Good morning, Quartz readers!
Here’s what you need to know
More top US officials visited Kyiv. US lawmakers, including congressional leader Nancy Pelosi, pledged support to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy until “victory is won.”
Narendra Modi is in Europe. India’s leader is visiting Germany, Denmark, and France to talk about trade and renewable energy. Meanwhile, Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida is touring southeast Asia, with a focus on China.
Beijing tightened covid restrictions. Residents must now test negative to enter public spaces and transit.
Another Amazon union vote count is expected today. Following successful efforts to organize a union at one Staten Island warehouse, a victory at another facility would signal the labor movement’s growing strength.
Kenya raised its minimum wage. It was 13,500 Kenyan shillings ($116.68) per month, but will be increased by 12% to help workers facing high inflation.
What to watch for
The crypto and NFT world is known for high volatility, but the past few days have been record-breaking. What’s driving the market chaos? The advent of the monkey-verse—in layman’s language, on Saturday the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) launched a new block of NFTs representing virtual land in their own metaverse, Otherside. The mint was the largest NFT launch ever, raising $320 million.
These “Otherdeeds” were priced at roughly $6,000 per parcel of virtual land, but with demand so high, the cost needed to perform a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain (called “gas”) soared, with some purchasers paying as much in fees as for the NFT. Etherscan, a popular tool for tracking ether transactions, crashed during the frenzy.
All the parcels of land were sold and prices on the secondary market were starting at $19,944 (7.2 Eth) at the time of publication. BAYC’s shakeup of crypto markets is expected to continue when it reveals what is on Otherside’s newly-minted virtual land.
Airbnb’s five rules for remote work
Travel company Airbnb has gone all in on work from anywhere. CEO Brian Chesky has been jumping from rental to rental himself, and must have enjoyed it, because he announced one of the most flexible work-from-anywhere policies at a big tech firm to date.
1️⃣ Workers can choose to use the office, or not.
2️⃣ Staff can move anywhere without their pay changing.
3️⃣ Employees can work in 170 countries for up to 90 days a year in each place…
4️⃣ …but most will need to meet in person for a week each quarter.
5️⃣ To stay coordinated, Airbnb said it’ll plan around a multiyear roadmap with two annual major product releases.
Implementing these rules will be harder than writing them for Airbnb, but its leadership seems to get that work-from-anywhere will require fundamental changes.
Plastic’s grip on produce
We have bad news. Gleaming piles of tomatoes, greens, and other produce loosely stacked at your local grocer are anything but plastic-free. In fact, even if your favorite salad greens aren’t wrapped or packaged in it, plastic is present in just about every step of the growing process, from how seedlings are planted to how they’re protected once in the ground.
Quartz reporter Clarisa Diaz looked at alternatives to make plastic-intensive farming less so. ✦ Love stories like these? Support our mission by becoming a member—use code MAKEBIZBETTER to take 50% off.
Stories readers especially liked.
A dangerous turkey is terrorizing the US capitol. A plump bird with a penchant for attacking passers-by is being targeted by half-a-dozen federal agencies in Washington, D.C.
Scientists are blasting earth’s location out into the universe to reach aliens. We hope they’re friendly.
Arkansas sued the Family Dollar retail chain after a “massive and long-lasting” rodent infestation at a distribution plant. They allege the store knowingly sold ratty goods.
The Taliban’s leader appeared in public for just the second time in six years. Hibatullah Akhundzada spoke briefly at a mosque while Afghanistan continues to suffer from sectarian violence and food shortages.
Would you want your nation’s debt texted to you every day? One US senator has an aide do just that, but is that number really helpful? The latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast explains why it’s not.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, terrorizing turkeys, and friendly aliens to email@example.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Ciku Kimeria, Tim Fernholz, and Morgan Haefner.