Ukraine will learn if it will be recommended for EU status — Quartz Daily Brief — Quartz

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The EU will announce its decision on Ukraine. After a surprise trip to Kyiv, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Ukraine will know by the end of the week whether it will be recommended for EU status. If all 27 countries vote yes, Ukraine will have to engage in lengthy reform negotiations before it can be admitted.

Russia distributed passports in eastern Ukraine. State propaganda claims that thousands of Ukrainians in the cities of Kherson and Melitopol have applied for papers.

Two protesters have been killed in India. Police fired on demonstrators as they demonstrated against Prime Minister’s spokesman Narenda Modi’s controversial comments about the Prophet Muhammad.

China called the United States “crude.” Defense Minister Wei Fenghe has accused the United States of “hijacking” Asian countries on the issue of Taiwan independence.

US inflation is hurting the yen. While the currency often rises when US markets are hammered, the Bank of Japan’s persistently low interest rates are probably doing it a disservice.

Revlon reportedly filed for bankruptcy. The makeup giant has struggled with inflation and supply chain issues.

To monitor

US President Joe Biden and US golf champion Phil Mickelson are both playing well with Saudi Arabia. Biden, embroiled in an oil crisis at home, is said to be willing to move on from the grisly assassination of Washington Post American columnist Jamal Khashoggi in order to soften his ties with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who the CIA says ordered the murder.

Meanwhile, around 20 golf stars have opted to join LIV Golf, a Saudi-funded organization that pays out billions in contracts and prize money. Mickelson has criticized the Saudi government for having a “horrendous human rights record” but says it’s more important that the PGA Tour, the world’s premier golf body, gets needed competition. He also called it a “unique opportunity to reshape the way the PGA Tour works.”

When the US Open, which allows suspended players to play, begins on June 16, expect reporters to grill players about this growing divide in the sport.

We are now in the DALL-E 2 era

What do you get from 2 billion dollars and seven years of research for the good of all humanity? On the one hand, an excellent image of an astronaut on horseback.

The image above is the original creation of an OpenAI computer model named DALL-E 2, which learned to associate words and images from a database of hundreds of millions of images and labels describing their content.

DALL-E 2 is only on the waiting list, for now. But, be warned, while many of the images the template features are just as cute and fun as its namesake WALL-E, many of them make it clear why OpenAI incorporated a Salvador Dalí reference into the name. Its creators hope humans will use it for good (read: “to make photos of partying lawyers”) but also recognize the potential for malicious deepfakes, political misinformation and revenge porn.

The future of plant-based meat

In the early months of the pandemic, plant-based meat sales took off, buoyed in part by rampant pantry stocking. But in year 2 of Covid, they plateaued, and last year plant-based meat accounted for just over 1% of meat sales in the United States.

Some industry professionals see the slowdown in sales as a sign that plant-based meat is destined to become a niche product, like organic and grass-fed meat, rather than a mainstream product.

A graph showing sales of meat products in the United States in 2021, with fresh meat at $118.6 billion and processed meat at $40.6 billion and meat alternatives at 1, $3 billion

✦ The latest edition of The Forecast, a weekly email available exclusively to Quartz members, takes a look at the plant-based meat industry. Read the web version and get The Forecast delivered to your inbox every Sunday by becoming a member today at 40% off.

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Surprising discoveries

Researchers are studying the metabolism of newborns to understand the origins of obesity. Although some say even newborns are too old for that.

Starbucks may once again close its restrooms to the public. Returning CEO Howard Schultz said his priority is to protect Starbucks staff.

Falling into a vat of chocolate is not as pleasant as it seems. Two workers were rescued at a confectionery in Pennsylvania after doing this.

An Irish-language film broke box office records in the UK and Ireland. The quiet girl paves the way for other films in the language.

Podcasts were invented in the mid-2000s. But that was the True Crime podcast of 2014 Serial who really understood the secret sauce. 🎧 Find out how podcasting took off and where it will go from here in the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast….

🎙 Listen on: Apple podcast | Spotify | Google | embroiderer

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send news, comments, DALL-E 2 prompts and chocolate nightmares to [email protected] Reader support makes Quartz accessible to everyone – become a member. Today’s Daily Brief is brought to you by Nicolás Rivero, Scott Nover and Susan Howson.

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