Briefing of July 6, 2022 — Quartz

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Here’s what you need to know

Key ministers have resigned from the UK government. The departures of two senior ministers, along with the Conservative Party vice-chairman and junior lawmakers, signaled a loss of confidence in Prime Minister Boris Johnson amid high-profile scandals.

China opens more international flights. Routes to Russia and the Philippines are being added as covid restrictions ease. However, authorities remain cautious as covid cases have increased in Macau and mass testing has intensified in Shanghai.

Restaurants and hotels in India are not allowed to charge service tax. The country’s regulators have said customers must be free to choose whether to tip and by how much.

Italy is experiencing its worst drought in 70 years. A state of emergency was declared in five regions along the Po River and a number of towns began to ration water.

Sri Lanka has asked its citizens abroad to send dollars home. The country needs foreign currency to replenish itself with oil, which is in critical shortage.

Scandinavian Airlines SAS has filed for bankruptcy. The announcement comes as 1,000 of its pilots have gone on strike. About half of its daily flights are expected to be canceled.

Malaysian chicken farmers have called for an end to Singapore’s export ban. They argue that domestic supply has stabilized. Meanwhile, McDonald’s in the Philippines is struggling to source quality poultry.

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Billionaires are dropped off at summer camp. In the small Idaho resort town of Sun Valley, the well-heeled fly in their private jets for the annual Sun Valley Conference, hosted by Allen & Co., which kicked off Tuesday and runs through July 10. camp” for the ultra-rich, but it is also a frequent backdrop for discussions of media mergers and acquisitions. I mean, what else would you do for fun this summer?

From expected attendees: Rupert Murdoch, Andy Jassy, ​​Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel and Elon Musk, who is in the middle of a much-tweeted media deal. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal is also invited, so there’s 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 stepping up negotiations between Russia and Ukraine for a Black Sea grain corridor to ease a global food crisis. But at home, Turkey is struggling to feed its own people, a problem that has persisted since 2015.

As the country’s inflation rate hits 80% and food prices double, Turkey is looking to Sudan for solutions. He is relaunching a 2014 plan to buy a 99-year lease on 850,000 hectares of land in the White Nile basin. The initial plan faced hurdles 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 is not alone in doing what has been criticized as neo-colonial “land grabbing” in Africa. Rich countries like Britain and the United States also lease land. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has noted that the most valuable commodity that countries claim in Africa is not land, it is water.


Zoom in for a closer view

Want a deeper dive into the biggest stories? Quartz members have access to two other emails, the Weekend Brief, which this week examined the legacy of the United States Supreme Court, and the Forecast, which explored the future of Crispr. The emails answered two big questions:

  • Why did the United States Supreme Court rule on the right? The Weekend Brief showed why it will likely take an entire generation for the US High Court to move away from its current hyper-partisan conservatism.
  • What will Crispr allow humanity to do next? The gene-editing enzyme allowed innovation to take off at lightning speed, and the forecast explained the changes to come for the technology.

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Surprising discoveries

The Eiffel Tower is rusting. According to a leaked report, the 133-year-old monument is in need of repair, but only cosmetic repairs have been planned so far.

Cinemas ban teenagers from watching Minions: The Rise of Gru. The #gentleminions trend, which requires wearing a costume to watch the movie, has caused some dapper disruption.

Wastewater is used to make beer. Singapore’s ‘NEWbrew’ is a lager made from eau de toilette that aims to send a message about recycling.

Pokémon created 9 billion new cards last year. The hype to catch them all was so high that the company printed more than a quarter of all the cards it ever created from 2020 to 2022.

Sand batteries can store green energy for months. Finnish researchers think they could be a simple and inexpensive alternative to other energy sources.

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