🌍 Grain expectations

Plus: What’s in a Fitch rating? |

Image for article titled 🌍 Grain expectations
Photo: Reuters (Reuters)

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

Global grain supply took a hit from Russia. Drone strikes on a key Ukrainian port are part of a campaign to disrupt the country’s grain exports.

BYD is moving up in the world. The Chinese EV maker shot up 224 positions on Fortune’s Global 500 ranking—that and the inclusion of CATL indicate the rise of China’s EV power.


Donald Trump goes to court today. The former US president, who was just indicted again for efforts to overturn the 2020 election, has been summoned to appear before a magistrate in Washington, DC.

China is proposing a two-hour limit on children’s smartphone use. The law, which would lay out restrictions based on age and time of day, sent Chinese tech stocks downward.


One big number: $60 billion

Targeted valuation by Arm—the lower end of the range desired, actually—for its Nasdaq IPO this September

The British semiconductor company, owned by Japanese investment giant SoftBank, is hoping that optimism in AI-powered chips will help it achieve one of the largest market debuts in the last couple of years.

What’s in a Fitch rating?

Fitch Ratings downgraded US debt from its pristine AAA rating down to an AA+. But, as Quartz’s Nate DiCamillo explains, this won’t affect the US economy much.


Some reasons to help stave off concern:

  • For one, debt ratings matter much more for emerging economies
  • Most bond traders will keep buying US debt at the same level
  • The US Federal Reserve can essentially set the interest rates on US debt, anyway

AI isn’t going to win any Grammys just yet

Yesterday, Meta announced it has released three open-sourced generative AI models—MusicGen, AudioGen, and EnCodec—that allow users to generate music and sound effects with only a text prompt.


With its long sequences of data and, you know, heartstring-tugging abilities, music is arguably the most challenging type of audio to create. Meta acknowledged that AI, so far, doesn’t quite get it, but urges others to improve upon its models. The music industry will, no doubt, be listening closely.

Michelle Cheng will tell you all about it—and you can give it a try.

Quartz’s most popular

🥣 Tupperware meme-stock fans face a Bed Bath & Beyond-style rout

💡 Incandescent lightbulbs are now banned in the US

🚲 The company behind Helbiz e-scooters is now going after VanMoof’s e-bikes

👛 Sam Altman’s Worldcoin might unleash worse problems than those it’s trying to solve


◀️ It shouldn’t be this easy for companies to walk back their DEI commitments

😱 Why some Japanese tourists get extreme culture shock in Paris

Surprising discoveries

An ancient whale is the new biggest creature on record... Perucetus—found in Peru—was certainly huge, certainly slow, and probably a peaceful manatee-esque giant.


..and an ancient jellyfish is the new oldest jellyfish on record. It’s been a big week for surprising fossils, especially since gelatinous creatures don’t exactly fossilize easily.

Gen Zers are realizing they’re the true fossils. Gen Alpha’s bizarre “Skibidi Toilet” memes are making the youngs feel like olds.


The heat is reducing working hours. Climate change effects are real, and they’re affecting small businesses.

“Darkroomcore” is the latest dining aesthetic. Hope everyone’s fine with “Phoneflashlightcore,” as we’ll all need to use those to see the menus.


Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, light-up menus, and fun new fossils 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.