Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—iPhone sales disappoint, Burundi’s violent election, New York airport strike, “dad bod” science

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What to watch for today

Flying into New York may be more miserable than usual. LaGuardia and JFK-based employees of Aviation Safeguard, which contracts with airlines to provide security officers and baggage handlers, are planning to strike at 10 pm ET.

New hope in the fight against Alzheimer’s? Eli Lilly and Biogen are presenting new data on the degenerative brain disease at a conference in Washington, DC. Biogen will unveil results of a trial using a smaller, safer dose of a a proven drug, and Lilly will announce whether its drug solanezumab can slow down the progression the disease; it failed to show its effectiveness in earlier trials.

Brazil updates its inflation data. Analysts expect a 0.59% increase in the consumer price index for the 30 days to mid-July. Inflation has spiked in Latin America’s largest economy after president Dilma Rousseff hiked utility rates and other prices, worsening the country’s worst recession in 25 years.

Another round of earnings. Boeing, Coke, AmEx, Discover, Cemex, and many more are due to report quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

Apple’s iPhone numbers disappointed. Sales and net income both surged thanks to new iPhone sales, but investors were expecting better after two blockbuster quarters. Shares plunged 8% in after-hours trading—erasing $62 billion in market capitalization—on concerns that demand may be waning for Apple’s flagship smartphone.

Burundi’s presidential election began amid scattered violence. After a night of  gunfire and explosions, voting got underway as incumbent Pierre Nkurunziza tried to win an unprecedented third term. Voters were reportedly outnumbered by campaign workers and police officers at some polling stations.

A commercial airplane almost crashed into a drone. A Lufthansa airplane carrying 108 passengers was preparing to land at Warsaw’s Frederic Chopin Airport when a drone flew by only 100 meters (328 ft) away. Polish police couldn’t find the culprit, but have launched an investigation.

Taylor Swift tried to shake off Chinese counterfeiters. The pop star will sell her own branded clothing at Alibaba and to discourage purchases of unauthorized products with her name on them. Products will include web-enabled “antipiracy tags” to ensure their authenticity.

China announced a new holiday for its stock market. The Chinese government said it will suspend stock trading on Sept. 3 and 4. The official reason is to celebrate the end of World War II, but it’s also the latest move by Beijing policymakers to freeze the teetering stock market in a state of suspended animation.

Quartz obsession interlude

Sonali Kohli on bedtime stories from space. “Tribe came up with the idea to have astronauts read children’s stories from the International Space Station in 2010. She and Drew decided on the Max Goes to the Moon series by author Jeffrey Bennett, an astrophysicist and former college professor and elementary school teacher, as the books that the astronauts would read.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The post-capitalist era has begun. Information technology, not the state, has destroyed the free market.

El Chapo’s escape from prison was no surprise. The Mexican government wanted the drug kingpin back on the streets.

The future of American political campaigns is public funding. It’s the only way to stop corruption.

Mindful meditation cultivates compassion. It’s good for practitioners and everyone around them.

The US public has got the penal system all wrong. Prisoners are not either “violent” or “nonviolent.”

Surprising discoveries

Angolan elephants are expert minefield navigators. Their sense of smell is even better than dogs’.

You can learn poker from an MIT professor. ”Poker Theory and Analytics” is the university’s latest free online class.

“Dad bod” is a scientific fact. A pudgy-around-the-middle build is strongly correlated with fatherhood.

The winner of the French Scrabble championship does not speak French. But he did memorize the French dictionary.

Robot surgeons have a rising body count. A new study tallied 144 deaths from 1.7 million procedures since 2000.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, space-based bedtime stories, and French Scrabble strategies to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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