|How hot does it have to be for a month to be declared the hottest month on record when it’s not even over yet? |
Approximately 62.51 degrees Fahrenheit, which was the global average temperature for July through the 23rd day of the month. That makes it the hottest month ever (barring a sudden ice age), according to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service and the World Meteorological Organization. Yesterday’s announcement prompted UN Secretary-General António Guterres to declare that the “era of global boiling has arrived.”
President Biden also entered the chat
Warning of the “existential threat of climate change,” the president announced policies yesterday aimed at protecting workers at high risk of heat-related illness or death on the job.
- Biden asked the Department of Labor to issue a heat hazard alert, which would mandate heat-related protections under federal law. Last month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a law to eliminate local rules mandating water breaks for construction workers, saying it creates too much red tape for business.
- The president also called for increased inspections on farms and construction sites.
Other industries are also adjusting to the record heat. In the fragile airline industry, which is already juggling huge demand and worker shortages, the heat is disrupting operations even further:
- Warm air is less dense and requires planes to have longer runways and lighter weight to lift off, which can cause delays.
- Workers on the tarmac need more frequent breaks from slinging Away suitcases.
- It’s difficult to cool down a plane once it’s been disconnected from cooling units at the gate. Left idling, an aircraft’s cabin temperature can reach a dangerous level—such was the case with a Delta flight last week in Las Vegas. The airline is under investigation for leaving passengers on the tarmac in a sweltering plane without A/C for hours.
It’s not going to get better soon. Forty percent of the US population was under a heat advisory yesterday as dangerous temps move East and roast the heavily populated I-95 corridor (hello from sweaty Brew HQ). Phoenix, AZ, can sympathize: Wednesday marked the 27th day in a row that temps reached 110 degrees.—CC
FIFA via Giphy
The US economy is humming. US gross domestic product (GDP) increased at a more-than-expected 2.4% annualized rate last quarter thanks to healthy consumer spending and businesses shelling out on investments. The latest figures show that not only is the US economy not spiraling into a recession due to interest rate hikes, it’s actually getting stronger as the year goes on. And for the cherry on top, underlying inflation rose at its slowest pace in two years. This could be a sign of the “soft landing” Fed Chair Jerome Powell fantasized about.
Trump hit with new charges in classified documents probe. As part of fresh charges levied against former President Trump, he is accused of ordering employees to delete security camera footage at his Mar-a-Lago residence last year while he was being investigated. Trump, the front-runner for the GOP nomination for president, denied the new allegations. But another set of criminal charges over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol could be headed his way shortly.
Tesla reportedly created a team to swat away range complaints. Last year, the automaker was so overwhelmed with complaints around its cars’ ranges that it formed a group known internally as the “Diversion Team” to cancel thousands of range-related customer service appointments, a Reuters investigation revealed. The reason customers had so many complaints, according to the report, was because Tesla advertised range estimates that its cars simply weren’t capable of. One recent study showed that three Tesla models had an average range 26% below what the company boasted.
There’s no shortage of TikTok trends and buzzwords to describe the “anti-grindset” of younger Americans. But “lazy-girl job” is no match for young people in China who are moving back home and becoming “full-time children” as they face bleak job prospects in their country. Unemployment for Chinese youth age 16 to 24 hit a record 21.3% last month, but one Peking University professor claims the real figure is closer to 46.5%
Full-time children? Some Gen Zers who have given up finding high-paid, white-collar jobs are shacking up with the ’rents and getting paid to help out their families, CNN reports.
That’s because finding a high-skilled job as a Chinese youth feels futile.
- Highly coveted public-sector jobs are extremely competitive (one 24-year-old told CNN that 30,000 people applied for three job openings at a city government).
- Plus, real estate and tech, two industries that employ a lot of recent grads, haven’t fully recovered from Covid or this year’s government crackdowns.
The youth are fed up. Phrases like “lying flat” and “letting it rot” have become popular on Chinese social media to describe how young people feel: hopeless for the future, but also over it.
