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Here’s what you need to know
Oil prices rose again after dipping below $100 a barrel on Tuesday. Conflicting sentiments are recession fears and supply concerns are affecting the price.
Crypto lender Voyager filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protections. Billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto trading firm Alameda Research is its largest single creditor.
A Georgia special grand jury subpoenaed key members of the Trump campaign. It’s part of an investigation into attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Key ministers resigned from the British government. The departures of two top ministers, followed by other 11 resignations so far, signal a loss of confidence in prime minister Boris Johnson amid high-profile scandals.
Ecuador’s president named a new economy minister. The appointment comes after three ministers resigned following cost of living protests in the country.
Gen Z powered Minions 2’s box office record. The Universal Pictures’ title scored the most successful July 4th movie opening ever, thanks to meme culture.
What to watch for
The billionaires are being dropped off at summer camp. In the small Idaho resort town of Sun Valley, the well-heeled set are flying their private jets in for the annual Allen & Co.-hosted Sun Valley conference, which kicked off on Tuesday and runs through July 10. It’s been called “summer camp” for the ultra-rich, but it’s also a frequent backdrop for media merger and acquisition talks. I mean, what else would you do for some summer fun?
Among the expected attendees: Rupert Murdoch, Andy Jassy, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, and Elon Musk, who is in the middle of a much-Tweeted about media deal. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal is also invited, so there is speculation that Musk will try to use Sun Valley to potentially renegotiate his $44 billion bid to buy Twitter, which is expected to close this fall.
Turkey seeks greener pastures
Turkey is intensifying negotiations between Russia and Ukraine for a Black Sea grain corridor to relieve a global food crisis. But at home, Turkey is struggling to feed its own population, a problem that’s persisted since 2015.
As the country’s inflation rate hits 80% and food prices double, Turkey is looking to Sudan for solutions. It’s reviving a plan from 2014 to purchase a 99-year lease on 850,000 hectares of land in the White Nile basin. The original plan faced roadblocks due to ownership, storage, and political upheaval. This time, Turkey aims to grow corn, cotton, and other crops it can no longer produce due to climate change.
Turkey isn’t alone in making what has been criticized as a neo-colonial “land grab” in Africa. Wealthy countries like Britain and the US are also leasing land. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has noted that the most precious commodity countries are claiming in Africa is not land—it’s water.
Zoom in for a closer look
Want a deeper dive on the biggest stories? Quartz members get access to two more emails, the Weekend Brief, which this week looked at the legacy of the US Supreme Court, and the Forecast, which explored the future of Crispr. The emails answered two big questions:
- Why did the US Supreme Court take a hard right? The Weekend Brief showed why it’ll probably take a whole generation for America’s high court to shift away from its current hyper-partisan conservatism.
- What will Crispr enable humanity to do next? The gene editing enzyme has allowed innovation to take off at warp speed, and the Forecast explained what changes are ahead for the technology.
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Quartz’s most popular
The Eiffel Tower is getting rusty. According to a leaked report, the 133-year-old monument needs a fix-up, but only cosmetic repairs have been planned so far.
Sewage water is being used to make beer. Singapore’s “NEWbrew” is a blonde ale made from toilet water that aims to send a message about recycling.
Pokémon made 9 billion new cards last year. Hype to catch ‘em all was so high that the company printed more than a quarter of all the cards it’s ever created from 2020 to 2022.
Sand batteries can store green power for months. Finnish researchers believe they could be a simple and low-cost alternative to other energy sources.
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