Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—RadioShack death watch, ozone’s recovery, Netflix in Australia, the Nigerian Yellen scam

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What to watch for today

Obama speaks. The president will address the US at 9pm eastern time about his plans to expand the fight against the Islamic State, as he tries to enlist regional allies without inadvertently strengthening Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Obama told Congress members he did not need them to authorize his strategy, which is looking more likely to include airstrikes in Syria.

China’s inflation slows. Although consumer inflation has been relatively near the government’s goal, it is expected to fall again in August as it has in recent months. If the consensus holds that the economy is slowing, it may be a sign for the central bank to roll out more stimulus.

Lululemon looks out of shape. The yoga-gear maker is expected to post quarterly profit (paywall) of $42.7 million, down from $56.5 million last year. The company has blamed inventory bottlenecks as it introduces more styles, and insists its notorious see-through pants disaster is behind it.

The death watch resumes for RadioShack. Analysts project the electronics retailer to report its 10th straight quarter of losses, and some predict imminent bankruptcy. Its shares again fell below $1 this week, putting it at risk of delisting from the NYSE. Debating whether it or its rival Best Buy will fail first has become something of a parlor game.

The US honors those killed on 9/11. The national 9/11 memorial and museum will open for families of the victims and emergency personnel, followed by the public, after a ceremony in New York.

While you were sleeping

Toyota showed an interest in Mexico. The only major global carmaker that doesn’t yet have a full assembly plant in Mexico is scouring the country for possible sites. Rising US demand has fueled a boom in auto plants across the border; three $1 billion factories have been announced just since June.

The combatants stepped back in Ukraine. Russia withdrew more than two-thirds of its troops, according to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, even as Russian president Vladimir Putin continues to deny they’re there. The EU, which approved new sanctions against Russia on Monday, is still dithering about whether to apply them.

Things are looking up for ozone. Remember when everyone was panicking about the ozone layer rather than global warming? Well, it’s showing its first sign of thickening after 35 years, according to a new UN study. The world decided to phase out CFCs in aerosol sprays, and it worked. Hard to see it happening for fossil fuels.

The Ebola death toll jumped sharply. The World Health Organization said there were nearly 200 new deaths in just 24 hours, bringing the total to 2,296. There were 4,293 recorded cases as of Sept. 6, but that number doesn’t reflect figures for Liberia, which is believed to have thousands more.

Google’s antitrust headache started all over again. A settlement with EU antitrust authorities that took five years to reach—and which rivals thought too soft on Google—won’t be finalized (paywall) before the EU shuffles commissioners at the end of October. There’ll be a new, likely more aggressive probe into Google’s dominance in web search.

David Cameron got down on his knees. The British prime minister appeared close to tears on a visit to Scotland, saying he would be “heartbroken if this family of nations… was torn apart,” as polls tilted towards a vote for Scottish independence. Here’s a quick primer on what independence would mean.

Quartz obsession interlude

John McDuling on how Netflix has the Australian media industry terrified. “Just 200,000 users might not sound like much in the context of Netflix’s 50 million users globally, but it’s nothing to sniff at, especially since Netflix spent no money to acquire those users. And for a country of Australia’s size… it is hugely significant. One study… claims that Netflix has now become the second most popular paid online media company in Australia.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Corporations should recruit more weirdos. A little eccentricity helps businesses thrive.

Carmakers should be liable if self-driving cars have accidents. Most of the time, the driver won’t be the one who caused the crash.

Apple Pay will make you poorer. The transactions on the new payments service are so easy you won’t realize how much you’re spending.

Too much religious freedom can hurt economic growth. Governments need to prevent discrimination while keeping religions from gaining too much power.

Harvard should lose its nonprofit status. It’s crazy that a hedge fund and real-estate firm with a university attached pays no taxes. 

Asian countries need more immigrants. Without overseas workers, their populations will dwindle (paywall).

Surprising discoveries

A Colombian passed himself off as a Lebanese diplomat. He gave lectures on the Middle East and advised the military under while claiming to be an ambassador and ex-foreign minister.

New York City has a million-dollar parking space. And that’s not including monthly charges (paywall).

Apple killed the iPod classic while nobody was looking. It took it down from its website the day of the iPhone 6 launch.

Nigerian email scammers are upping their game. Some are impersonating Fed chair Janet Yellen.

Norway is renting prison space in the Netherlands. It’s got a prisoner waiting list because its famously humane jails are being renovated.

Six US army helicopters landed in a Polish field to ask for directions. A local said, “thank God it was the Americans.”

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, mooncakes, and weirdo employee résumés to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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