Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—China’s slowdown worsens, Samsung’s new smartwatch, Airbnb for refugees

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What to watch for today

Canada may enter recession. Second-quarter GDP is projected to show an annualized fall of 0.9% due in large part to the decline in energy prices. That would signal a technical recession following a 0.6% drop in first-quarter GDP.

Carmakers shift into gear. US auto companies are expected to report a slight decline in August’s new vehicle sales, due mostly to a late Labor Day holiday weekend, but to remain above 1.5 million. Passenger car sales have declined, but customers are buying more trucks and SUVs—a good sign for Detroit.

Hurricane Fred moves through the Atlantic. The storm strengthened near the Cape Verde Islands, becoming a Category 1 hurricane with winds at 85 mph (135 kmh). It will continue to move through the islands, bringing heavy rainfall and strong winds.

Earnings to kick off September: Dollar Tree, H&R Block, Qihoo 360, Donaldson Company, Guidewire Software, and others all report results.

While you were sleeping

China’s economic slowdown appeared to quicken. The official purchasing managers’ index for the manufacturing sector fell to 49.7 in August from 50 in July, the level that separates contraction from expansion. The Markit/Caixin PMI, which assesses smaller companies, fell to 47.3, its lowest in over six years; it showed the service sector expanding at its slowest pace in over a year too.

Samsung released a new smartwatch. The South Korean electronics maker’s Gear 2 will be able to make mobile payments and control smart home devices. But Samsung announced no third-party apps for the device, which runs on its in-house operating system Tizen.

Netflix culled thousands of movies. The streaming video service decided against renewing its contract with Epix, a distributor, opting instead to concentrate more on providing exclusive content. Netflix pointed out that movies such as The Hunger Games and Transformers, which will soon disappear from its service, are already easily available on other offerings, including cable.

Another Chinese industrial zone suffered an explosion. State-run media reported a loud blast at a chemical industrial zone in Dongying, in the eastern province of Shandong, before midnight local time (5pm BST). As of early morning, no casualties had been reported.

A Turkish court charged three Vice journalists. Two Britons and their Iraqi translator were accused of “engaging in terror activity” on behalf of the Islamic State.” They were detained last week while filming in the predominantly Kurdish province of Diyarbakir, where clashes between Turkish forces and Kurdish separatists have taken place.

Quartz obsession interlude

Marc Bain on why Serena Williams doesn’t earn more in endorsements. “This gap has no logical explanation, except for long-held prejudices about female sports stars and how people feel they should look… [A]nother woman, Maria Sharapova, also earns significantly more, and it’s likely because she’s willowy, white, and blonde.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Americans should better respect immigrant cuisines. New arrivals are either shamed for their cooking styles, or their food is subject to shallow fads.

Twitter might be better off as a public utility. The social media platform is a valuable asset, but it’s not good business.

Scientific researchers are addicted to mice. But the rodents don’t serve as useful human proxies.

To end troublesome bribery, legalize it. Declaring and taxing bribes can work out for both giver and receiver.

Surprising discoveries

High-quality feces is a hot commodity. Human donors can earn $40 per sample.

A German designer built a lock for your Nutella jar. Demand is already outpacing supply.

Incontinence-friendly lingerie hit the runway. It was featured at New Zealand Fashion Week.

A couple made a website to find roommates for refugees. It has already housed 400 new arrivals to Austria and Germany.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, unlocked Nutella jars, and incontinence-friendly lingerie to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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