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Shell's exit from Russia will cost billions

The energy giant says it will have to write off up to $5 billion in assets following its withdrawal a month ago.

An employee stands in front of lines of oil barrels at Royal Dutch Shell Plc's lubricants blending plant in Russia
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  • Morgan Haefner
By Morgan Haefner

Deputy email editor


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Here’s what you need to know

Shell’s exit from Russia will cost billions. The energy giant says it will have to write off up to $5 billion in assets following its withdrawal a month ago.

Big Oil denied war profiteering to a US congressional committee. But if there’s questionable behavior by these companies anywhere, it’s on their balance sheets, not at the pump.

The US sanctioned Vladimir Putin’s daughters. A new list of restricted individuals and entities also includes the families of other high-ranking Russian officials.

El Salvador’s president pulled out of the Miami bitcoin conference. Nayib Bukele is a high-profile crypto advocate, and made bitcoin legal tender last year, but withdrew from the event over problems with gang violence at home.

The UK is turning back to nuclear power. Eight new reactors are planned, alongside a much greater emphasis on renewables, but activists are unhappy with the lack of policy guidance on home insulation.

Ketanji Brown Jackson is set to be confirmed as a US Supreme Court justice. The Senate is today expected to finally approve her appointment as a replacement for Stephen Breyer, who retires in the summer.

What to watch for

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus adjusts his face mask while seated in front of a banner with the WHO logo.
Image copyright: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images
It’s not over til it’s over.

It’s World Health Day, and our global health is… not great. The covid-19 pandemic continues at two speeds: the rich world starting its fourth round of vaccination while much of the global south has far from sufficient immunization levels. In turn, this is catalyzing the emergence of new variants, prolonging the crisis.

But this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) is putting its focus beyond the current emergency and onto the more fundamental issue: protecting the planet as a way to protect our health. WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the US health secretary will meet to discuss a pretty extensive list of everything we ought to fix ASAP:

🥵 Rising temperatures

🌊 Floods

⛈️ Extreme rainfall

🏭 Air pollution

🌳 Ecosystem degradation

🚬 Tobacco production and consumption

What’s happening in Shanghai?

Three people in protective gear walk through an empty street lined with yellow bicycles.
Image copyright: Hector Retamal / Getty Images
Blocked off

What was supposed to be a short covid lockdown in Shanghai has become indefinite. The financial hub saw more than 17,000 new cases on Tuesday, surpassing the highest daily tally in Wuhan set in the pandemic’s early days.

Residents in Shanghai are at their wits end. Chaotic access to basic necessities and poor coordination between government agencies are fraying people’s nerves. More so than in previous waves, the current lockdown has shown that China doesn’t have a roadmap out of its zero-covid policy.

Need to catch up on what’s happening in Shanghai and with China’s strategy? We’ve got a reading list for you:

The neighbor Nextdoor

Nextdoor wants to be the “kinder” social media app (really, its stock ticker is $KIND). But instead of bringing neighborliness to the internet, Nextdoor has brought the neighborhood—and all its biases and opinions—online. ✦ Members got an exclusive look into Nextdoor’s growth and what it means for inclusion. Support journalism that seeks to make business better by subscribing today.

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Surprising discoveries

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An aging Japanese island opened its first restaurant. Shimaura has a shrinking population of 850 people—but they hope a local hangout will help revitalize the community.

Miami crypto enthusiasts unveiled a bionic bull statue. The parody of Wall Street’s iconic charging bovine has laser eyes.

Google banned dozens of apps harboring secret spy software. The Panamanian company that wrote the code has ties to US national security agencies.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, full-sized burgers, and Antarctic job applications 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, Annalisa Merelli, Jane Li, Nicolás Rivero, and Morgan Haefner.

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