HomeFashion📬 Daily Brief: A tax tightrope in the UK

📬 Daily Brief: A tax tightrope in the UK


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Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

The UK’s treasury chief signaled that tax cuts could be on the way—but that’d also mean fewer welfare benefits. Jeremy Hunt said falling inflation is making this possible, though any tax reduction would likely benefit the wealthy and mean less support for poorer populations.

Investors are trying to get Sam Altman back. The OpenAI CEO’s sudden ouster, followed by departures from other leaders and researchers, have left corporate customers and financiers of the ChatGPT maker in limbo.

Sugar prices are rising worldwide. The sweet stuff is trading at its highest price since 2011, thanks in part to crop damage from El Niño-influenced weather in Asia.

SpaceX’s second test flight of its giant rocket ended in an explosion. It also lasted about eight minutes, double what its first test in April managed.

Union workers at Ford, Stellantis, and General Motors have all approved their contract settlements. The United Auto Workers’ deals will raise pay across the entire industry.

Did you see that new job on X?

In the latest edition of Elon Musk’s plan to turn X into what he calls an “everything app,” the platform released a job search tool last Friday promising listings for tech roles.

Out of the gate, there’s just a bit of bias going on: Roles at Tesla, SpaceX, and Starlink all feature prominently. Some tech startups, along with larger companies like Peloton and Netflix are thrown in the mix. But with the “apply now” button simply taking users externally to the listing company’s application page, Musk’s ambition of making a “cool” LinkedIn competitor just isn’t there yet.

But maybe data collection will outweigh the cool. X quietly updated its privacy policy in August around user data, adding biometric information, employment history, and education background. Will X’s job service users be able to opt out of having their data collected and shared with potential recruiters? It’s TBD.

Shein is on its way to overtaking H&M and Zara

Shein, the Chinese-founded, Singapore-based fast fashion brand that has faced allegations from Washington of copyright infringement and unfair labor practices, is on track to overtake two fashion giants this year: Zara and H&M.

Shein’s revenue reportedly surged to $24 billion through the first nine months of 2023. That figure indicates that the brand has already surpassed that of Swedish fast fashion company H&M, and is closing in on Inditex, the Spanish fashion giant that owns Zara.

But Shein wants to be even bigger than that. The private company reportedly has ambitious plans to go public as soon as 2024, and wouldn’t mind evolving into a new Amazon. Case in point: Shein now sells electronics.

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Surprising discoveries

Remember that “most-sought-after” bottle of Scotch whisky? It did indeed fetch a record £2.2 million ($2.7 million) at Sotheby’s.

There’s a place in the Gulf of Mexico where coral is evading the effects of climate change. Bleaching isn’t really happening in the deep, cool sanctuary 100 miles (160 km) off the coast of Texas, but it won’t always be that way.

A phenomenon similar to the Northern Lights was spotted on our Sun for the first time. The lightshow occurred 25,000 miles (40,000 km) above its surface.

Magicians may be less likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness. They score lower on psychotic traits than other creatives and even the general population.

Ottawa, Canada is hiring a nightlife czar. It’s all about getting the party started in a place a lot of people in government call home.

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Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, a magician manual, and Ottawa party invites to talk@qz.com. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Morgan Haefner.

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