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Here’s what you need to know
Global supply chain problems are receding. But executives and economists say we’ll have to wait until next year for a return to normal.
Five people died after a car drove into a US holiday parade. Dozens more were injured when a red SUV hit a crowd in Waukesha, Wisconsin. One person is in custody.
Ambani and Paytm triggered India’s stock market woes. The Sensex fell for a fourth straight day after Paytm’s disappointing IPO, and Reliance’s collapsed Saudi Aramco deal.
Anti-lockdown protests erupted in Europe. Thousands of people oppose new covid-19 restrictions across the EU as cases rise, and many refuse vaccinations.
London’s new east-west railway began final tests. The long-overdue Elizabeth Line, Europe’s biggest infrastructure project, was scheduled to be completed in 2018.
Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai said she’s safe. A video call with Olympic officials confirmed she’d resurfaced several weeks after accusing a former Chinese minister of sexual assault.
What to watch for
Zoom, the video conferencing darling, is expected to report more than $1 billion in revenue for the second straight quarter today. Growth has slowed for the company after surging 326% year over year in 2020, as workers return to offices. The company also faces fierce competition from Facebook, Microsoft Teams, and Verizon.
But Zoom’s market is only likely to grow: Company executives have promised a “new normal” with an annual growth rate of around 50% as many workers say they prefer a hybrid work environment that combines office and work-from-home options. Corporate America appears to be on board: Zoom’s enterprise contracts with large employers more than doubled last quarter.
Why US gas prices are surging
Gasoline prices across the US are rising. After the national average price for regular gas bottomed out beneath $2 per gallon in April 2020, it has shot back up to $3.32—the highest it’s been since 2014, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
There’s a simple explanation for why US gas prices are rising: It’s yet another instance of the pandemic throwing supply and demand out of whack. The EIA predicts that gas prices will peak in November and fall steadily for the following year.
The asynchronous age
Our mass acclimation to remote (pandemic) work has accelerated a movement that not only sees being in the office as optional, but real-time communication and synchronized work schedules as well. That’s asynchronous work, and it’s here to stay.
By the digits:
5: Hours per day that nine out of 10 workers spent checking messenger apps
20%: Share of time by which the average meeting has shrunk since the pandemic began
1 in 4: Ratio of workers who said they would take a 10% to 20% pay cut to work flexibly after the pandemic
$317 billion: Estimated amount companies spent on information technology for remote work in 2020
Asynchronous work was the topic of our latest Forecast email, which offers Quartz members a sharp look at an emerging trend. ✦ Read the Forecast and other exclusive emails during your free one-week trial.
🚢 Shipping lines have reached the peak of their pricing power
📜 Cryptocurrency investors tried to buy the US Constitution at Sotheby’s
💵 How to protect your money from inflation
🎮 Activision Blizzard is clinging to its embattled CEO
🌾 The twists that forced Modi’s U-turn on controversial farm laws
🎤 Spotify is taking aim at the karaoke industry
Scientists found a new phase of water. The “weird, hot, black” superionic ice is made by taking a laser to water crushed between two diamonds.
Monarch butterflies are rebounding. After years of decline, the species has been seen coating eucalyptus in California “like orange lace.”
Tesla drivers got locked out of their cars. It turns out app keys aren’t useful during outages.
Researchers are on the quest for the ultimate chickpea. A map of the legume’s genome may help farmers seed more climate-resistant crops…
…Which could have been useful in 1945, when the US paid farmers to plant an invasive legume. It didn’t go well. Listen to the latest episode of our Quartz Obsession podcast on kudzu to find out why.
🎧 Listen to all this season’s episodes on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | Stitcher
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, new variations of ice, and your best legume recipes 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 Hasit Shah, Michael Coren, Lila MacLellan, Nicolás Rivero, and Morgan Haefner.