What to watch for today
NATO’s most crucial summit in years. Although Barack Obama assured Baltic leaders that NATO allies would defend them from Russian aggression, there’ll be much more talk at NATO’s two-day summit in Wales. Leaders will also discuss how to build a coalition against the Islamic State.
A crucial summit for the WHO too. World experts on Ebola converge on the World Health Organization headquarters to make a plan for quick testing of experimental drugs and vaccines. Human trials on one vaccine are beginning in the US this week.
Central bank decisions in Europe. Wholesale price data (paywall), the weakened euro, and Mario Draghi’s big hint at Jackson Hole suggest that the European Central Bank could be close to adopting Fed-style asset-purchasing. At the Bank of England, a divide among policymakers last month brought rate hikes to center stage, but rates are expected to hold, for now.
A US economic data dump. Employment numbers from ADP and Challenger, Gray & Christmas will preview the official US employment jobs report on Friday, which is expected to post major gains. International trade data and Markit’s final composite and services PMI are also due.
While you were sleeping
Putin set terms for a Ukraine ceasefire
. The Russian president
laid out a plan to end the fighting
between Kyiv and pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. Earlier, Russia said it
couldn’t sign a formal ceasefire
because it is “not a party” to the conflict in Ukraine. (
, said Barack Obama.) Separately, The
its €1.1 billion ($1.5 billion) deal to sell Russia two warships, in the face of growing pressure from its allies.
China and India are skipping the UN’s climate change summit. The absence of the leaders of the world’s largest and third-largest carbon emitters, respectively, will undercut attempts to reach an agreement on cutting greenhouse gases and combating global warming.
Michael Bloomberg is back in business. The former New York City Mayor will once again lead his eponymous media and financial information company, despite his earlier claims that he would focus on giving away his $32.8 billion fortune. Daniel Doctoroff, Bloomberg’s longtime friend and lieutenant, will step aside as Bloomberg LP’s CEO.
New cash cushions for US banks. Regulators adopted rules requiring large banks to keep enough cash—or liquid assets, like government bonds, that can quickly be turned into cash—to survive a funding squeeze. The devil is in the details, namely what kinds of assets will officially count as liquid enough.
Bernie Madoff’s last surviving son died. Andrew Madoff, the convicted Ponzi schemer’s 48-year-old son, had mantle cell lymphoma; his brother Mark committed suicide in 2010. “One way to think of this,” Andrew Marshall once said in an interview, “is the scandal and everything that happened killed my brother very quickly, and it’s killing me slowly.”
Samsung branched out. The world’s top smartphone maker unveiled a strange new gadget with a curved screen. It also revealed its latest Galaxy Note phablet. Don’t laugh, though: Research firm IDC predicted worldwide phablet shipments will overtake laptops this year and tablets next year.
Japan’s central bank declined to make any changes. As expected, the Bank of Japan didn’t announce any new stimulus measures, despite increasing signs that the economy is faltering.
Quartz obsession interlud
Steve LeVine on how Israel is using a gas deal to mend ties with its neighbors. “Israel’s surprising wealth of natural gas—the Tamar and Leviathan fields, together containing the gas equivalent of about 4 billion barrels of oil—was planned for transportation by pipeline or tanker to Europe through Turkey, which could have helped in the current European standoff against Russia. But Israel’s relations with Turkey have deteriorated, putting that plan on the back burner, at least for now. Instead, they will go in large part to Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Small victories against the Islamic State are bigger than you think. Advances in Amerli and Tikrit represent “strategic, political, and psychological gains.”
Pakistan’s military is weakening Pakistan. It’s preventing the civilian government from improving.
Carpooling can save the world. Sharing your taxi with a stranger could save time, fuel, the environment, and lives.
Geosynchronous satellites will be humanity’s last remnants. Even after earthly artifacts are gone, there will be a ring of machines 36,000 kilometers (22,369 miles) from Earth.
This German cow has its priorities straight. It escaped a slaughterhouse and headed straight for Oktoberfest.
Microsoft’s Cortana is taking a crack at the NFL. After predicting most of the World Cup matches, the digital assistant is tackling American football.
Chimps can beat humans at some video games. The results suggest they may have a superior memory and grasp of strategy.
There’s money in snail farming. An Austrian man sells 1.5 tons (1.36 tonnes) per year, at prices of up to 80 euros per kg ($50/lb).
North Korea’s volcano mystery might soon be unlocked. The country is giving foreign scientists access to the site of one of the biggest eruptions in human history.
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