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Here’s what you need to know
The World Bank cut its outlook for the global economy. The agency said the Russia-Ukraine war and high inflation will likely slow growth to 2.9% this year, down from 5.7% in 2021.
Russia claimed to gain more control of the eastern part of Ukraine. The advance comes as the US and UK have stepped up supplying sophisticated weapons to Ukraine.
Sri Lanka said it needs $5 billion to ensure basic living standards. The country is facing its worst economic crisis in seven decades as it deals with a shortage of essential items such as fuel and medicine.
Pakistan will reduce its work week from six to five days to save energy. The country has been hit by hours-long power outages, with high demand outstripping generation in the summer.
Thousands of South Korean truckers went on strike. The protest over wage changes could slow the export of goods from the country.
Climate crisis costs are up over 800%. Not only is the need for extreme weather-related humanitarian funding higher, but donor nations are having trouble keeping up.
What to watch for
Tencent is officially shuttering its streaming service Penguin Esports this week, citing changes to its business strategy. The change comes months after Chinese regulators blocked a $6 billion merger between two other streaming platforms where Tencent holds a sizable stake: Huya and Douyu.
China’s hostile attitude toward the gaming industry is nothing new. In recent years, it has suspended game title approval and banned children’s playing time for video games. No new game titles were approved for sale in May this year, while 60 were approved for June but none for Tencent and NetEase, the industry’s largest players.
This trend is likely to continue. Beijing’s targeted crackdown, which led to the closure of 14,000 game studios between July 2021 and April 2022, is pushing companies to pivot their business overseas. Just last month, NetEase announced the opening of its first US-based studio in Texas as it seeks new opportunities for growth.
Now hiring: Starbucks CEO
Howard Schultz’s third stint as Starbucks CEO is set to end in March as the company zeros in on a new leader it hopes to name by this fall. According to the Wall Street Journal, the coffee chain isn’t interested in another Schultz. In fact, it’s only considering external candidates, and Schultz has asked some executives, who’ve been at the organization for more than 15 years, to step down.
What will make the best CEO candidate for a global coffee giant that’s looking to stir things up? Here are a few qualifications that might move someone to the top of the list:
- Ability to respond to growing unionization pressure
- Use of the shifts app
- Obsessed with NFTs
- Experience with digital tipping
- Prefers iced lattes to go (but coffee experience isn’t mandatory)
The big business of podcasts
Question: Which fact is true of Quartz Obsession podcast listeners?
1. 50% live in the US
2. 6% live in Sweden
3. They listen on Apple Podcast and Spotify the most
4. Nearly all finish each episode
Answer: Trick question. They’re all true!
As with most things on the internet, data collection has become a big part of the podcasting business. But there’s still limitations for podcasters who want to really understand and grow their audience. Get meta with us and learn all about the business of podcasting in the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast.
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Quartz’s most popular
KFCs in Australia are putting cabbage in their burgers. Faced with a lettuce shortage, the fried chicken chain told customers that it will use a crispy blend of the two greens.
Meet delivery workers’ worst fear: A giant box of cat litter. Imagine needing to place a 40-pound box of Dr. Elsey’s waste collector on a doorstep sans handle cutouts.
Before they were McNuggets, chickens were status symbols. Researchers say the domestication of chickens may have occurred some 3,500 years ago in what is now Thailand.
Bumblebees are fish, according to a California court. The unanimous ruling straightened out a legal debate between conservationists and farmers over a half-century-old endangered species law.
Licking fish roe from one’s fist is all the rage. The caviar “bump” is a no-frills way to eat a pricey delicacy.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, lettuce substitutes, and a 40-pound bag of cat food to firstname.lastname@example.org. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Julia Malleck, Michelle Cheng, and Morgan Haefner.
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