Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Obama’s climate rules, BMW-Audi cooperation, arousing Chinese liquor

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What to watch for today

John Kerry meets with Gulf leaders to discuss the Iran deal. The US secretary of state will continue his tour of the Middle East in Doha to brief the Gulf Cooperation Council, answer questions, and allay fears that the deal has Iran coming out ahead.

Global manufacturing data is on its way. Markit releases its Purchasing Managers’ Index results for countries around the world. The index shows the rate at which manufacturing is expanding or contracting—a preliminary reading showed US manufacturing on a slight rebound in July.

Barack Obama unveils tough new climate rules. The final version of the US president’s Clean Power Plan will require US power plants to reduce carbon emissions 32% by 2030, from 2005 levels. The Obama administration shared a flashy video on Facebook laying out the president’s climate change vision.

Over the weekend

Puerto Rico missed a bond payment. Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said his government didn’t have the money to make a $58 million payment that was due Saturday. That will be considered a default by investors. Padilla has long warned that his government would be unable to repay the $72 billion it owes to creditors.

German auto makers bought Nokia’s mapping technology. Daimler BMW and Audi agreed to pay almost €2.9 billion ($3.2 billion) for Here, a smart mapping technology, according to Reuters. Smart maps are expected to become crucial as self-driving cars challenge the auto market.

China’s manufacturing sector shrank the most in two years. The final Caixin/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index for July dropped to 47.8 from 49.4 in June, signaling greater contraction in activity. Analysts believe the stock market correction may have led to the sharp slowdown in economic activity.

Evidence strengthened that debris from the Indian Ocean came from MH 370. Malaysian authorities said a wing part that washed up last week on Reunion Island, a French territory in the Indian Ocean, is from a Boeing 777, the same model as the plane that went missing. Authorities dismissed speculation that another object that washed ashore was an aircraft door.

Canada’s prime minister called an October election. Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party will fight to extend its rule after almost a decade in power. The October 19 election will arrive amid disappointing economic performance and questions over government ethics.

Quartz obsession interlude

Jake Flanagin suggests a radical change to the Olympics as we know them. “With the privilege of hosting comes responsibilities—governments must invest large sums of money to build up infrastructure in a short period of time. And in places without reliable systems in place to ensure development is pursued ethically, it’s ordinary citizens that suffer most… The quick solution? Do away with host cities altogether.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Millennials didn’t invent living with their parents. Historically, we believed doing so was best for everyone.

The United States is an “oligarchy with unlimited political bribery.” So says former president Jimmy Carter.

Canadian rivers could help lower electricity bills in the American northeast. Except swaths of scenic New England would have to be strung up with long-distance power lines.

Ethical questions shouldn’t get in the way of medical advances. Why stop research because of fears over a future we can’t predict?

Surprising discoveries

Doping is as widespread in endurance running as it was in cycling. A third of world-championship medals have gone to runners suspected of using drugs.

Microsoft is giving away Windows 10 but charging for ad-free Solitaire. It’ll cost $9.99 per year to play undistracted.

US schools are still segregated. A Missouri law inadvertently allowed students to transfer out of integrated school districts into whiter ones.

A Chinese distiller is being investigated for allegedly adding Viagra to its liquor. The alcohol was marketed for its health benefits.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Solitaire strategies, and Viagra cocktail recipes to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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