|Russia has been attacking Ukraine’s port cities all week after pulling out of a yearlong agreement that allowed cargo ships to safely haul grain from Ukraine through the Black Sea. |
Ukraine is a major global provider of wheat, corn, and oilseeds—especially to countries in Africa and the Middle East—so grain prices have risen considerably over concerns of possible shortages.
- Russia exited the UN-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative on Monday, but it wasn’t until Wednesday—when Russia said it might treat any Ukraine-bound cargo ship as hostile—that wheat prices spiked by 8.5%. That was the largest daily increase since Russia invaded in February 2022.
- Since pulling out of the deal, Russia has targeted two of Ukraine’s seaports and reportedly laid mines along the coast. Nightly missile and drone attacks have killed and wounded civilians, destroyed agricultural infrastructure, and burned enough grain to feed more than 270,000 people for a year, according to the World Food Program.
What now? Ukraine can still ship grain through the EU via road and rail, which is why traders say they don’t think there will be a global grain shortage. But these routes are more expensive, and the nations that rely on Ukrainian grain might turn instead to Russia, the world’s top wheat exporter.—ML
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for SKIMS
Bet Ryan Seacrest didn’t see this coming when he decided to produce Keeping Up With The Kardashians in 2007.
Skims, the shapewear and intimates brand founded by Kim Kardashian, reached a $4 billion valuation this week, according to the New York Times. Now worth more than twice Victoria’s Secret (shhh), Skims is getting ready for its call-up to the big leagues: an IPO.
- Wellington Management, which led Skims’s latest funding round, famously works with companies before they go public.
- The company is expecting $750 million in sales this year, and is planning on extending into men’s clothing and opening physical stores, CEO Jens Grede told the New York Times.
After the latest funding round, Kim can finally afford that yoga membership. The new valuation (up from $3.2 billion in January) adds an estimated $500 million to her nearly $2 billion fortune, per Forbes’s calculations, which she’s amassed from her various businesses, including Skims and the skincare line Skkn.
Essential shapewear: Skims undergarments are not only for accentuating your curves. One woman credited her bodysuit from the brand with keeping her from bleeding out after being shot four times.—CC
Michael Tullberg/Getty Images
Stat: It’s a hot strike summer. In a wave of strike activity the US hasn’t seen since the 1970s, more than 650,000 American workers are either planning to walk off the job or have already done so, according to Bloomberg. Not only are more than 100,000 Hollywood actors and writers on strike, but 340,000 UPS workers and employees at Detroit’s Big Three automakers could also hit the picket line next month.
Quote: “I honestly had no expectations, so this is more than fair for me.”
The mother of eight-year-old Olivia Caraballo seemed pleased with a jury’s decision to award her daughter $800,000 over a scorching McNugget injury. In 2019, when Olivia was four, she was burned when a “dangerously hot” McNugget fell on her leg in the drive-thru lane at a South Florida McDonald’s, and her family sued for $15 million in damages. A jury found McDonald’s and its franchise were liable for Olivia’s injury, but thought $800k was the proper restitution for a nugget burn.
Read: Gen Zers are freezing their eggs. Why? (Vice)
The feeling of getting a 5/5 on the Brew’s Weekly News Quiz has been compared to typing in the right password for a doctor’s office portal you made three years ago.
It’s that satisfying. Ace the quiz.
- Blackstone became the first private equity firm to manage $1 trillion in assets.
- The Fed officially launched its instant payments system, FedNow. We previously wrote about what it means for you.
- Iraq and Sweden are locked in an escalating geopolitical dispute over the recent burning of a Quran in Stockholm.
- Domino’s cheapest pizza in the world costs 60 cents in Delhi, India.
- Animals on the loose: A suspected lioness was spotted hunting a boar in Berlin, sparking a massive police search. Meanwhile, a surfboard-hijacking otter is successfully eluding authorities in the Bay Area.
| Presidential tunes: Former President Obama released his summer 2023 playlist. |
Gift-giving tips: What to get a cancer patient, according to Hank Green. (YouTube)
Mind-blowing Wikipedia article: A timeline of the far future.
DIY cocktails: Memorize these simple ratios to make summer cocktails at home without measuring anything.
Reconsider the return: Planning to bring employees back to the office? HR Brew explains what to consider before mandating RTO. Check it out.
Centralize it: If you missed the memo, Workiva held a webinar on what happens when you centralize financial reporting, ESG, and GRC. (Spoiler alert: It’s big-time ROI.) Watch now.*
Picdoku: This puzzle is a sudoku, but instead of placing numbers in squares, you’ll place summer-themed emoji in squares. Join the fun here.
A customer service center received this letter. Can you figure out what the problem is?
Da S /Madam,
’d lk cmlan ab h f m kbad.
hs ls a n kng ccl.
As ma b abl ll, hs ls a mssng fm hs dcmn.
’d b xml gafl f cld fx hs blm.
Did you know that 71% of Americans oppose AI making the judgment call on whether they get a job? Dig into the stats here.
Join Tech Brew on July 25 to learn how to take your product idea from inception to launch. Sign up now.
Ready to be a retail superstar? Watch this virtual event with Katie Mullen from JCPenney and find out how to create a VIP customer journey.
This person (Michael) can’t get the top row of his keyboard to work. If it were working, the full letter would read:
I’d like to complain about the top row of my keyboard.
These letters are not working correctly.
As you may be able to tell, these letters are missing from this document.
I’d be extremely grateful if you could fix this problem.
(Source: Puzzle a Day)