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🌍 Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol refuse to surrender

Ukraine holds off Russia, Twitter fends off Musk, and the IRS still hasn’t heard from 40% of Americans on tax day.

Two Ukrainian soldiers on top of a tank, wearing camouflage and one is holding a rifle.
This story was published on our Quartz Daily Brief newsletter, The concise, conversational rundown you need to start your day.
  • Michael J. Coren
By Michael J. Coren

Climate and emerging industries editor


Good morning,  Quartz readers!

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Here’s what you need to know

Ukrainian soldiers at a Mariupol steel mill refused to surrender to Russian forces. Troops remain at the giant Azovstal steelworks despite an April 17 deadline set by the Russian military to surrender.

The Pope decried the “cruel and senseless” war in Ukraine. During his Easter address, he also voiced concerns about the threat of nuclear war.

Tesla shareholders won the day. A US federal judge ruled that the case, which involved investors seeking billions of dollars in damages from Elon Musk’s 2018 tweet about taking Tesla private, is warranted.

Some 40% of US taxpayers were unaccounted for ahead of the filing deadline. The IRS said it had processed more than 103 million returns as of April 8. Last year, more than 169 million taxpayers filed returns.

Chinese ride-hailing giant DiDi will vote next month to delist from the New York Stock Exchange. The company said it will meet on May 23 to vote on delisting amid Beijing’s regulatory crackdown on big tech.

What to watch for

China’s 5.5% GDP target for 2022 is the least ambitious goal the country has had in three decades, but it’s already looking challenging in the face of ongoing lockdowns and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Tech hub Shenzhen underwent a one-week lockdown in March, while financial capital Shanghai is under an indefinite one that has slowed or halted production at firms including Tesla. Last month, French investment bank Natixis predicted the sharp reduction in mobility in China from lockdowns could shave off 1.8 percentage points from its first-quarter growth, due today.

The strongest warnings about China’s economy, however, are coming from premier Li Keqiang. Li said at a seminar last week that downward pressure on growth has intensified, and that local officials must move with “a sense of urgency” on stimulus measures such as infrastructure projects and tax reductions.

Buying food in Shanghai

An delivery worker hands a bag to a resident behind barriers in Shanghai.
Image copyright: Reuters/Aly Song

The alarm goes off, and you grab your phone to place a food order—carrots, chicken, greens, anythingusing a delivery app. Within minutes, you get a message that all the day’s slots are booked. So you open another app and start again. And again. This is life in 2022 in China’s most sophisticated city. Our latest Weekend Brief tackles the difficulties of living in Shanghai during a lockdown. ✦ Members receive the Weekend Brief right in their inboxes—that could be you, for half the price! Use code MAKEBIZBETTER to take 50% off.

A Twitter bidding war?

Twitter may now need to deal with more than one more potential acquirer. What started off as an amicable partnership after Elon Musk said he would be joining Twitter’s board has devolved into a hostile takeover attempt. Twitter has reportedly adopted a “poison pill” strategy to fend off the acquisition (Musk holds 9.2% of the social media company), but new suitors such as private equity firm Thoma Bravo and others could start a bidding war. Vanguard Group recently dethroned Musk as Twitter’s largest shareholder after increasing its stake to 10.3% of the company.

Handpicked Quartz

Here are our best stories from over the weekend.

🌬☢️ Wind surpassed nuclear power in the US for the first time on March 29—and then did it again

🧩 Game theory says the Paris Agreement looks like a winner for the climate

🐦 Twitter founder Jack Dorsey finally tweets about Elon Musk’s takeover bid

⚡️ Big electric trucks and SUVs are the new gas guzzlers⚡️🚙

🚢🚢 🏴‍☠️  Another big shipping line is refusing to export the West’s plastic waste

Surprising discoveries

The New York Public Library is expanding access to banned books. Readers 13 and older will be able to access commonly banned books through NYPL’s app, even if they’re not members.

You can’t use Times New Roman in Russia. The US company Monotype Imaging, owner of fonts like Arial and Helvetica, confirmed it blocked its font catalog for Russian users.

The key to being more than a one-hit-wonder may be novelty. New research examined the difference between Blind Melon’s “No Rain” and Shania Twain’s consistently successful music catalog. 

Condors will return to northern California’s skies for the first time in over a century. The endangered bird will be reintroduced into the wild as part of an initiative led by the Yurok Tribe.

Gut bacteria have a direct line to animals’ brains. A study by the Institut Pasteur found evidence gut bacteria can modulate appetite and temperature through molecules in the bloodstream. 

Hope for multiple sclerosis patients. Immune defenses known T-cells appear to stop or even reverse MS symptoms, according to a small study of patients’ brains.

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