🌎 The Big Smoky Apple

Plus: PGA + LIV = ?
🌎 The Big Smoky Apple

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

New York is, for the moment, the world’s most polluted city. Smoke from Canadian wildfires drifted across the northeastern US, and New Yorkers are being urged to stay indoors and not go running on Global Running Day.

Sequoia, a powerhouse in tech investing, is splitting its China and US units. The sever underscores the growing geopolitical tensions that are complicating business between the world’s two largest economies.

Microsoft was fined for holding onto children’s data without parents’ consent. The $20 million fee was related to personal information it collected from kids who gamed on Xboxes.

Thousands of people were displaced after a dam collapsed in Ukraine. Both Russian and Ukrainian forces blamed each other. Major flooding is expected in 80 towns near Nova Kakhovka.

India’s deadliest train crash is partly a story of misused funds

India’s worst train crash in 20 years is putting the spotlight on Indian Railways. The state-run transportation system has been accused of not spending enough on safety despite funds being allocated for that purpose.

Now, a new report is giving these allegations some tracks. Quartz’s Niharika Sharma looked into what the data suggests.

Image for article titled 🌎 The Big Smoky Apple
Graphic: Niharika Sharma

Saudi Arabia is blatantly sportswashing

In a stunning about-face, the PGA Tour is merging with LIV Golf, a tour that has widely been seen as a “sportswashing” effort by Saudi Arabia—a way to repair its political image through the prestige of professional sports.

The deal ends both the flamewar between the two tours and an ongoing antitrust battle over the PGA’s market dominance. But as Quartz’s Scott Nover explains, the mega-merger does anything but tee up competition within golf as an industry.

The SEC’s Coinbase lawsuit is risky

“I could imagine this Supreme Court taking away authority from the SEC by refining what an investment contract is.”

—Todd Phillips, a former FDIC lawyer, now a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute

Read more about why the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit against cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has the potential to significantly diminish either the crypto industry’s presence in the US, or the power of the SEC itself.

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An Oklahoma school has become the first to dismantle the wall between church and state

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Surprising discoveries

China got tired of importing durian. The country’s first homegrown harvest still won’t satisfy consumers’ ravenous need for the famously gross-smelling “king of fruit.”

Mussels could rid the oceans of microplastics. However, it would take a terrifying number of the mollusks to make a big impact.

The mountains are in the planet. Studying seismic activity has clued researchers into deep-Earth mountains, the origin of which nobody fully understands.

That ducking annoying Apple autocorrect won’t be a problem anymore. Just when we’ve begun to embrace it!

Professional soccer players are using AI to filter out racist online abuse. GoBubble, the maker of Emotion AI, has found a very niche market.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, beautiful-smelling fruit, and underground hiking boots to talk@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Susan Howson, Morgan Haefner, and Samanth Subramanian.