Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Murdoch’s grilling, Russian retaliation, SpaceX in Texas, gun-loving restaurants

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What to watch for today

Signs of progress on Gaza. A 72-hour ceasefire brokered by Egypt began yesterday, and Israel took its troops out of Gaza, saying it had met its goal of destroying cross-border tunnels. Mediators will soon start brokering a deal between Israeli and Palestinian delegations in Cairo.

Signs of retaliation from Russia. At president Vladimir Putin’s behest, the government may propose a response to the latest wave of US and EU sanctions; Putin said any measures must avoid harming Russians (paywall). Russia has already banned Polish fruit and veg exports and may ban EU airlines from its airspace.

Bemused questions for Rupert Murdoch. Time Warner and 21st Century Fox both report earnings, the day after Murdoch, the boss of Fox, withdrew his $80 billion takeover bid for Time Warner. Murdoch and Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes will both likely face a grilling from analysts on their earnings calls.

A $100 billion infrastructure fund for Africa. The last day of the US-Africa Leaders Summit might unveil a fund to finance infrastructure projects, with a 50/50 contribution from African countries and the US. The US is well ahead of China in aid to Africa, but well behind it in trade (paywall).

While you were sleeping

The US’s top general in Afghanistan was killed. A man dressed in an Afghan army uniform killed Maj.-Gen. Harold Greene and wounded some 15 others at a training academy on the outskirts of Kabul. Greene was the most senior American officer to die in combat since 1970.

Bidding wars went into full swing. Dollar General doesn’t want to be left behind, and is reportedly looking to counter Dollar Tree’s $8.5 billion takeover offer for Family Dollar (all US discount supermarkets). Meanwhile T-Mobile plans to reject the $15 billion bid from Illiad, forcing the French telecom company to up the ante.

Gannett split into two. The US media company announced plans to split into two publicly traded companies, separating its print businesses from its more profitable digital and broadcast operations, in an effort to create “more targeted investments opportunities,” and agreed to buy full ownership of

Egypt promised a second Suez Canal. The planned parallel waterway will, according to conflicting reports, cost either $4 billion and take five years or $8.4 billion and take three years; either way, president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi wants it finished in just one year. And it wouldn’t be Egypt’s first grandiose plan of this type.

The US told banks to rewrite their “living wills.” Regulators told 11 of the biggest banks that their plans for an orderly wind-up in the event of bankruptcy—a new requirement intended to ward off the risk of another financial crisis—were ”not credible.” The banks must revise the plans and simplify their legal structures.

Apple’s announced its next iPhone launch. The company will hold a press conference on Sept. 9 to unveil the new model, in line with when it has done it in previous years. Here’s what to look out for.

Quartz obsession interlude

Tim Fernholz on the high-risk deal the state of Texas struck with SpaceX. “Spaceports can be a terrible business. Just ask Spaceport America, a Virgin Galactic project that the state of New Mexico has spent $250 million on since 2005—and has yet to see a single launch… Even when a launch comes… it’s not clear that there will be enough regular demand to bring a meaningful increase in visitors to the area. In other words, it looks like a boondoggle.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Too many leaders of big developing nations are becoming ”Putinesque.” Democratic countries need to do better job of leading by example.

Don’t freak out about Ebola. It’s practically impossible to catch if you live in a rich country. And there are lots of things far more likely to kill you.

If you care about climate change, stop eating meat. It can reduce your carbon footprint more than if you stop driving.

The US can’t prevent the unravelling of the Middle East. It’s the consequence of the unsustainable borders France and Britain drew a century ago.

Abenomics is working for Japanese women. They’re now more likely to be in work than women in the US.

Surprising discoveries

A bag of potato chips can become a listening device. The surface vibrations of everyday objects can be used for spying on conversations.

Why East Asians make V-signs in photos. It probably has to do with with a figure skater, sports manga, and camera commercials.

It’s getting harder for Saudi men to marry out. They need the government’s consent to marry foreign women.

Cyborgs could soon be working in shipyards. Workers in South Korea have tried out robot exoskeletons that could let them lift massive objects without breaking a sweat.

Bring a gun, eat for less. In response to gun bans by big chains, some independent restaurateurs in the US are offering discounts to armed diners (paywall).

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, V-sign selfies, and menus with gun discounts to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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