🌏 Iran to disband morality police

Plus: Oh, how the IPOs have fallen
🌏 Iran to disband morality police

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

Iran is getting rid of its so-called morality police. The decision follows months of protests after the death of a woman in custody who allegedly broke rules on head coverings.

OPEC+ continued to cut oil supplies. Curbs of 2 million barrels a day come as the cartel tries to feel out how the EU’s planned $60 price cap on Russian oil will affect the market.

UK rail unions rejected an offer to avoid a strike before the holiday season. Staff had been offered a pay increase of up to 8% over two years to avoid a 40,000-person walkout.

Starlink’s constellation is about to triple in size. Elon Musk’s SpaceX got approval from US regulators to add 7,500 satellites to its fleet.

Mount Semeru erupted and sparked evacuations on Indonesia’s main island of Java. Around 2,000 people have been displaced as lava threatens their home and safety.

Chinese astronauts landed back on Earth after a six-month expedition. They were on a mission to oversee the final construction phases of China’s space station.

What to watch for

On Dec. 6, US president Joe Biden will visit an Arizona factory being built by TSMC, the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer. The Taiwanese chipmaker’s decision to open shop in the US is a big win for Biden, who’s been seeking to ramp up domestic production of semiconductor chips, a key tech component, amid a global shortage.

Until last year, the US produced only 12% of the world’s chips. This year, Biden earmarked $52.7 billion for semiconductor manufacturing and research, the bulk of which—$39 billion—has gone into incentives for domestic manufacturing. The legislation also grants a 25% investment tax credit for capital expenses and equipment.

TSMC, a 35-year-old powerhouse, stands to benefit, especially as it seeks to insulate its business from increasingly turbulent relations with China. Aside from the new $12 billion factory in Arizona, TSMC is building a plant in Japan, which has also created a fund to boost chip manufacturing.

Oh, how the IPOs have fallen

Amid soaring inflation, interest rate hikes, and economic uncertainty, initial public offerings (IPOs) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) took a plunge in 2022, falling a whopping 93% from last year.

Analysts aren’t confident that IPOs will make a recovery in 2023, especially as fears of a recession persist, and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), a popular vehicle for going public in 2021, are expected to decline further amid increasing regulatory scrutiny. Here’s a look at how far IPOs have dropped off from last year:

1,033: The record-breaking number of IPOs in the US in 2021

173: Number of IPOs in the US by Nov. 15 this year

59%: Share of 2021 US IPOs that were SPACs—publicly traded companies created for the purpose of acquiring or merging with an existing firm

88.6%: Year-on-year decline in SPAC merger transactions in the first nine months of 2022

What’s stopping Africa from solving its food security crisis?

At the Africa Financial Industry Summit in Lome, Togo, last week, it became apparent that investors’ appetite for financing African agricultural projects is not a problem. The challenge is finding an African country whose supply chains, policies, and regulations attract investment.

Right now, agricultural enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa face a $74.5 billion funding gap. One big problem is counterfeit agricultural products, which affects seeds, fertilizer, and pesticides, resulting in lower investor confidence.

✦ The latest edition of the Quartz Africa Brief looked at the path forward to solve Africa’s food security crisis. Never miss a beat from the continent by signing up for the free weekly email. And while you’re at it, grab a Quartz membership—we’ve got a 50% off deal for you.

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Surprising discoveries

What happens when the US Space Force wins an esport competition? They get their trophy launched to them from Earth, of course.

Think you can win at a board game infinitely more complex than chess or poker? If you’re up against Google’s DeepMind AI system, think again.

Viva Magenta is Pantone’s color of 2023. It’s very Barbiecore, if we do say so ourselves.

Nazaa’a won the Mzayen World Cup in Qatar… It’s a camel pageant, and her eyelashes and toothy smile were simply irresistible.

… but the birds of prey World Cup in Colorado has nothing to do with birds. Competitors of the speed skiing competition might as well be flying, though.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, space trophies, and camel posters 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, Sofia Lotto Persio, Julia Malleck, and Morgan Haefner.