Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—China’s rollercoaster, Twitter results, Syrian buffer zone, “half beards” trending

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What to watch for today

Where will China’s rollercoaster of a stock market go next? The country’s securities regulator said that a state-owned re-financing institution will keep buying shares in an effort to stabilize the stock market, which fell more than 8% yesterday—the biggest drop since 2007. Meanwhile, wary investors are moving money out of volatile stocks and into the topsy-turvy real estate market.

President Obama addresses the African Union. He will be the first sitting US president to address the organization, located in a Chinese-built headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Likely topics include the fight against terrorism and democracy in Africa, along with Obama’s push for a deal to end the civil war in South Sudan.

The health of the UK economy. Analysts expect the central bank to announce second-quarter GDP growth of about 0.7%, boosted by the service sector and oil and gas production, after a decline in the first quarter.

Turkey’s president visits China. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s first visit to China comes as thousands of ethnic Uighurs make a home in Turkey, fleeing mistreatment in China and angering Beijing. Erdogan is also hoping to purchase a missile system from the Chinese, raising hackles among Turkey’s NATO allies.

Twitter’s quarterly results. The company’s interim CEO, Jack Dorsey, will try to calm investors who have sent Twitter’s stock down 31% in the past three months. Results are also expected from Merck, Pfizer, Ford, UPS, Gilead Sciences, UBS Group, Orange, BP, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and Statoil.

While you were sleeping

The US and Turkey planned a buffer zone in Syria. American officials announced plans for an “Islamic State free-zone” in the northern part of the country. The move marks a change of heart for Turkey, which had been trying to avoid any direct entanglement in Syria’s brutal civil war.

Greece’s creditors asked for more reforms. Bailout negotiations finally began, as creditors try to push Greece to enact further changes to its economy in exchange for debt relief. Separately, new revelations emerged about former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis’s plan to secretly launch a parallel banking system.

Teva’s deal with Allergan continued a massive year for pharma M&A. Allergan confirmed it would sell its generic drugs business to Israeli off-brand giant Teva in a $40.5 billion megadeal. It’s the 10th-biggest pharmaceutical sale on record, according to Dealogic, and makes 2015 one of industry’s biggest years for dealmaking.

Fantasy sports hits the big leagues. DraftKings, a “daily” fantasy league that lets players earn cash prizes for picking the best lineup, secured investments from Fox Sports, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer, for an implied valuation of about $1.5 billion.

An explosive story on Bill Cosby shook America. New York magazine published accounts of 35 women who allege they were sexually assaulted or raped by the popular US comedian, prompting many to share their own experiences with rape and its aftermath on social media. The magazine’s website was also hacked, rendering the story unavailable for several hours.

India’s most famous rocket scientist, and former president, died at 83. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam reportedly suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed during a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong. He is survived by his 99-year-old brother.

Quartz obsession interlude

Marc Bain on Amazon’s bold strut into fashion. ”Amazon has made no secret of wanting to become a major fashion retailer in the coming years, investing heavily in promoting itself as a destination for clothing shoppers, and the push seems to be paying off. According to a recent report by financial firm Cowen and Company, Amazon is on course to become the largest clothing retailer in the US by 2017, surpassing Macy’s.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Keep artificial intelligence out of weapons systems. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Steve Wozniak all think it is a bad idea. 

The Financial Times has a winning digital strategy. No wonder the Japanese company Nikkei was willing to pay top dollar.

Women should not have to act like guys at work. Why are we still promoting alpha male behavior?

Indoor climbing is the next big American sport. It is most popular in flat parts of the country.

Your email font is making your life hell. Helvetica and Arial, the defaults in many programs, are terrible for reading big blocks of text.

Surprising discoveries

A giant carnivorous plant was discovered on Facebook. An amateur botanist from Brazil posted it on the social network.

Satanists unveiled a huge sculpture in Detroit. It depicts Baphomet, a winged deity with a goat’s head.

An Italian athlete is pioneering the “half-beard.” An asymmetrical trend in the making?

Eye movement therapy may cure PTSD. It can rewire the brain to make troubling memories less powerful. 

A smart mirror can tell if you have heart disease. It looks for stress and weight gain—and also samples your breath.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Facebook plant discoveries, and facial hair trends to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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