Good morning, Quartz readers!
Here’s what you need to know
Toyota reported strong third-quarter earnings. The Japanese carmaker saw a surprise 22% surge in profit, despite rising costs and a chip shortage, thanks to an increase in sales and a weak yen.
The UN and World Bank sent aid to Turkey and Syria. Thousands of people are still missing as the death toll from Monday’s twin quakes in the region surpassed 20,000.
The EU said Twitter’s disinformation report was half-assed. The tech giant’s submission was “short of data.” Meanwhile, Japan sounded a warning to Apple and Google on antitrust violations.
A power crisis prompted a state of emergency in South Africa. President Cyril Ramaphosa said daily blackouts, which have been lasting up to eight hours, are “an existential threat to our economy and social fabric.”
Exxon’s profit soared. The US oil company’s record-high 2022 earnings haven’t stopped it from pursuing an aggressive cost-cutting plan, though.
South Korea fined three German carmakers. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Volkswagen have been charged a collective $33.5 million for colluding to manipulate their diesel car emissions.
What to watch for
Rihanna, who is headlining the Super Bowl LVII halftime show this Sunday (Feb. 12), will become its first woman billionaire star. With an estimated net worth of $1.4 billion, largely coming from her business ventures in fashion and cosmetics, she is the world’s wealthiest performer—a more than fitting headliner for the most-watched television event in the US.
Here’s what else is making this year’s game one to watch:
🏈 The match up between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs is the first Super Bowl to feature two Black quarterbacks, Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes.
👬 It is also the first Super Bowl game to feature two brothers going head-to-head, Jason and Travis Kelce.
🍺 Budweiser parent company Anheuser-Busch has given up its exclusive advertising rights to the game, opening up the ad floodgates for beer and spirits brands for the first time in more than three decades.
What’s going on in East Palestine, Ohio?
On Feb. 6, an apocalyptic plume of gas rose over the village of East Palestine, Ohio, blotting out the sky. Norfolk Southern, a multibillion-dollar railway company responsible for the toxic spew of vinyl chloride, has now offered a $25,000 donation to assist the area’s nearly 5,000 residents who were ordered to evacuate their homes, or face death.
It all went off the rails, quite literally, on Feb. 3 when a Norfolk Southern tanker train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed and burst into flames.The derailment was reportedly due to a mechanical problem, but some are blaming the incident on weak safety regulations and the company’s cost-cutting measures.
Residents have now been told it’s safe to return home after air and water tests, but doubts remain. Dead fish and chickens have been found in the area, and if past incidents are any indication, vinyl chloride could harm residents’ health and the environment for years to come.
Climate lawsuits are getting personal
The directors of oil giant Shell found out yesterday that some of its investors are much more into personalized lawsuits than candy hearts.
A group of lawyer investors in the UK directly accused Shell’s 11 board leaders, including CEO Wael Sawan, of mismanaging climate change risk. Suing board directors personally may be a new line of attack from activists who argue that oil companies are causing irreparable harm to the Earth—but it’s also just the latest in an ongoing battle that has become increasingly sophisticated.
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