Quartz at Work
Quartz at Work

US Covid-19 surge, the commuting revolution, hairy actors

Email sent: Jun 29, 2020 6:07am

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Good morning, Quartz readers! Covid-19 continues to surge in major US states. In Texas and Florida—where protests against face masks have taken place—the numbers continue to rise sharply, forcing governors to maintain some restrictions. In Califo
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Here’s what you need to know
Covid-19 continues to surge in major US states. In Texas and Florida—where protests against face masks have taken place—the numbers continue to rise sharply, forcing governors to maintain some restrictions. In California, bars and restaurants have once again been ordered to close.
Chesapeake Energy filed for bankruptcy. One of the pioneers of the US shale revolution, the company has been in trouble for some time, and has now also had to deal with the drop in demand for energy during the coronavirus crisis. The restructuring wipes out $7 billion in debt.
The UK is preparing for “Rooseveltian” levels of spending. Prime minister Boris Johnson said there would be no program of austerity as plans for a post-coronavirus economic bounce take shape. US president Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” helped the his country recover from the Great Depression.
Gunmen attacked the Pakistan Stock Exchange. According to police, all four were shot dead at the scene in Karachi, while two other people lost their lives in the incident. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
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What to Watch For
Monday: Boeing 737 Max test flights can begin; the Pentagon updates Donald Trump on troop withdrawal plans in Europe; face-to-face Brexit talks take place in Brussels; and China’s Luckin Coffee will be delisted from the Nasdaq.
Tuesday: The national security law for Hong Kong is expected to pass in Beijing; Singapore’s election campaign begins; and new manufacturing data from China is released.
Wednesday: Europe reopens to travel with exceptions; the UK hits its Brexit extension deadline; NAFTA’s replacement kicks in, and Hong Kong marks the anniversary of its handover to China after police banned the annual July 1 protest for the first time.
Thursday: World UFO Day, plus a glut of US reports and forecasts, including June jobs, trade deficit data, and an updated 10-year economic forecast.
Friday: Hamilton comes to Disney+; Korea welcomes baseball fans back into stadiums; and US businesses observe Independence Day.

Charting Nike’s pandemic sales
Nike is one of the stronger retail performers in the US, and arguably better insulated from the pandemic than many others. But when Covid-19 hit, the impact was too great for even Nike to withstand.
For two months, about 90% of Nike’s physical stores were closed in North America, Europe, much of Asia (excluding China), and other regions. Digital sales were up, but they couldn’t make up the brick-and-mortar deficit. For the full fiscal year that ended May 31, Nike’s sales fell 4% versus the same period last year.

For members: How to build a walkable city
The history of Paris offers a lesson for today’s commuters.
By the mid-19th century, the French capital was reeling from decades of violence and disease. Cholera was in the water, and the end of the 1848 revolution lingered in the air. In 1853, Napoleon III tasked Georges-Eugène Haussmann with modernizing the city. The French official opened up the city’s dense medieval alleyways, transforming them into the broad boulevards Paris is famous for today while relieving overcrowding. The result was a healthier, more beautiful and open city. (The new expansive streets also helped to hinder insurrectionists and provided quick passage for troops.)
The design, which created a core with numerous walkable streets, helped the city of Paris navigate its Covid-19 reopening more successfully than others. But so have modern politics and policy.
✦ Read more about what cities can learn from Paris in our field guide on the commuting revolution. It’s available exclusively to members—start with a seven-day free trial! ✦
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Surprising discoveries
The first-ever degree in ninja studies was awarded. A 45-year-old student at a Japanese university spent two years perfecting martial arts and survival skills.
NASA needs your toilet ideas. The US space agency is soliciting thoughts from the public on the best way to build a bathroom on the Moon.
There’s going to be a patron saint of the internet. A tech-savvy Italian teen who died from leukemia in 2006 is close to achieving sainthood after the Vatican attributed a miracle to him.
Amazon wants hairy actors. The company’s upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series put out a casting call for actors with “funny looking” physical features.
A bear needs a stay of execution. Animal rights activists want a full investigation before a bear is euthanized for attacking a father and son on a hiking trail in Italy.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, ninja diplomas, and lunar loos to hi@qz.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app on iOS or Android and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Hasit Shah, Adam Epstein, Katie Palmer, Jackie Bischof, and Marc Bain.
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