What to watch for today
The Gaza war winds down, perhaps? A 72-hour ceasefire begins at 8am local time (1pm HKT). Though the last one quickly broke down over the apparent kidnap of an Israeli soldier (who later turned to have died in battle), Israel also says it has only a couple of Hamas tunnels left to destroy. Nearly 1,900 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have died.
Time Inc. and Disney earnings. Disney is set to see profits soar thanks to “Frozen”-related sales and broadcasts of the FIFA World Cup on ESPN. Meanwhile Time Inc., the US’s largest magazine publisher, is scheduled to report for the first time as a standalone company after its spinoff from Time Warner; its share price has been climbing on rumors it might be bought.
A TV debate that could decide Scotland’s future. Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond takes on Alistair Darling, the former British chancellor of the exchequer, in a debate over Scotland’s independence from the UK that could sway the direction of the September referendum.
While you were sleeping
Mixed news on Ebola. Nigeria confirmed its second case of Ebola, a doctor who treated a Liberian victim. On the bright side, officials think a patient who turned up with Ebola-like symptoms in New York probably doesn’t have the disease, and an experimental drug flown into Liberia from the US to treat the two infected American missionary workers appears to be working.
More grim tidings for Brazil’s economy. Economists their cut growth forecast to a record low for the 10th week running as consumption slows, increasing the pressure on president Dilma Rousseff to tackle high consumer prices and kickstart growth before the October elections.
Syria’s civil war made inroads into Lebanon. The Lebanese army lost 14 soldiers (paywall) in an attempt to retake the northeastern border Sunni town of Arsal from rebels who captured it over the weekend, in what may be the most serious spillover so far of Syria’s civil war.
HSBC is looking for sympathy. The asset giant reported $12.3 billion in pre-tax profit, a 12% fall, which chairman Douglas Flint attributed to increasing pressure on the bank by international, regional, and national regulations that is distracting the staff.
A site for the world’s first commercial spaceport. Elon Musk’s SpaceX will build the port near Brownsville, a poor Texas town near the US-Mexico border.
A US gun-control champion died. Former White House press secretary James Brady, who became a gun-control advocate after he was wounded during president President Ronald Reagan’s assassination attempt, died at 73. The 1993 Brady Bill, which requires background checks for handgun purchases, is named after him.
Quartz obsession interlude
John McDuling on English soccer team Manchester United battling it out on the pitch and in the stock market. “The club’s controlling shareholders, the Glazer family (which also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL franchise), are taking advantage of a recent uptick in the stock price, fueled by the signing of lucrative commercial deals and the appointment of a new manager, to unload some of their holdings. This week, they plan to sell about 5% of the company for more than $100 million in proceeds, while maintaining their controlling stake.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Palestinians should take Israel to court. Mahmoud Abbas should ask the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged war crimes.
McDonald’s could lead the way in healthy, sustainable food. Emerging chains should make it harder for fast-food giants to continue with business as usual (paywall).
Facebook’s experimentation on its users is nothing new. Do you think supermarkets sections are laid out by accident?
Artificial intelligence is “potentially more dangerous than nukes.” Elon Musk is keeping an eye on things.
Venture-capital funding can be bad for your startup. It’s distracting, burdensome, dilutes your stake, and doesn’t help you all that much.
Charles Dickens’ walks were just as important as his writing sessions. Science says you should take leave work for a walk at 2 pm.
A hotel fines newlyweds $500 for every online negative review. The policy is all laid out on its website.
South Africa is airlifting its rhinos to Botswana. They should be safer from poachers there.
Robot bees will pollinate our food in the future. They will replace the rapidly disappearing honeybee.