A massive power outage hit Pakistan

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Here’s what you need to know

220 million people were left without power in Pakistan. An energy-saving measure backfired when the national grid, which had been shut off overnight to conserve power, couldn’t be restored, but lights are starting to come back on.

Poland pushed to send tanks to Ukraine. Leaders in Warsaw want to provide 14 Leopard tanks to fight Russian invaders, but the deal is complicated by Germany’s cautious approach.

No more World of Warcraft in China (for now). The popular online game won’t be accessible to millions of users due to a dispute between its US creator, Blizzard, and its local partner required by Chinese law, NetEase.

Activist fund Elliott bought a multibillion-dollar stake in Salesforce. The hedge fund is expected to demand changes at the business software giant, which has seen its stock price cut in half since 2021.

Japan’s falling birth rate is threatening social collapse. Prime minister Fumio Kishida warned that his country, where 28% of people are over 65, is on the verge of not being able to function.

A journalist was murdered in Cameroon. Martinez Zogo was abducted five days before his body was discovered, shortly after reporting on an alleged case of embezzlement at a government-connected media outlet.

What to watch for

The presidents of Brazil and Argentina announced their interest in a common Latin American currency at the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States conference this week in Buenos Aires.

Presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Alberto Fernández wrote in a joint statement (link in Spanish) that their countries are exploring options to introduce a new currency called the “sur,” which means “south” in Spanish, to encourage trade between the two countries. Argentine economy minister Sergio Massa added that Brazil and Argentina would invite other countries in Latin America to join, but urged patience, citing the difficulty of currency integration.

The idea of a joint currency has long been attractive in the region, with populist leaders pointing to the dominance of the dollar as evidence of neo-colonialism. Three countries in Latin America use the greenback as their primary currency, ensuring outsized American influence in their economies.

Tourists can’t get to Machu Picchu

A zoomed out image of Machu Picchu is shown.

Photo: Brent Stirton (Getty Images)

As authorities clamp down on anti-government protests in Peru, Machu Picchu—one of the new seven wonders of the world and fortress of the Inca empire—has been closed.

Protestors have blocked roads and closed airports since former president Pedro Castillo, the first indigenous leader of the Andean nation, was impeached and imprisoned in December. The decision to close down the attraction came after 418 people—148 tourists and 270 nationals—had to be rescued from the area because railways damaged by recent protests left them stranded.

An off-limits Machu Picchu is bad news for Peru’s tourism industry. The site sees more than 2,000 daily visitors during normal times, and in 2010, the country lost a whopping $185 million in revenue when the UNESCO World Heritage site closed for two months following extensive flooding.

How hot is too hot for work?

After a record-breaking heatwave in 2022, many in the UK are looking at their lack of air conditioning and wondering if new rules are needed for workers facing extreme temperatures.

The UK isn’t alone in lacking clear rules on working temperatures. Spain is among the best-regulated, with legislation stating that above 27°C (80.6°F) is too hot for office work. But more often a limit doesn’t yet exist, or is vaguely-worded, putting the onus on employers to provide a workplace that is safe.

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Surprising discoveries

A school in Massachusetts has not switched off its 7,000 lights in more than a year. No one knows how to turn them off.

Atmospheric dust might have distorted the impact of climate change. Global temperatures would have increased by an additional 0.1°F from pre-industrial levels had it not been for an increase in particles.

Mindfulness can be as effective as medication at tackling anxiety. It does, however, require commitment.

Paper maps are having a revival. Sales are booming as a new generation comes to appreciate cartography’s artistic value.  

A debate on unleashing carp herpes has reignited in Australia. Recent flood waters proved a breeding ground for the “aquatic vermin,” as one water conservationist called the unpopular fish.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, vintage cartograms, and carp DMs to [email protected]. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Sofia Lotto Persio, Tim Fernholz, Diego Lasarte, and Morgan Haefner.

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