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Here’s what you need to know
Japan is receiving its first Olympic athletes. Thirty players and staff from the Australian women’s softball team arrive in Tokyo today, as the Japanese Olympic Committee starts vaccinating the first of 1,600 athletes and coaches.
“Bah!” China’s parents aren’t into its three-child pivot. Critics of the government’s new policy, including many young Chinese, cite the country’s lack of an inclusive childcare system.
India saw 1.6% GDP growth for the three months ending in March. But those figures predate its second wave. One forecast suggests India’s GDP will shrink by at least 7.3% for the fiscal year it kicked off in April.
Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open. The tennis star was fined $15,000 and warned of possible expulsion after refusing to speak to media on Saturday, citing the impact on her mental health.
Malaysia is entering a two-week lockdown. To counter the inevitable economic impact, prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced a $9.7 billion stimulus package that includes direct payments to low-income households.
The United Nations wants a “global pandemic treaty,” preferably before the next outbreak. At the agency’s annual health assembly, the UN’s director-general lambasted the current pandemic’s “lack of sharing of data, information, pathogens, technologies, and resources.”
Texas is close to finalizing a restrictive voting rights bill. Democrats temporarily blocked passage of Senate Bill 7, which limits early and mail-in voting, and solidifies Texas as the hardest place to vote in the US.
What to watch for
US president Joe Biden is set to visit Tulsa, Oklahoma today to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
In 1921, Tulsa’s Greenwood District was a haven from the Jim Crow South—its 35 blocks of Black-owned businesses came to be known as Black Wall Street. But starting on May 31, tensions with Tulsa’s white residents turned violent. Hundreds of Tulsa’s Black residents were killed in the ensuing conflict, and Greenwood was left in ashes.
Biden’s visit comes one week after the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death, and amid sustained calls for meaningful change when it comes to racial injustice in America. Here’s your anti-racism to-do list:
- If you’re in the C-suite. Hire chief diversity and inclusion officers, and empower them to disrupt existing practices and HR policies.
- If you’re a business leader. Prioritize and invest in equity and inclusion efforts, change corporate policies, engage in transparent business practices, and partner with community organizations.
- If you’re a venture capitalist. Provide entrepreneurs of different backgrounds with space for ideation, access to world-class technology, true mentorship, and a supportive community.
- If you’re just you. Foster and participate in productive conversations about race in the workplace. Make sure those conversations are honest and have clear goals, and that they don’t put the work of solving racism on your colleagues of color.
- No matter who you are. Take a tour through the New York Times’ 3D model of the Greenwood neighborhood as it was before the destruction.
Timing Covid comebacks
Seven countries—including the US and China—have already seen their GDP per capita return to pre-pandemic standing, according to a recent report from the OECD. But across the global economy, countries’ individual pace of recovery depends on vaccine rollouts and public health policies.
When will everyone return to pre-pandemic GDP per capita? You can check out the full list of 46 countries here, and start marking your calendar:
Right about now: 🇰🇷 🇺🇸
End of this year: 🇩🇪 🇮🇳
Next summer: 🇬🇧 🇨🇦
After 2022: 🇲🇽 🇿🇦
What’s the one skill all business journalists should have? …other than the gift of side-eye. Business journalism offers a variety of opportunities to learn new skills, and reporters new to the field don’t have to know everything going in. On June 2 from 12pm-1pm Eastern, we’ll host speakers that include LA Times business editor Nour Malas and Washington Post reporter Tracy Jan to discuss the skills every business journalist should work on—and which ones they should master.
Quick, without googling: What does SPAC stand for?
- Special purpose acquisition company
- Spending plenty above capitalization
- Sensitive Ponzi accounting construct
- Shaq positioning around close
If you guessed A, you’d be right (though we think C deserves consideration). SPACs aren’t new, but they are trendy right now, and at some point someone somewhere is going to ask for your thoughts. Our latest presentation has you covered: It gets into how SPACs work, why they’re hot these days, and what the trade-offs are with a traditional IPO. Also, Shaq does make an appearance.
✦ To steal these slides—and enjoy the rest of Quartz sans paywall—try membership free for a week.
✊ Journalists are exposing India’s true Covid-19 death toll
💰 America’s labor shortage is just a wage shortage
💉 About half of most vaccines get wasted
📈 This is the inflation the US was expecting
👂 Senegal is preserving its oral history in a podcast
🇨🇳 China’s bitcoin mining crackdown is getting real
(Psst.☝️ We put the last one outside the paywall—it’s that good.)
Salon hair cuttings are used to mop up oil spills. Cotton or nylon tubes packed with hair, known as “hair-booms,” can be placed on beaches to stop oil spills from spreading
Major League Baseball had its 2 millionth run. Baseball’s first recorded run was on April 22, 1876, in a game between the Boston Red Stockings (now the Atlanta Braves) and the Philadelphia Athletics (RIP).
There are more boats on UK canals today than in the 18th century. Rising house prices and lingering travel restrictions have created a surge in popularity for houseboats.
The US invented basketball..but didn’t qualify for one of its Olympics events. The American team was eliminated ahead of three-on-three’s Tokyo debut.
Australian scientists discovered a “chocolate frog.” The new species of tree frog, with brown skin instead of green, was found in the lowland rainforest of New Guinea.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, SPAC definitions, and unexpected uses of human hair to email@example.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Amanda Shendruk and Kira Bindrim.