Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Brazil’s shrinking economy, migrants dead off Libya, “to Merkel”

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What to watch for today and this weekend

Mylan shareholders vote on a buyout of rival drugmaker Perrigo. If more than half of its investors approve, the UK-based Dutch pharmaceutical company will take its $33-billion takeover offer to Perrigo’s shareholders. Only half of Dublin-based Perrigo’s shareholders need to accept to seal the deal.

Brazil’s quarterly GDP could get ugly. Analysts expect the numbers to show that Brazil is officially in recession. A massive corruption scandal involving state-run oil company Petrobras and declining demand from China, Brazil’s largest trading partner, have taken their toll.

It’s the second day of Jackson Hole. The famed annual global central-banker meetup in Wyoming is missing Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, meaning little news is expected on decisions over US interest rates, whether they will rise next month, and what impact China’s stock meltdown has had on the timing.

Europe looks to beef up transport security. EU transport ministers meet in Paris tomorrow to discuss how to improve security throughout the bloc after a terror attack on a train heading towards Paris last weekend was foiled by several Americans.

While you were sleeping

Chinese stocks ended a crazy week higher. Most stock indexes in the Asia-Pacific showed gains, following a second day of gains in the US. Shanghai and Shenzhen closed up by 4.8% and 5.4%, respectively, displaying a calmness that was missing earlier in the week (paywall). That said, Shanghai stocks were down 8% and Shenzhen stocks down 9.4% for the whole week.

Europe’s migrant crisis worsened at sea… Two boats sank off the Libyan coast, putting 500 passengers in danger. Rescuers have so far pulled 82 dead from the water and saved 200, the Red Crescent said, according to the BBC. More than 2,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe this year alone.

…and over land. In Austria, authorities reported that an abandoned truck off the highway now contained at least 70 bodies. Originally estimated at between 20 to 50 suspected migrants, the vehicle was found near the Hungarian border. The victims were probably already dead when the vehicle crossed into Austria from Hungary, authorities said.

The UK economy kept on growing. The Office for National Statistics reported that GDP rose by 0.7%, up from 0.4% in the previous quarter, driven mainly by a jump in exports. The British economy has now increased for 10 consecutive quarters.

What luxury slowdown? 

French luxury group Hermès reported a 

20% jump in its first-half earnings,

 as strong sales in Japan made up for slowing growth in China. Meanwhile, London-listed Jimmy Choo said its sales in the first half 

outpaced the broader luxury market

. Still, the shares of both companies fell as investors fret about the impact that a sputtering Chinese econ

omy and recessionary Russia will have on the luxury industry.

Japanese inflation fell flat. Core consumer prices failed to rise in July from a year earlier, adding further pressure on the central bank to achieve its target of 2% inflation. But that was better than analysts had expected; most anticipated a 0.2% decline in the index, which includes the price of oil.

China detained more journalists. Authorities have bagged two editors from the online branch of the People’s Daily, one of the nation’s party mouthpieces. The newsmen allegedly helped publicize ”Under the Dome,” a documentary that went viral before getting banned.

Apple lost a key executive from its streaming music division. Ian Rogers, one of the architects of Beats 1 Radio, has departed (paywall) just two months after the online radio service launched.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on how everything you’ve heard about China’s stock market crash is wrong. ”Chinese investors haven’t been investing based on how the economy is doing, but rather, based on what they think the government will do to prop up the market. The crash, termed ‘Black Monday’, was more likely a reaction to the central bank’s failure over the weekend to announce a widely expected cut to the bank reserve requirement since previous cuts in February and April had boosted stock prices.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

China’s slowdown has officially ruined it for everybody. The global economy revolves around its second-biggest economy.

Donald Trump shares a personality type with Bill Clinton. It’s called “hypomanic temperament.”

Innovators should welcome the coming downturn in startup funding. The most successful tech companies came from a leaner, meaner Silicon Valley (paywall).

We don’t need to ban child labor. It would be better to ensure safe conditions for child workers.

There’s no reason to divorce over Ashley Madison. Given the number of bots, it’s unlikely much cheating actually happened.

Surprising discoveries

Young Germans have adopted “to Merkel” as a verb. The German chancellor’s surname means “to do nothing.”

One in 65 UK adults now a millionaire. Blame booming real estate and rising stock markets.

“Manspreading” and “butt dial” are officially words. The online Oxford Dictionary also added “wine o’clock” (paywall).

Polio only remains in three countries. Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.

Beijing met its own air pollution standards for the first time ever. Authorities shut down factories to ensure blue skies for a World War II celebration.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, politician-inspired verbs, and new words for the dictionary to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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