Deputy email editor
Good morning, Quartz readers!
Here’s what you need to know
Covid cases hit a milestone. Worldwide, 400 million infections have been counted, as South Korea and other Asian countries face a post-Lunar New Year surge. Elsewhere, a covid lockdown was extended in Tonga, and the US will roll out jabs to kids younger than age 5.
Evergrande promised 600,000 apartments this year. The indebted Chinese property developer said cheap sales of its assets aren’t going to fix its problems.
Demonstrators in Canada blocked a US border crossing. Transit via the Ambassador Bridge in Ontario—where 30% of annual trade between the two countries takes place—has been disrupted by covid vaccine and restriction protesters.
The Olympic medal ceremony for team figure skating was delayed. The Russian Olympic Committee took gold, but officially undisclosed legal issues—reported to be related to a failed drug test—have halted the awards.
We’ll be following the developments in our Beijing 2022 Olympics email. Sign up by hitting the button below.
What to watch for
Today, US economists expect to see inflation numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that would imply a 7.3% increase on an annual basis and 0.5% increase on a monthly basis.
The data will come from the BLS’s Consumer Price Index report and will be the first economic look at the beginning of 2022, indicating how much omicron affected inflation after throwing a wrench in the gears of manufacturing.
Even though the Federal Reserve uses a different inflation report (Personal Consumption Expenditure) to make its interest rate decisions, the rate of inflation in January will influence how many times the central bank hikes interest rates this year.
Activist shareholders are going to have a productive year
Investors in the US bulk retailer Costco are mad as hell about the company being a laggard on climate change, and they’re not going to take it anymore. Recently, 70% of them voted to call on the company to set a strategy for eliminating carbon emissions from its value chain by 2050. According to investor advocacy group Ceres, it was the first time for such a net-zero proposal to pass at any company.
2022 will likely be a historic year for climate-focused activist shareholders, who have long lingered on the sidelines of companies’ annual general meetings, but are now gaining support for their proposals, and racking up wins. In the US, shareholder resolutions aren’t binding, but a company could very well lose support from its board if it doesn’t pay attention.
You’re going to have a productive day
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How much energy can two colliding hydrogens make? Right now, only enough to boil some water, but it’s still a nuclear fusion breakthrough.
The kids of Italy’s last king would like the crown jewels, please. They don’t think the treasure should stay in the country’s central bank.
A geomagnetic storm ate 40 SpaceX satellites. At least there’s nine left?
Coffee prices soared to a 10-year high. This saddens us a-latte.
Egg freezing can cost as much as $20,000. But that’s not stopping more and more women from doing it. Learn why on the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, Italian jewels, and bags of roasted beans 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 Nate DiCamillo, Tim McDonnell, Susan Howson, and Morgan Haefner.
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