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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Warren Buffett’s biggest deal, Chinese exports, space lettuce

  • Mike Murphy
By Mike Murphy

Technology editor

This article is more than 2 years old.

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Warren Buffett’s biggest deal ever. Berkshire Hathaway is expected to announce this week that it’s buying Precision Castparts (paywall), which makes airplane parts and other industrial components, for more than $30 billion. The deal checks off all the boxes for a classic Buffett acquisition.

Japanese consumer gut check. Last month, consumer confidence improved for the first time in three months. But pessimists still outweigh the optimists, and that’s unlikely to drastically change with Monday’s report.

Earnings in the food industry. Kraft Heinz will announce its first earnings since the two companies completed their merger last month. Sysco, the world’s largest food services and distribution company, will also report. (So will Shake Shack, the New York-based burger and milkshake chain.)

The trial of a journalist held in Iran nears its end. The Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief, Jason Rezaian, who’s been detained for over a year on charges of espionage, may soon learn his fate. According to the paper, a final hearing is supposed to take place Monday, although it’s not certain how long it will take the court to reach a verdict.

Over the weekend

A typhoon killed 14 in southeastern China. Typhoon Soudelor cut across Fujian and Zhejiang provinces on Saturday, dropping over 50 cm (20 inches) in some places. Xinhua reported that over 180,000 people had to evacuate their homes to avoid flash floods.

Chinese exports are falling sharply. Demand for “made in China” goods fell 8.3% in July—much steeper than the 1.5% drop that was expected. As Bloomberg suggests, the People’s Republic will need to cut interest rates further if the country is to hit its goal of growing the economy by 7% this year.

The first anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. The African-American teenager who was fatally shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri,  on August 9 2014, sparked demonstrations and protests across the US, and led to a national debate on racism and police brutality. One year on, Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Brown, has not been indicted for his actions, and the streets of Ferguson filled up again with residents marking the anniversary.

Donald Trump tried to embrace women. The US presidential candidate said his criticism of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly wasn’t sexist. Trumpy said he would be an adovcate for women’s issues.  “I will be phenomenal to the women,” he said. ”I want to help women.”

The English Premier League returned. After $750 million in summer signings, the new season is underway. Chelsea opened their title defense with a less-than-stellar home draw to Swansea City. But their cross-town rivals Arsenal fared much worse, losing 2-0 at home to West Ham. The other title hopefuls had better luck: Manchester United and Liverpool both won. Manchester City take on West Brom on Monday evening.

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Phillips on Germany’s ascendant economy. “German capitalism traditionally commingled elements that seem impossibly antithetical to outsiders: muscular unions and corporate efficiency; high-cost workers who can compete in global manufacturing; generous unemployment benefits and low levels of unemployment; and a fragmented base of independent small-and-medium manufacturers—the Mittelstand—able to compete on the highest levels of productivity and efficiency.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Vegemite sales should be limited. Australians are using the spread to make backcountry bootleg moonshine.

Stores should ditch “men’s” and “women’s” sections. Clothing should just be genderless.

Long-term thinking has its limits. Encouraging companies to make decisions over a longer horizon just leads to stagnation, argues Larry Summers (paywall).

There’s simply too much television to watch. Says the CEO of one of the networks making all that content for us to consume.

Surprising discoveries

Astronauts are about to eat the first food grown in space. On the menu: a type of red romaine lettuce, called “Outredgeous.”

Famous Instagrammers are using subliminal product placement in their photos. You too can buy the items their glamorous lives.

Baidu wants to build a medical robot. The Chinese search company is working on a symptom-checking app that it hopes to one day to turn into a robot that you’d find in the doctor’s office.

Orange wine is the new rosé. Put down that brosé and pick up a glass of citrus-infused wine.

Did Shakespeare get high? Cannabis was found in tobacco pipes dug up from the playwright’s gardne.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, space lettuce, or whatever Shakespeare was smoking to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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