🌍 US presses EU to sanction Russia

🌍 US presses EU to sanction Russia

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Here’s what you need to know

The US wants Europe to help sanction Russia. Pressure from the US comes as diplomatic talks have hit “a dead end,” Russia’s deputy foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Thursday. Poland’s foreign minister has also warned of the increasing likelihood of war.

Prince Andrew lost his military title. The Duke of York, who faces sexual assault allegations in the US, returned all royal patronages to the Queen.

A US covid-19 vaccine mandate was struck down. The Supreme Court blocked a requirement that affected 80 million workers, but allowed one for healthcare workers to stay. Separately, the White House will now send 1 billion at-home tests to Americans.

More cases of “Havana Syndrome” were found among US diplomats. The mysterious ailment, which can cause cognitive impairments, came from suspected attacks against officials in Geneva and Paris.

SpaceX launched 105 satellites. It’s the second successful mission by Elon Musk’s company this year.

Microsoft discontinued Xbox One. The software giant said it’s focusing on new consoles.

What to watch for

Banks, which kick off earnings season today, will offer an interesting glimpse into the economy. Three aspects of their business in particular might indicate where we are at this stage of the pandemic:

⬇️ Trading: After a bumper 2020—courtesy of covid-related market volatility—activity at banks’ trading desks has been dropping. Though the trading business is still likely higher than it was pre-pandemic, it’s expected to generate lower profits than last year.

⬆️ Lending: Loans, on the other hand, are recovering after plummeting earlier in the pandemic. As consumers go through extra savings padded by stimulus checks, they are borrowing more. (And banks are set up to make more money off lending from higher interest rates in 2022.)

⬆️ Deals: Investment banking business has been booming, as overall business picks up and companies pour extra cash into deals. The trend is expected to continue—barring any pandemic surprises or detours.

It’s up to you, Maersk

It’s not been a great week for climate change news—data emerged that showed the last seven years were the hottest in recorded history. But simultaneously, the world’s second-largest shipping line pledged to make its business carbon neutral by 2040 and expanded its net-zero emissions pledge to include the emissions from its energy consumption and supply chains.

A bar chart showing the striking difference between the cargo capacity of Maersk's entire fleet and its 12 new methanol-powered ships, with the entire fleet encompassing 4.28 million 20-foot equivalent units, and the new ships encompassing 0.19 of them.

The rest of the shipping industry is lagging, but Maersk’s announcement raises the pressure on its rivals, all of whom are sitting on billions of dollars of pandemic profits, to cut emissions more aggressively. It’s in their interest to catch up: Ambitious climate goals are a key selling point to discerning customers in a cutthroat industry.

The happy, healthy approach to productivity

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Surprising discoveries

French dressing was freed. The salad topper will no longer be held to strict, 72-year-old standards in the US.

The supply chain came for fries. Backed-up ports and an unexpected fungus have ruined potato snacking in Japan and Kenya.

Have you heard of the latest juice cleanse? Thanks to shrinking crops, prices for Florida oranges will really empty out your wallet.

A UK surgeon can’t practice anymore after he branded organs. Two patients had his initials etched on their livers.

An inventor made a nasal ranger. The 14-inch long instrument measures smells.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, deregulated condiments, and freshly squeezed oranges to hi@qz.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 Nicolás Rivero, Ana Campoy, Susan Howson, and Morgan Haefner.