July 21, 2022 briefing

Here's what you need to know

Tesla reported its biggest drop in operating profits since 2019. The company was hit by China's covid lockdowns, which prompted a sale of 75% of its bitcoin holdings.

The US housing market is starting to cool. Slower activity is due to potential buyers being priced out of the market as home prices hit record highs.

Truckers shut down operations at California's Port of Oakland. Independent big-rig truckers are protesting a controversial gig economy law.

FaZe Clan went public via a £725 million SPAC deal. Shares of the gaming media company fell 25% during the first day of trading.

Russia resumed gas exports to Europe. As the EU urged member states to cut gas use by 15% until March, the Nord Stream pipeline restarted operations, but at 40% capacity.

A ship leaked diesel in The Bahamas. Around 35,000 gallons of the fuel spilled along the Great Exuma island.

Texas and Oklahoma recorded temperatures of 115?F. They're among 28 US states under extreme heat alerts and warnings.

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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 on Thursday 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.

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.


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Surprising discoveries

Bridesmaid rental services are a fast-growing industry in China. Height and other restrictions apply.

A coffee shop chain's fortunes speak volumes about economic recovery. At least according to Bloomberg's Pret Index.

Facebook's parent company was sued by a company called Meta over its renaming. It's all very... meta.

In Vermont, a chicken rode under a pickup truck on the highway and lived to tell the tale. It even got a new name to honor the ride of its life.

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.