Good morning, Quartz readers!
The EU gave Ukraine and Moldova candidacy for membership. It could take years or as long as a decade for the processes to be finalized.
Germany declared a gas crisis. Europe’s largest economy feels the impact of Russia cutting supply, but it has yet to mandate rationing.
Toyota recalled its first fully electric SUVs. The fleet of 2,700 vehicles was meant to challenge Tesla’s EV market dominance. The Japanese car maker also halved its stake in Uber after the ride-sharing company sold its self-driving unit.
British Airways union workers voted to strike. The decision will likely exacerbate travel disruptions that are already hitting major European airports. Meanwhile, the UK rail workers strike rolled into its second day.
Asia’s second richest person celebrated his birthday with a philanthropic pledge. Gautam Adani’s $7.7 billion commitment to social causes is less than 10% of his net worth.
Australia’s mining industry is having its #MeToo moment. A state government investigation found mining giants failed to stamp out sexual harassment and abuse at their sites.
Aung San Suu Kyi was placed in solitary confinement. Myanmar’s democratically elected leader has been under arrest since the February 2021 military coup.
China’s “618” shopping festival was not really a festival at all, with muted sales signaling bleak times ahead for the world’s largest consumer market.
E-commerce giant JingDong saw its slowest sales growth ever for the 618 event, which runs from June 1 to 18. Year-over-year gains fell to 10.3%, far lower than last year’s 28%. And in an inauspicious prelude, Li Jiaqi, one of China’s biggest e-commerce influencers, suddenly disappeared after a livestream showed a symbol linked to the Tiananmen protests.
With China’s economy still recovering from zero-covid curbs and a tech crackdown that’s just showing signs of easing, it’s hard to say whether other sales extravaganzas around the globe will face the same fate. But Amazon already saw its sky-high pandemic sales fall back to Earth during last year’s Prime Day—and that was without the record-high inflation that’ll cloud this year’s July 12-13 event.
Tale as old as time, tune as old as song—an attractive object, in this case Spirit Airlines, is being courted by two rivals. JetBlue is bigger and brawnier, but Frontier, honestly, is still a beast. This is business, not love, after all, and both airlines would get a whole lot out of a tie-up with Spirit.
Negotiations are ongoing, but JetBlue is the more desperate suitor. The four biggest carriers—American, Southwest, Delta, and United—control two thirds of the market. After that, there’s a stark drop-off in market share among the regional and budget airlines. Buying Spirit would land JetBlue in the upper echelon (or at least, close to it), but if Frontier wins, JetBlue would have to watch as it soared right over its head. As such, it’s taking desperate measures to push the deal through.
Quartz members get access to two more emails, the Weekend Brief and the Forecast, which this week will tackle two big questions.
- Did the US just waste an entire decade of low interest rates? The Weekend Brief will consider how the decision to forego investment left the US vulnerable to supply chain problems.
- Is globalization dying? The simple answer is no, but the Forecast will look at how geopolitical concerns, inequality, and political backlash are changing it.
✦ Get both in your inbox (and 40% off!) by signing up for a membership today.
The days of £20 and £50 paper banknotes are numbered. Their polymer counterparts will be the only accepted legal tender in less than 100 days.
An NFT event hired a Snoop Dogg impersonator for the hype. The “Doop Snogg” name tag kind of gave it away.
Jupiter’s growth came at the expense of baby planets. A new study supports the hypothesis that the giant gas planet owes its size to the absorption of large rocks that had planet potential.
An experimental gene therapy caused patients’ hair color to change. Doctors think it’s a sign the treatment is working.
In Colombia, brown rats are pollinators. As the rodents feast on the feijoa plant’s petals, they scrub up pollen and carry it to the next plant they visit.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, Doop Snogg tracks, and experimental hair dyes 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, Sofia Lotto Persio, Morgan Haefner, and Susan Howson.