Big picture: China’s apathetic young workforce is raising alarms for a country that’s already confronting a shrinking population and a slowing economy.—MM
|The business of space. How do satellite and hyperspectral imaging startups take off, from design to launch? Learn how Lynk and Orbital Sidekick built teams with the right stuff + partnered with public and private players—and why consumer problems should be a company’s North Star. Don’t miss these stellar insights, check it out! |
Few stuffed animals have been more popular among adults than children, and even fewer feel like they’re filled with beans.
The Beanie Bubble—the movie about Beanie Babies, the plush toys that people mistakenly thought would make them rich—hits Apple TV+ today, joining a growing club of new films devoted to putting wigs on A-list actors so they can play out the origin stories of iconic products.
At the toy’s peak, things got wild: The $5 pellet-stuffed plushies had astronomical appreciation estimates that prompted people to buy tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of dolls, smuggle them into the US, fight over collections of them in divorce court, and in one instance, actually commit murder.
The manufacturer, Ty Inc., enjoyed a brief period of Barbie-level sales—and sent each employee home with a holiday bonus equal to their annual salary—before the bubble burst, leaving millions of people with bins of dusty Beanies in their basements.
While it seems obvious now that Beanie Babies could only ride their wave for so long before crashing down to the depths of eBay, hindsight’s 20/20, and toy creator Ty Warner masterminded some very clever distribution tactics that made people think they had to line up outside a Hallmark store at 4am if they wanted to retire rich.
Read more about this uniquely ’90s phenomenon here.—ML
Stat: Welp—cheap gas prices were fun while they lasted. The average price for a gallon in the US rose to an eight-month high yesterday of $3.71, per AAA. While that’s far below last summer’s peak of $5.02 per gallon, gas prices have been creeping up due to refineries going offline unexpectedly and higher demand for oil at a time when supply isn’t there to meet it. Bloomberg Opinion’s oil guru, Javier Blas, notes that global oil consumption has likely reached a record high.
Quote: “This quarter, if I’m being honest, the theme was Grimace.”
McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski was all smiles when talking about how Grimace’s birthday—a promotion for the chain’s big purple mascot—caught fire on social media and helped fuel 10.3% sales growth in Q2 at US locations open for at least 13 months. Fresh off its success with Grimace, McDonald’s is leaning into nostalgia again: It’s planning on opening spinoff restaurants themed around another old character, CosMc, next year.
Read: Seriously—read our Beanie Babies piece. (Morning Brew)
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- The European Central Bank took its cue from the Fed and raised interest rates to a 23-year high. Investors think it could be the ECB’s last rate hike this cycle.
- The Mountain Valley Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline in the mid-Atlantic, was given the green light to proceed by the Supreme Court. It’s a controversial project that was a bargaining chip during debt-ceiling discussions.
- Bud Light parent Anheuser-Busch said it will lay off about 350 employees amid a rough stretch for the brand.
- Hundreds of thousands of Americans have developed an allergy to red meat because of a syndrome sparked by tick bites, according to new research from the CDC.
- Ukrainian fencer Olga Kharlan was disqualified from the world championships for refusing to shake her Russian competitor’s hand following a match that Kharlan won.
| New sports trivia game. If you’ve been obsessed with Immaculate Grid, you’ll also like Sports Under 150. |
Neighborhood vibes: Search for your city and see how people have described your area.
The best names in college football: General Booty, Fish McWilliams, and more players star on 247Sports’s all-name team.
Recipe resurrection: This TikToker makes recipes that people left on their gravestones.
Go beyond the news: What do CEOs, movie moguls, and West Wing staffers have in common? They read Puck. Join to get the inside story on Wall Street, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley.*
Jigsaw: Earlier this month, nearly 500 golden retrievers gathered in Scotland to celebrate the anniversary of the breed’s founding. Here’s a puzzle with all of their beautiful mugs.
Below are the names of five countries with alternating letters missing. What are the five countries?
The Simpsons/20th Television via Giphy
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