China’s energy industry gets more juice

Former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen testified in the Senate on Tuesday.
Former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen testified in the Senate on Tuesday.
Image: Jabin Botsford/Pool via Reuters

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Here’s what you need to know

Chinese mines and power plants are getting funds. The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission ordered banks to prioritize loans for energy companies to increase output amid the country’s ongoing shortage.

US lawmakers expanded their case against Big Tech. Senators plan to use testimony from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen to toughen privacy and competition laws. Russia also still wants to fine the company for banned content that’s since been deleted.

A UK special envoy met with the Taliban in Kabul. In the first such meeting since the militant group’s takeover of Afghanistan, officials discussed humanitarian aid, safe evacuations for those who wish to leave the country, and the rights of women and girls.

The UK wants tougher laws to criminalize “disruptive” protests. The proposals came after the climate-focused group Insulate Britain shut down highways multiple times in the past month.

Future Retail gave up on its plans to operate 7-Eleven franchises. The Indian retailer said it wouldn’t be able to open stores or pay the franchisee fees as dictated in its 2019 agreement with the US convenience store brand.

The Nobel prize in physics went to three scientists who improved our understanding of climate change. It’s a recognition of how crucial the modeling of complex systems like the Earth’s climate has been—and of the existential challenge facing humanity today.

What to watch for

At the turn of the last decade, an astonishing stat did the rounds: for every £8 spent in the UK, £1 went to Tesco.

Tesco began as a few market stalls in London’s East End a century ago, before founder Jack Cohen opened his first store in northwest London in 1931. The supermarket chain—which also offers cellphone plans, a range of financial services, and gas stations—is now one of the largest retailers in the world.

Despite grocery stores being some of the only places where people could go and spend their money during lockdown, the British behemoth had a rough pandemic. Its last set of financial results, in April, showed that despite stronger sales, the higher costs of making stores safer and hiring more workers to keep up with demand and logistics sent profits plunging.

Tesco will produce a fresh set of results today, however, and will be an important measure of Britain’s recovery.

Business schools are getting more progressive…

Business schools don’t generally have the most progressive of reputations. But just like the broader business world that they seed with executives, they’re under pressure to change. The Aspen Institute, a nonprofit think tank based in Washington, just honored eight courses with its Ideas Worth Teaching Awards. Take a look at this sampling:

  • Advancing Racial Equity at Work: Examine the history of systemic racism in the workplace, and learn how it plays out in organizational behavior. (ILR School, Cornell University)
  • Big Data, Big Responsibilities: The Laws and Ethics of Business Analytics: Data plays an unavoidable role in business—explore the ethics behind using it. (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)
  • Finance for a Sustainable World: Like a Finance 101 course that integrates with environmental studies. (Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago)
  • Grand Challenges for Entrepreneurs: Analyze your own assumptions, personal values, and motives for entrepreneurship. (Foster School of Business, University of Washington)

…And writing school is in session

While you’re pondering your could-have-been (or possibly yet-to-be?) progressive business school path, ask yourself whether your writing skills need some fine-tuning. Everyone—even professional writers—can benefit from honing their writing skills. In our latest How To email, we tapped editors and writers from around our newsroom for tips on how to present your ideas well on paper, or wherever you’re writing words.

Here’s a freebie from Quartz executive editor Heather Landy, but you’ll want to check out the full version:

Economize your words. It might mean more time on your end but it means less time for the reader, and a sign of respect.

✦ We’ll keep it brief: Membership schools your inbox. Get 40% off with code QZEMAIL40.

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Surprising discoveries

Paris will try using sound sensors to fine vehicles causing noise pollution. Attention loud motorcycle owners: “Medusa” is listening.

A 2,700-year-old toilet was found in Jerusalem… The limestone throne was the height of luxury.

and a new dinosaur species was found on Ted Turner’s ranch. ​​Paleontologists initially thought the skeleton was a Torosaurus, but it’s actually a different Triceratops relative.

Depression can be treated with brain stimulation. A pacemaker-like device sends electrical impulses that counteract abnormal brain activity.

A French soccer team forfeited a cup match because of a GPS error. Their bus driver input the name of a town similar to the one where the game was to take place. It happens.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, writing tips, and old-fashioned maps to Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Hasit Shah, Morgan Haefner, Susan Howson, and Liz Webber.