Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—US presidential debate, $5.5 billion Oreo bet, robot-human warfare

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What to watch for today

Hershey assesses market conditions in China. Investors are braced for more disappointment as the the candy-maker reports quarterly earnings, but they will also be looking for an update on its subsidiary Shanghai Golden Monkey Food. The company is planning to re-assess the value of Golden Monkey as it prepares to aquire the remaining 20% stake next month.

John Kerry visits Vietnam. The US secretary of state wraps up his tour of southeast Asia with a visit to Hanoi. Kerry, a veteran of America’s war in Vietnam, will commemorate the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, though Vietnam’s human rights record are still a sore spot.

Republican presidential contenders take the stage. The GOP will hold its first debate in Cleveland, Ohio, with a record-high ten candidates vying for attention. The race’s boisterous and media-savvy frontrunner is poised to make the Fox News-hosted event into ”The Donald Trump Show.”

The US serves up jobs numbers. With the Federal Reserve expected to raise interest rates in September, July unemployment data are even more consequential than usual.

While you were sleeping

A Russian attack on US military computers was revealed. Hackers penetrated the Pentagon’s unclassified email system on July 25, sources tell NBC News. The “sophisticated cyber intrusion” affected 4,000 civilian and military personnel of the US joint chiefs of staff, and forced the email system to shut down for two weeks.

An activist investor bet on Oreos. Bill Ackman has acquired a $5.5 billion stake in Mondelez, betting that the cookie-maker and food giant will become a major target in the rapidly consolidating food industry, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). Ackman, who is believed to own 7.5% of the company’s shares, is expected to call for cost cuts or a sale to a rival.

The Bank of England signaled a 2016 rate increase. The central bank said rising wages mean it will soon be time to wean Britain off its economic stimulus—but not just yet. Inflation is expected to rise slowly, and economists are now predicting a rate hike in the first quarter of next year.

Three Coca-Cola bottlers merged in Europe. Coca-Cola Enterprises, Coca-Cola Iberian Partners, and Germany’s Coca-Cola bottling company are getting together to form Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), which will be the world’s largest independent bottler of Coke drinks by revenue.

An ISIL attack killed 15 people at a Saudi mosque. A suicide bomber entered a mosque in Abha, close to the Yemeni border, that was used by the Saudi military. Officials said several members of a Saudi special forces unit were among those killed, and many others were injured.

Quartz obsession interlude

Adam Epstein remembers Jon Stewart’s serious moments on The Daily Show. ”It was not all jokes, all the time. After all, tragedy and comedy are two sides of the same coin, and Stewart knew exactly when—and how—to use each side. The fact that Stewart could navigate sensitive situations so delicately only made the laughs hit even harder when they came.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The US should not have bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years ago… A warning bomb over Tokyo Bay would have sufficed.

…And it won’t be 70 years before the next nuclear blast. Threats from proliferation are only increasing.

Spending time online isn’t all bad for teenagers. Their virtual connections strengthen friendships offline.

Howard Schultz is the liberal answer to Donald Trump. The Starbucks CEO would stir things up, though he denies he is running.

Choosing running shoes need not be complicated. All that matters is comfort.

Surprising discoveries

Drug dealers will turn each other in if you ask nicely. US police have found success with a simple Facebook request.

Sharks have a sixth sense. They can detect electrical charges better than the most sensitive measuring devices.

Selfie-taking is habit forming. When surveyed, 13% of 16-24 year-old Brits said they take at least one self-portrait a day.

Robot-human warfare has already begun. The Canadian hitchhiking bot was not the only victim.

Valuable health data is being flushed down airplane toilets. Intra-flight poop could help track global disease outbreaks.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Facebook snitch requests, and selfie self-help advice to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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