Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Pentagon hack revealed, UK labor market slowdown, 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 candy maker reports quarterly earnings, but they will also be looking for an update on Shanghai Golden Monkey Food. The company plans to re-assess the subsidiary’s value as it prepares to acquire 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.

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

While you were sleeping

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

Petrobras’ profit fell by almost 90%. The Brazilian state-run oil company reported a second-quarter net income of 531 million reais ($150.4 million), from 5 billion reais a year earlier. That result was largely caused by 2.9 billion reais in charges, much of which was unexpected; new CEO Aldemir Bendine is eager to clear up the company’s balance sheet (paywall) amid a large corruption scandal.

HTC worried its investors. The Taiwanese smartphone maker’s stock price fell by the maximum 10% after it forecast third-quarter sales as low as NT$19 billion ($600 million), against expectations of NT$36.8 billion. The company said its losses would be far deeper than expected, and promised to slash jobs.

Dalian Wanda is mulling an Ironman purchase. The Chinese property giant is in exclusive talks to purchase (for about $850 million) World Triathlon Corp, the parent of the popular triathlon event, according to Reuters. The company recently expanded into global soccer via the purchase of broadcast rights and football teams.

Republicans rounded on Donald Trump. The billionaire US presidential candidate was attacked for being the only GOP candidate to not rule out running for a third party should someone else win the Republican nomination. It’s increasingly likely that his actions will shape the eventual candidate choice.

The UK labor market took a beating. Starting salaries for permanent jobs grew at the slowest pace in 18 months in July, according to Recruitment and Employment Confederation figures. Companies also reported hiring staff at the slowest rate in two years, potentially adding pressure on the central bank, which intends to raise interest rates sooner rather than later.

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.

…But the world won’t make it another 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 chief ticks all the same boxes as the inflammatory Republican.

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

Surprising discoveries

Some Turkish workers are given time off for exercise. They are allowed to turn up late if they’ve been working out.

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

Selfies are habit forming. When surveyed, 13% of Brits from the ages of 16 to 24 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. Analysis of passenger 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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