🌍 An offshore paradox

Plus: Italy has joiner’s remorse |

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Photo: Andy Buchanan (Reuters)

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The UK will drill for more oil in the North Sea. As part of a flawed balancing act, prime minister Rishi Sunak also announced grants for carbon capture projects in Scotland.

China’s factory activity shrank for the fourth month in a row. The ever-weakening economic numbers come as the country’s export ban on gallium and germanium takes effect today.


Foxconn will spend $500 million to build two factories in India. The new investment from the Taiwanese Apple supplier follows its decision to exit a $19.5 billion joint venture with Indian metals-to-oil conglomerate Vedanta.

Twitter’s “X” sign is being investigated. The sign now crowning the company’s headquarters in San Francisco has been burned into the retinas of all those in the vicinity.


Meta stock is creeping toward an all-time high

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Illustration: Ananya Bhattacharya

Mark Zuckerberg’s “year of efficiency” is paying off. Meta’s stock is back with a vengeance, nearly tripling in value since the start of 2023. Quartz’s Ananya Bhattacharya explains why investors are back.

One big number: 35

Cities where Orb (an eye scanner) is collecting biometrics, in exchange for Worldcoin (a biometric cryptocurrency)


In Nairobi—one of the 35 cities where Orb is making iris codes—Quartz reporter Faustine Ngila collected firsthand accounts of fraud and privacy concerns related to Worldcoin. Read about why there’s reason to believe the digital ID will unleash worse problems than those it tries to solve.

Quotable: Italy has joiner’s remorse

“Improvised and heinous act”—Rome’s defense minister Guido Crosetto, during an interview on July 30, describing the Italian government’s decision to join China’s transcontinental development project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).


The BRI was launched in 2013 by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, with Italy signing on in 2019. It aims to spearhead China-led development projects around the world, but in Crosetto’s opinion, has only been a double negative for Italy.

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British aristocrats in the 18th century hired hermits to live in their gardens... Dream jobs do exist.


… and a zoo in China is insisting it didn’t hire humans to wear Malaysian sun bear costumes. For one, an outdoor temperature of 104°F (40°C) would make that too hot, a spokesperson said.

A 2-degree change in the orientation of Voyager 2’s antenna has left it unable to communicate with Earth. NASA thinks the spacecraft’s silence is a temporary problem.


There’s a new avocado variety. It’s called the Luna, and it could make harvesting easier.

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