Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Market turmoil, Hong Kong’s rally, US racial tensions, beefcake yoga

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What to watch for today

Markets may seesaw. Global investors await signs that escalating violence in Ukraine will lead to tougher economic sanctions against Russia from Europe and the US.

The UN Security Council meets in New York. The Gaza crisis, currently under an extended ceasefire, and the spread of ISIL in Iraq will top the agenda.

China and Japan do economic check-ins. Asia’s two largest economies release July data on property prices in China and department store sales in Japan.

Angela Merkel visits Latvia. The Russia-bordered country, which joined the euro area this year, will receive the German president for talks with its prime minister Laimdota Straujuma on the Ukraine crisis. Latvia is facing Russian sanctions on food and agriculture products.

Wall Street addresses a fashion emergency. Urban Outfitters, owner of clothing chains Anthopologie and Free People, reports earnings after a troublesome streak for its namesake brand. The company  can’t seem to figure out its target customer.

Kurds fight to recapture Mosul Dam. With the support of US airstrikes, Kurdish forces are carrying out a ground attack to take control of the strategic facility, the country’s largest dam, captured by ISIS. Kurdish officials say ISIS militants have fallen back.

Over the weekend

Racial tensions continued to flare in Missouri. On Sunday night, police fired tear gas on protestors  in Ferguson before a midnight curfew. A US federal autopsy will be performed on the body of shooting victim Michael Brown. A private family autopsy shows he was shot six times, including two shots to the head.

Victims joined Colombia’s peace talks. Victims of violence in the country’s 50-year conflict with leftist Farc rebels met for the first time with government negotiators and Farc members in Cuba for peace talks, first launched in 2012.

Ukraine claimed a breakthrough in a separatist stronghold. Ukrainian officials said its army had taken control of the center of Luhansk, which has been an important rebel-held city. Meanwhile, Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany’s top diplomats met in Berlin for talks on how to end the conflict.

Thousands rallied in Hong Kong. A rally in support of the Beijing-backed government drew thousands of supporters who decried mass sit-ins planned by Hong Kong residents, including some from mainland China who were paid to participate. The sit-ins aim to paralyze the financial district to highlight the need for democracy in the city.

Pope Francis reached out to China on his South Korea visit. The pope publicly expressed his interest in dialogue between China and the Vatican, who haven’t had relations for over 60 years (paywall), in large part because China’s bishops are nominated by the state-controlled officiating body. During his five-day visit, Pope Francis celebrated mass at Asian Youth Day and beautified 124 Korean martyrs. The Vatican hopes to make inroads into Asia—where only 3% of the population are Catholics—making the region a major opportunity for the church’s growth.

Continental European companies paid record dividends. While the euro zone economy performed dismally, European companies paid out $153.4 billion to investors in the three months until the end of June (paywall). The increase–with the biggest coming from French companies—was due to corporations’ performances rather than weakness with the US dollar.

Quartz obsession interlude

Kabir Chibber on how a 22-year-old writer tried to erase her first BuzzFeed story but was foiled. “BuzzFeed’s decision to reinstate Spiegel’s article comes as BuzzFeed, which recently raised $50 million, is in the process of erasing its own past. Gawker noticed that more than 4,000 posts have been deleted from the site.”Read more here.

Matters of debate

Men and women are divided on Scottish independence. It is rare to see such a clear gender split.

Lawyers are seen as bad parents. Society is skeptical about the skills of some occupations.

The Ferguson story is about racial biases in media and policing. Ferguson, Missouri has a black majority and white power-holding structure that needs to be addressed, not least by President Obama.

20 million Britons want to reintroduce the death penalty. After 50 years without it, only 39% are happy about the fact that it’s gone.

Surprising discoveries

Ralph Lauren is making all-denim suits. Bing Crosby did it better.

Cricket is an official high school sport in New York. There may be 30 million cricket fans in the US.

A pro-wrestler created his own form of yoga. Beefcakes need to stay limber, too.

Two chess players died at an international tournament. The circumstances of death were not deemed suspicious; the game, both mentally and physically stressful, has been known to kill people before.

Earth was probably bombed by asteroids for a billion years longer than previously thought. Single-celled life, as it was back then, would have survived the whole way through.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, denim fashion emergencies, and erased BuzzFeed stories to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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