Good morning, Quartz readers!
Here’s what you need to know
The World Health Organization’s chief warned against assuming the pandemic is nearly over. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wants nations to stay alert for additional variants. Meanwhile, the famously strict lockdown in Xian, China was lifted yesterday after four days of zero new cases.
Burkina Faso’s military says it has overthrown the president. The army’s televised statement alluded to Roch Kaboré’s failure to counteract Islamist insurgents.
A US aircraft carrier joined NATO forces in the Mediterranean. NATO is shoring up its eastern borders as Russia prepares for large-scale naval exercises.
US markets are in flux. Tensions around a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine joined expected interest rate hikes to send tech stocks, travel stocks, and bitcoin spiraling, though the market recovered when investors swooped in to buy the sizable dip.
Google is facing lawsuits about collecting location data. Three US states as well as Washington DC say users were deceived into believing they had turned off tracking.
Meta is building an AI supercomputer it says will be the fastest in the world. AI Research SuperCluster will help identify harmful content, the company said in a blog post.
What to watch for
The latest round of tech earnings reports kicks off today with Microsoft, where only one thing is on investors’ minds: gaming. The PC pioneer announced last week it will buy the video game publisher Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, its largest-ever corporate purchase.
Beyond new revenue numbers, investors will be all ears to learn about the future of Microsoft’s gaming business, how the company will integrate into Microsoft’s existing infrastructure, and how the company plans to convince antitrust regulators to okay the deal. But, as is often the case with earnings calls, what analysts ask might be more interesting than what executives disclose.
Assessing companies’ climate targets
The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) gives companies a process for making meaningful, and measurable, emissions reduction goals rooted in climate science. A group of 243 companies have set targets to reach net-zero emissions before 2050, on top of committing to reductions in line with limiting global temperatures to 1.5ºC higher than pre-industrial levels. These companies include some well-known names: Microsoft, Walmart, and IKEA.
We’ve gathered data on those 243 companies and visualized their ambitious near-term targets. Check out the interactive graphic.
In China, Fight Club has a different ending. Spoiler: Tyler does not destroy consumerism and is instead punished by the state.
Fortune awaits for those willing to seek it out… A British metal detectorist found England’s oldest gold coin, which just sold at auction for £648,000 ($874,000).
…And for those willing to check their spam folder. In defense of one US woman’s email provider, a message saying “You’ve won the lottery!” sure does not seem legit.
The James Webb Space Telescope has reached its destination. A million miles in a month is harder than it sounds.
Marijuana has outpaced alcohol in tax dollars for Massachusetts. Retailers have generated $2.54 billion in gross sales since they opened up shop in late 2018. Analysts suspect that changing and diverging attitudes about cannabis and alcohol are to thank. If your attitude about alcohol has involved taking a step back, here’s our guide to taking a month (or more!) off. ✦ Try a seven-day free trial of Quartz membership for access to all of our member-exclusive emails.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, alternate movie endings, and winning lottery emails 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 Scott Nover, Amanda Shendruk, Lila MacLellan, Liz Webber, and Susan Howson.
- THEY NEED TO KNOWThis is the photographic evidence presented in a lawsuit over fast-food burger sizesQuartz • May 25, 2022
- WEST COAST WOESWhich US states have the highest gas prices?Quartz • May 24, 2022
- INTERESTED PARTYWhy is Google laying a subsea internet cable in Africa?Quartz Africa • May 27, 2022
- UNRETIREDAll the reasons why so many near-retirees are going back to workQuartz • May 27, 2022
- UNPRECEDENTEDCanadian intelligence experts are worried about the polarized, unpredictable USQuartz • May 25, 2022
- MOVING TARGETTarget can’t keep up with its customers’ changing shopping habitsQuartz • May 18, 2022
- IT'S TIME FOR SOME GAME THEORYA Harvard economist summarizes his class on monopolies in 54 tweetsQuartz • May 27, 2022
- TRAVEL APARTHEIDHow powerful is your country’s passport?Quartz • January 16, 2022