with infectious agents are more likely to lead the pack. Brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii gives them the qualities to top the barking order.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, space minerals, and super parasites to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Sofia Lotto Persio, Julia Malleck, Ananya Bhattacharya, and Morgan Haefner.