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Here’s what you need to know
The Jan. 6 committee laid out the case against former US president Donald Trump. In the first public hearing on the insurrection, several of Trump’s allies rejected his claims of voter fraud.
CEOs called for legislators to address America’s “gun violence epidemic.” The letter, signed by 220 business leaders, comes as a gun reform bill passed a vote in the US House, but faces an uphill path in the Senate.
Regulators are taking a closer look at reports of Tesla’s “Autopilot” crashes. The preliminary investigation turned into an engineering analysis, which could lead to a recall.
Sriracha sauce is in short supply. The southern California-based manufacturer of the popular condiment had to suspend production after a prolonged drought caused a chili peppers shortage.
Golf’s biggest competition suspended 17 players. PGA Tour sanctioned golfers competing in the LIV Golf series, a breakaway tournament financed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
It’s still flu season. Diseases that waned due to covid-19 restrictions are coming back with a vengeance.
What to watch for
As the Russia-Ukraine war drags on, the global food crisis threatens to get worse. Russia and Ukraine together export more than a quarter of the world’s wheat. The global food system had already been weakened by covid-19 and the climate crisis, but now there’s more to keep an eye on.
Ukrainian farmers’ next harvest starts in late June. Ukraine shipped much of last summer’s crops before the war, and the silos that are undamaged are full of corn and barley. So farmers have nowhere to store their next harvest, which could rot.
Russia is still managing to sell grain. The country has stolen up to 500,000 tons of grain from Ukraine, and is trying to sell it to drought-stricken African countries.
Food’s friend gets a buzz
Another threat to global food production is a declining bee population. Bees, which contribute an estimated $217 billion to the global economy and are awfully cute, have increasingly needed protection to keep food systems secure.
This week, California gave four species of bumblebees endangered species status. The newly expanded law means bees are more likely to be kept in their native habitats, giving them a better chance for their populations to rise again.
Be careful what you ask for, Musk
Elon Musk’s latest objection to his bid to buy Twitter is that the company hasn’t provided enough information, specifically related to bot activity. But that legal argument got hosed down after Twitter threw Musk much, much more information than he asked for.
The amount of data Twitter sent Musk will be nearly impossible to parse without a team of data scientists to decipher what is bot activity and what isn’t, determine what users are “monetizable” and when they logged in, and then surmise how many bots were counted as monetizable users.
500 million: Tweets per day comprised by the data in the firehose
2019: The year Twitter came up with its own stat (monetizable daily active users) for how many people it can serve ads to
$44 billion: Cost of the deal that’s giving Musk buyer’s remorse
$1 billon: Musk’s breakup fee, but it’s not like he can just pay it and walk
Quartz’s most popular
Bring back Baywatch! There’s a lifeguard shortage in the US forcing pools to stay shut and leaving beaches unguarded.
Straw dolls resembling Vladimir Putin are popping up at Japanese shrines. The figurines are often used to put a curse on people.
Apple’s iconic “Think Different” slogan is up for grabs in the EU. The bloc’s highest court ruled the trademark was past its sell-by date.
A Galapagos giant tortoise species thought extinct a century ago is confirmed alive. She’s called Fernandina, and she may not be alone.
Half of the ads on podcasts are still read by hosts. But advertisers that want more data are testing out some other ideas. Learn what’s next in the podcast advertising space in the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, red swim trunks, and Fernandina’s friends to firstname.lastname@example.org. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Sofia Lotto Persio, Julia Malleck, Scott Nover, Morgan Haefner, Michelle Cheng, Susan Howson, and Alex Ossola.
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