Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Korean artillery stand-off, Greek PM resigns, Banksy amusement park

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What to watch for today

Another tense stand-off between North and South Korea. After the countries traded artillery fire, North Korea has issued a 48-hour deadline (expiring Saturday morning local time) to “undertake military action” if South Korea didn’t stop broadcasting propaganda from giant loudspeakers. The South Korean capital of Seoul is only 35 miles (56km) from the border.

Typhoons in the Pacific gain strength. The eye of Goni will pass north of the Philippines’ Luzon Island and may reach super-typhoon intensity, potentially causing intense flooding. It then may clip the coast of Taiwan and possibly southern Japan, while Super Typhoon Atsani is on track to stay in open waters.

John Deere reports its earnings. The farming equipment giant—a key bellwether for the agriculture sector—is expected to post earnings and revenue well below last year, due to low prices for soybeans and corn. Other companies reporting their earnings include China Shenhua Energy and Footlocker.

While you were sleeping 

Greece’s prime minister called a snap election. Alexis Tspiras announced his resignation as a way to prompt a new nationwide election. Leftist members of his Syriza party have been in open rebellion against the country’s €86 billion bailout plan, which requires a host of new austerity measures that are opposed by many Greeks.

Uniqlo will test a four-day work week. Fast Retailing, the clothing chain’s parent company, will offer 10,000 full-time employees in its Japanese stores the option of a permanent three-day weekend, Bloomberg reports. To qualify, employees would have to put in 10-hour days during the rest of the week.

Valeant agreed to buy the maker of a newly-approved women’s libido drug. The Canadian pharmaceutical giant agreed to pay $1 billion for Sprout Pharmaceuticals, which just won FDA approval for Addyi, a drug designed designed to help women”distressed by their low sexual desire.” North Carolina-based Sprout has only 25 employees.

Researchers still don’t quite know what to do about pre-breast cancer. An extensive new study found that women with so-called “Stage Zero” cancer have the same breast cancer mortality rate as the general population. And a small proportion of that population dies without ever having an invasive breast cancer.

July was the hottest month ever recorded. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said July’s average global temperature of 16.6 ℃ (61.9℉) easily beat the previous record, set in 1998. Scientists blame climate change and the El Niño weather pattern for the rise.

Quartz obsession interlude

Jason Karaian on how Greece really does not need yet another election. ”This vote will change little. In essence, Greeks will be deciding who they want to implement the conditions that are already spelled out in the country’s latest bailout deal. Creditors have shown little appetite for compromise, leaving whatever government emerges from the election with no room for maneuvering.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Ashley Madison’s stolen data is not copyrightable. The adultery site is going after journalists reporting on the breach.

Righteous revulsion won’t prevent pedophilia. It’s a poorly understood brain disorder, not a choice.

Vanity Fair’s transgender issue is a disappointment. It features exactly zero trans authors.

Putting women in combat should not be a political issue. The military does not have to reflect society.

“Shade balls” aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. The water reservoir protectant could be bad for the environment.

Surprising discoveries

A presidential candidate called “Deez Nuts” is polling surprisingly well. He was created by a 15-year-old boy, of course. 

Our stomachs and digestive tracts have taste buds too. Flavor receptors turn out to be versatile tools.

Banksy has created a dystopian amusement park.  “Dismaland” includes a boat pond full of asylum seekers.

A new London swimming pool is suspended in midair. It was designed by aquarium architects.

The Wikipedia page of things banned in Russia may soon include Wikipedia. The culprit is a recipe for hashish.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Dismaland ride ideas, and Deez Nuts campaign signs points to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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