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Here’s what you need to know
Elon Musk suddenly changed his mind about joining Twitter’s board. Musk’s appointment was scheduled to begin on April 9, but according to CEO Parag Agrawal, he pulled out that same morning. The company’s shares fell.
Joe Biden and Narendra Modi are scheduled to speak today. The two leaders are discussing India’s neutrality over Russia-Ukraine, as well as the usual filler about “strengthening the global economy.”
The war will shrink Ukraine’s economy by almost half, the World Bank warns. The bank also says the economic impact of the conflict on the wider region will be worse than the pandemic.
Shanghai is easing covid restrictions in parts of the city. But with authorities still pursuing a covid-zero strategy, despite few serious cases, 26 million people have faced food shortages.
Emmanuel Macron led the first round of France’s election. Centrist Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen face off in the second round on April 24.
Pakistan’s parliament elects a new prime minister. A vote of no confidence ended Imran Khan’s four-year tenure, with potential successors touting economic reform and diplomatic bridge-building with the US.
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What to watch for
Indonesian payments and ride-hailing giant GoTo starts trading in Jakarta today. The tech company, which has the backing of the likes of SoftBank and Alibaba, raised $ 1.1 billion through its IPO, one of the largest since the beginning of the year.
Here’s a look at the super app’s public debut, by the numbers.
$ 27.8 billion: GoTo’s valuation based on its IPO pricing
4%: Proportion of GoTo shares it’s selling, some of which it’s offering to merchants and drivers
2.5 million: Number of GoTo drivers
55 million: Annual number of users who make transactions on the app
$ 1 billion: Revenue in the 12 months through September
$ 330 billion: Expected size of Indonesia’s digital economy by 2030, five times larger than in 2021
Twitter x Elon
Although he’s no longer joining the board of Twitter, its largest individual shareholder Elon Musk has been publicly ruminating on changes to the social media platform.
Suggestions from the SpaceX and Tesla CEO range from the serious — lowering the price of Twitter’s subscription offering, Twitter Blue—To the strange (and misogynistic) —changing the company’s name to “Titter”.
Quartz visual journalist Amanda Shendruk mocked up what Twitter could look like if Musk’s polls and ponderings get a pass from board members. Take a look at the suggestions.
Our reliance on natural gas
Europe is the hottest new market for liquefied natural gas exporters, but it wasn’t supposed to be. ✦ Quartz’s latest Weekend Brief drilled into why we just can’t quit natural gas, and how the war in Ukraine is locking in LNG reliance. Members get exclusive access to the Weekend Brief. Support journalism that seeks to make business better by subscribing today.
☹️ Shanghai lockdown: “We’re more scared of government measures than of the virus”
💸 Canceling student debt would be recession insurance for Joe Biden
Russia is not even close to being the world’s largest caviar exporter
🚀 SpaceX has flown more people to space than China has
🇸🇴 Somalis changed the face of money transfers worldwide
🤑 Is Walmart really turning trucking into a six-figure-salary job?
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The Weather Channel is the most trusted news outlet in America. It’s hard to argue with a chance of rain.
The world’s skinniest skyscraper is ready for move-in. Unit prices aren’t so slender — a studio in New York City’s Steinway Tower will set you back $ 7.8 million.
Fear can have transgenerational effects. Sparrows that listened to a horror playlist of predator sounds were less likely to reproduce, and their offspring less likely to survive.
Space pollution is complicating research — and wish-making. One out of every 15 points of light in the night sky will likely be a satellite within the decade.
Researchers rejuvenated a 53-year-old’s skin cells to the equivalent of a 23-year-old’s. The technique is a long way from clinical use, but there’s hope it could extend health.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, controversial weather reports, and names for satellite constellations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Hasit Shah, Amanda Shendruk, Ana Campoy, and Morgan Haefner.