Nvidia keeps cashing cheques

Like Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon this year, Nvidia’s recent performance has launched it into household name status. 

What happened: Shares of chipmaker Nvidia are up almost 11% on the week, after reports the company had doubled its revenue from a year ago while riding the wave of the AI hype. Nvidia’s technology is an essential component of ChatGPT, and other similar chatbots. 

Colder weather, colder drinks

Cold drinks are hot right now, and it’s all because Gen Z thinks they’re totally mother… are we using that right?  

What happened: Starbucks has prematurely dropped its lineup of fall beverages again this year. If the thought of drinking a piping-hot PSL on a hot August day churns your stomach, fear not—for the first time, three of the five fall beverages will be served iced by default. 

Québec shoots down student cap idea

The federal government is floating ‘capping student visas’ as a new idea to cool the housing crisis… but Québec is having none of it. 

What happened: Earlier this week, Immigration Minister Marc Miller confirmed that the federal government is strongly considering a cap on the number of international students Canada accepts. The Québec government responded by saying it would reject such a cap. 

Japan’s nuclear controversy

Today, in unsurprising news, dumping nuclear wastewater into the ocean is controversial. 

What happened: Japan began releasing nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was shut down after a tsunami triggered a nuclear disaster in 2011. Japan believes that releasing ~1.34 million tonnes of contaminated water that has built up (in the years since) is a vital step in retiring the plant from service. 

Building with BRICS

An exclusive economic club between Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa is officially open for new members. 

What happened: The three-day BRICS Summit got underway in Johannesburg yesterday, with 60 guests convening to discuss topics like taking the powerful US dollar down a notch and increasing economic ties around the Global South. 

Meta launches an AI translator

For anyone who tries to get by with only speaking English on vacation, Meta has introduced new technology that could help you keep the ball rolling.  

Driving the news: The company has launched an AI-powered translation tool that lets users communicate—through both text and speech—in nearly 100 languages. Over time, these tools will be introduced across all Meta platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp.

The modern-day Moon race

Like vinyl records, lunar exploration is a 1960s fave that’s back in a big way. 

Driving the news: India’s lunar lander Chandrayaan-3 begins its descent to the Moon this morning. If successful, it would be the first spacecraft to land on the Moon’s south pole and give India a leg up in the global rush to harvest lunar resources and establish lunar bases

The high art market goes low

After a record-breaking 2022, the fine art market has crashed harder than a Jeff Koons balloon dog sculpture knocked off its pedestal by a clumsy gallery-goer. 

Driving the news: In the first five months of the year, overall global fine art sales have dropped by 14% compared to the same time last year, while sales at the Big Three Auction houses (Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips) dropped a whopping 20%, per Artnet.

A Montréal housing bylaw falls short

In today’s episode of ‘Canadian housing gone wrong’: A 2021 Montréal bylaw meant to lead to the construction of over 1,200 new social housing units has produced zero. 

What happened: The idea of the bylaw is to force developers to contribute to the city’s affordable housing supply by creating housing themselves, giving up a property to the city, or offering a financial contribution. Every developer has chosen the option to pay up.

Subway for sale

For sale: One lightly used sandwich chain. Price tag: About ten billy.

What happened: Private equity firm Roark Capital is closing in on a deal to buy Subway for a reported price of US$9.6 billion, adding a foot-long trophy to its collection of fast food restaurants that also includes Arby’s, Baskin-Robbins, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Sweeping EU tech rules set to take effect

Big Tech may not have any interest in complying with Canada’s recent attempts to regulate them, but the European Union is having more luck.

Driving the news: The first wave of new European Union rules governing big tech platforms, part of one of the most significant expansions of digital regulations in Western history, will come into effect next week.

Firefighters make progress battling BC blaze

British Columbia introduced travel restrictions and expanded evacuation orders over the weekend as wildfires continue to rage in the province, but officials expressed optimism yesterday that fire crews were turning the corner in the battle to contain the blazes.

Why it matters: Around 35,000 people in BC and 30,000 in the Northwest Territories (75% of the territory’s population) have been displaced in the past week amid Canada’s worst wildfire season on record.

What to do this weekend

Our picks for what to eat, read, watch, and listen to this weekend.

Yannick Bigourdan on the state of restaurants

On this week’s episode of Free Lunch by The Peak, we sat down with Yannick Bigourdan to talk about what it’s like running one of Toronto’s top restaurants as the economy slows down.

Move over Italy, Albania is the tourist hot spot

Folks bitten by the travel bug are running into a major problem this year: Travelling is freakin’ expensive! That’s why more tourists are increasingly shifting to under-the-radar destinations. 

Driving the news: With affordable rates and beautiful beaches, Albania more than doubled airline passenger arrivals this June compared to last year and saw overnight stays by foreigners increase in the first quarter by a staggering 152% from the same time in 2019.

The women's soccer economy is booming

As England and Spain prepare to square off in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final tomorrow, they’ll top off a tournament that has continued to break viewership and attendance records.

Driving the news: This week's semifinal between England and Australia broke broadcast and streaming records in Australia, with 11.15 million viewers tuning in. On the whole, the tournament is projected to reach two billion viewers, nearly double that of the 2019 edition.

Gamifying sobriety shows promise

Looking to cut back on drinking? There’s an app for that. 

What happened: Swiss researchers who designed a smartphone app aimed at developing healthier drinking habits among students found that, over 12 months, students with a history of “unhealthy alcohol use” drank 10% less per week on average while using the app.  

Cities are feeling the pinch

Someone call Ramit Sethi from Netflix’s How To Get Rich, because Canadian cities need financial rescuing. 

Driving the news: Faced with $46.5 billion in budget pressures over the next decade, Toronto is asking the province to approve a new city sales tax to drum up more revenue. 

Yellowknife evacuates

Tinder wants you to pay up for better matches

Are you a lonely heart? Do you have some serious cash burning a hole in your pocket but aren’t famous enough to get on Raya? Well, now you’re in luck.

Driving the news: Tinder is launching a premium membership tier with a potential price tag of US$500 per month, possibly including features like a “personalized concierge service.”