🌎 A target on the IRS's back

Plus: India's Auto Expo is back
🌎 A target on the IRS's back

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Here’s what you need to know

US House Republicans passed a bill to stop funding for Internal Revenues Service. The first bill passed in the GOP-controlled chamber would make it easier for rich people to get away with fraud.

The World Bank cut its 2023 global forecast. Economic growth is projected to slow to 1.7%, down from last June’s 3% estimate, skirting “perilously close” to a recession.

A South Korean company wants to build North America’s largest solar panel plant. Hanwha Solutions announced a $2.6 billion investment in Georgia to build a new manufacturing complex and expand its existing factory in Dalton.

Meta fell off Glassdoor’s list of 100 best places to work in the US. A software company took the top spot this year, but the country’s tech giants have lost some of their shine.

Bed Bath & Beyond reported a quarterly loss of nearly $400 million. The struggling retail giant’s results missed analysts’ expectations, increasing the likelihood of a bankruptcy filing.  

Coinbase is laying off 20% of its employees. In its third round of layoffs in a year, the crypto exchange is cutting around 950 jobs. Meanwhile, bankrupt crypto lender Voyager got a step closer to completing its sale to crypto exchange Binance.  

Vince McMahon made a comeback at WWE. The founder of the wrestling company, who retired last year over sexual misconduct claims, was unanimously elected chair of the board.

A Bollywood film soundtrack won the Golden Globe for best original song. RRR’s catchy and upbeat “Naatu Naatu” triumphed over Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna’s ballads.


What to watch for

India’s biggest automobile show, Auto Expo, is revving up after a three-year break. The week-long event starts today (Jan. 11) in New Delhi.

Over 100 carmakers are expected to roll in, with brands planning to launch at least 50 new models, most of which are expected to be from the electric and alternative fuel segments. India’s biggest car maker, Maruti Suzuki, is slated to unveil its first-ever electric SUV, and China’s BYD—which unseated Elon Musk’s Tesla as the world’s largest EV maker—will be showcasing its new electric sedan, Seal.

Despite India recently being declared the world’s third largest market for car sales after China and the US, European luxury carmakers Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi are skipping the event. It’ll be up to Japan-based Lexus to bear the torch for the luxury car market at Auto Expo.


Cheers, ozone layer

Europe may have just experienced one of its hottest years on record, and California may be enduring a “parade of cyclones,” but there’s a sliver of good climate news: The Earth’s ozone layer is on track to fully recover within the next four decades.

The 9- to 18-mile high atmospheric layer that protects humans from harmful ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun had been damaged by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons. But now researchers have found a significant thickening of the ozone layer even compared to 2018 levels. Scientists credit the change to a decline in airborne chemicals, finding that nearly 99% of banned ozone-depleting substances have been phased out.

Image for article titled 🌎 A target on the IRS's back
Graphic: Ananya Bhattacharya

Swift action on ozone depletion “sets a precedent for climate action,” says World Meteorological Organization secretary-general Petteri Taalas. “Our success in phasing out ozone—eating chemicals shows us what can and must be done–as a matter of urgency—to transition away from fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gasses and so limit temperature increase.”


Not all global economies are looking shabby

The World Bank is glum on global economic growth at-large, but the organization is more upbeat about Senegal, predicting that the west African country’s economy will see impressive growth in 2023 and beyond.

In fact, by 2024, Senegal’s GDP could be growing faster than its peak rate of 8.9%, set in 1976. There are a few reasons why, and they almost all have to do with digging.

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Surprising discoveries

Car plates in the Golden State got hacked. Researchers accessed driver data and location through California’s digital plates.

Hamsters are once more welcome in Hong Kong. A year-long, covid-era import ban has been lifted.

The hippest apartments in Japan have no baths. Young renters are flocking to public facilities to cut expenses and socialize.

Honeybees can now get vaccinated. The US Department of Agriculture greenlighted the first-ever jab for insects.

The T-rex had both brains and brawn. With 3 billion neurons firing, they may have been as smart as primates.


Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, low-tech car plates, and hamster (not T-rex) imports to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Niharika Sharma, Ananya Bhattacharya, Sofia Lotto Persio, Julia Malleck, and Morgan Haefner.