Good morning, Quartz readers!
Here’s what you need to know
Donald Trump allegedly sought to lead the 2021 Capitol attack. The revelation comes from a star witness who took the stand yesterday in the US House committee hearings on the Jan. 6 attack.
A Texas judge suspended an old anti-abortion law. In Tennessee, meanwhile, a new abortion ban went into effect. The Biden administration has announced an “action plan” in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The US Federal Trade Commission is suing Walmart. The retailer has been accused of enabling scammers. Texas has also opened an investigation into its sale of opioids.
Tesla laid off about 200 employees. The EV-maker proceeded with planned job cuts, firing mostly hourly workers from the autopilot team.
The US will step up monkeypox vaccine distribution. Nearly 300,000 doses of the vaccine will be distributed across states in the coming weeks.
Exxon and Imperial are selling their Canada assets to Whitecap. The Canadian public oil company will acquire the jointly owned shale assets for $1.5 billion.
NATO is set to expand eastward. Turkey has lifted its block on Sweden and Finland’s bids to join the military alliance.
What to watch for
A heavily protested NATO summit in Madrid, which opened yesterday and lasts through tomorrow, is shaping up to be a key meeting for the future of the war in Ukraine, with Russia and China sitting at the center of security discussions.
The top agenda items have been military support for Ukraine and bolstering defenses in eastern Europe. Heads of state are also expected to consider Finland and Sweden’s bids to join the military alliance, and formerly opposed Turkey now seems to be on board.
In a counter to China’s influence, this will be the first summit where NATO’s Asia partners, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea, get a seat at the table. As the bloc drafts a new Strategic Concept for the next decade, China’s naval ambitions in the Indo-Pacific and Africa will likely also be a priority security concern.
What’s up with wheat?
Wheat prices, which have ballooned because of the war in Ukraine, pandemic-fueled supply chain shortages, and severe weather, are finally deflating. In the US, the price for a bushel of wheat fell to $9.39 yesterday, down 27% from its record high in March of $12.94, a level not seen since Russia’s invasion began.
The decline in wheat prices is just one sign that food inflation may have peaked. But why the drop? The markets are responding to Russia and Turkey saying they want to discuss a safe passage to ship Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea, which could free up millions of metric tons of grains that are stuck in Ukrainian ports. Just how much wheat will be available will depend on which ports have been destroyed or need de-mining.
Where global air travel is still behind
The pace of global air travel’s great recovery differs across the world. While demand in North America this year will almost be equal to that of 2019, Africa’s numbers will be significantly lower.
Quartz Africa reporter Alexander Onukwue wrote about why the rebound in passengers taking to the sky will be slowest in Africa this year in the latest Quartz Africa Weekly. Keep up with the continent by signing up today (it’s free!) and reading our latest edition.
Quartz’s most popular
🐘 The C-suite is becoming more Republican and more partisan
🖍 Why India’s ed-tech stars are going all in on offline education
🏐 Are you ready for the Top Gun universe?
🔑 One London insurance group is the key to squeezing Russia’s oil revenues
🏃♀️ How much is Kate Bush making from “Running Up That Hill”?
👋 Why are India’s crypto exchanges moving to Singapore and Dubai?
Having a hard shell could be the answer to anti-aging. That’s just one theory behind why reptiles have such long lifespans.
Simba the baby goat has 18-inch long ears. Born in Pakistan last month, this kid has the droopiest ears around.
Do you have space rocks or cockroaches belonging to NASA? The space agency is staking its claim on some precious Apollo 11 samples.
You could get carded for tea and coffee in Wales. People under the age of 16 might be banned from purchasing caffeinated beverages to address health concerns.
Airbnb is grounding house parties. But in a mixed messaging move, it also lifted the 16-person limit on rentals.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, shells to age in, and banned teas 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, Susan Howson, Morgan Haefner, and Samanth Subramanian.