🌍 Turkey and Syria reel from earthquakes

Plus: A new book from Salman Rushdie.

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Here’s what you need to know

More than 3,400 people have died from two earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria. The WHO has warned the death toll from the quakes could increase eightfold as the search for survivors continues (more below).

Adani Group said it will pay off $1.1 billion in debt. The crisis-hit conglomerate hopes to bolster investor confidence as a $112 billion sell-off has sparked protests in India.

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Activision Blizzard beat earnings expectations in the fourth quarter. However, the US video game giant fell short on revenue estimates amid its potential $69 billion buyout by Microsoft.

Renault and Nissan announced an alliance reset. The French and Japanese carmakers have equalized their stakes, saying they will collaborate on EV projects around the globe.

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Foxconn reported record high sales. The world’s biggest iPhone maker brought in $22 billion in revenue in January as its flagship factory in Zhengzhou, China recovered from covid curbs.

Russia’s oil and gas revenue dropped in January. A 46% decline in tax revenue from energy sales year on year amounts to a $25 billion budget deficit, as sanctions take a toll.

Hong Kong began a landmark national security trial. Forty-seven pro-democracy activists, including Joshua Wong, are facing subversion charges under a law passed by Beijing in 2020.


What to watch for

Victory City, Salman Rushdie’s first novel since his 2019 Quichotte is published today (Feb. 7) in the US and later this week (Feb. 9) in the UK. It’s also the first work by the Indian-born British-American author released since he was attacked at an event in New Jersey in August last year.

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The Booker Prize-winning writer won’t be doing any in-person promotion for the books, but can count on the help of his fellow authors. In the wake of the attack, fans bought up copies of his books in support, and pre-order numbers for Victory City show they’re still at it.

Rushdie had completed the manuscript for the novel shortly before he was stabbed, but some of its themes will resonate even more strongly in light of the attack. The novel’s last sentence, “words are the only victors,” speaks directly to Rushdie’s legacy of addressing weighty and often controversial themes despite threats to his safety.

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The Turkey-Syria earthquake, by the digits

It will be a while before the total destruction of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria comes into focus, but its impact has already been devastating.

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The United States Geological Survey, which monitors and researches quakes, estimates that there’s a 47% chance that the final number of fatalities in central Turkey and northwestern Syria will land between 1,000 and 10,000.

Here are some other ways to contextualize the catastrophe.

17,500: Death toll during the last major 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey in 1999

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2000 years: Age of the Gaziantep Castle, used by Romans and Byzantines, destroyed by the quakes

30%: Chance that the loss to the Turkish economy is between $10 billion and $100 billion, per the USGS

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18.85: Value of the Turkish lira against the US dollar, a new low


The argument for reflection

Completing a bulky project and never looking back is often wildly tempting. But teams who tend to just move onto the next item on the list miss an opportunity to make their future work a lot more effective (not to mention painless).

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That’s why reflection is key, according to Atlassian’s Mark Cruth. “Doing this habitually builds psychological safety, one of the key attributes of high-performing teams,” says Cruth, who also gives advice on how to break down a retrospective into six steps that take 60 minutes total.

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Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, real tapas, and Staten Island territory 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, Morgan Haefner, and Susan Howson.