🌎 EU says use less gas

Pipes at the landfall facilities of the ‘Nord Stream 1’ gas pipeline.
Pipes at the landfall facilities of the ‘Nord Stream 1’ gas pipeline.
Image: Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke

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Here’s what you need to know

The EU urged member states to cut gas use 15% until March. The warning comes as Russia is expected to restart gas deliveries via the Nord Stream pipeline well below normal volumes.

Two UK conservatives will face off to become prime minister. Foreign secretary Liz Truss  is favored to defeat ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak in the race to succeed Boris Johnson.

Spain and Portugal reported at least 1,169 deaths during a record heat wave. Firefighters are still battling blazes in France, Spain, and Portugal as the heat wave moves east.

The US housing market is starting to cool. Potential buyers are being priced out of the market as home prices hit record highs.

Sri Lanka’s parliament picked an establishment leader to replace its ousted president. Ranil Wickremesinghe’s election will likely spur more backlash from protesters.

UK shoe brand Manolo Blahnik won a 22-year trademark fight in China. The company can finally do business in the country under its own name thanks to recent reforms in Chinese intellectual property laws.

Six countries froze debt payments from Ukraine. The US, UK, Japan, Germany, France, and Canada called on other creditors to join them in giving Ukraine more time to repay its loans.

What to watch for

As the US Federal Reserve mulls another 75 basis point interest rate hike next week, the European Central Bank (ECB) is expected today to announce its first rate increase in more than a decade.

The ECB’s decision, which affects 19 euro zone member countries, is part of a worldwide trend of tightening monetary policy in the face of rising inflation that’s been driven by supply chain issues related to the covid pandemic and aggravated by the Russia-Ukraine war.

The expected hike would follow moves last week by central bankers in Canada, who increased rates by a full-percentage point, and in the Philippines, who upped them by a surprise 0.75 percentage point. The Bank of England anticipated a half point hike in August. Bucking the trend is Japan, whose central bank is expected to leave rates unchanged—at least for now.

interest rates predictions in US, UK, Euro zone, Argentina, Japan

What does declaring a climate emergency do?

14%: Portion of the world population that’s under a formal climate emergency

As several parts of the world have baked in deadly heat waves the last few weeks, pressure is growing on countries to declare a climate emergency. But what does the formal acknowledgement do, exactly?

There’s not a shared definition of a climate emergency. In some places, it’s a legal acknowledgement of an immediate disaster and a way to access resources. For others, it signifies commitments to reduce the impact of climate change. And for some, it is just a symbolic recognition of an existential threat.

Since 2016, at least 2,248 administrations—including cities, states, and nations—have declared a climate change emergency globally. And while it’s a step, it’s not really a solution to a long-term, society-wide problem like climate change.

Hollywood should fast forward to the 1990s

Hollywood knows nostalgia is big money, and as of late has been totally obsessed with the 1980s. There’s this show called Stranger Things, for one, but other recent 1980s-focused projects include Wonder Woman 1984, It, Mindhunter, and Narcos, just to name a few.

But it might be time for the movie industry to wake up, Chrissy, and set its sights on the 1990s. The thematic inclinations of the US public point to a love of the 1990s that Hollywood isn’t fully tapping into, compared with the mountain of 1980s ephemera currently being shown in theaters and on television.

A bar chart showing which decade is each generation's favorite. The 1990s are the favorite of millennials and gen x.

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Authorities found an illicit vodka pipeline on the Ukrainian border. In the Soviet era, smugglers used pipes like this to transport cheap vodka into neighboring Moldova.

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