Quartz Daily Brief—Americas 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 the first quarter.

Carmakers shift into gear. US auto companies are expected to report a slight decline in August new vehicle sales, to just 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 start September: Dollar Tree, H&R Block, Qihoo 360, Donaldson Company, Guidewire Software, and others all report quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

China’s economic slowdown appeared to deepen… 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.

… Sending global stocks and commodities down again. Japan’s Topix 100 ended the day down by 3.8%, performing worse than Shanghai’s 1.2% drop, but Shenzhen’s stock market plummeted by 4.6%. Crude oil prices fell by around 3% during Asia trading hours, and markets in Europe opened lower.

Euro zone manufacturing growth slowed slightly. The monetary union’s PMI for August was 52.3 according to Markit, compared with 52.4 in July, suggesting slower but steady growth in manufacturing. Germany, per usual, carried the bloc as the only country to report growth in both new orders and production; it also reported lower unemployment.

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.

Marissa Mayer announced she is expecting twins. The Yahoo CEO is due to give birth to identical twin girls in December, around the time most expect Yahoo to sell off its stake in Alibaba.

The UN confirmed the destruction of another Palmyra temple. Satellite imagery from UN agency Unosat showed that the 2,000-year-old temple of Bel has been completely destroyed by ISIL. Last week, the UN confirmed the destruction of the temple of Baalshamin, also in Palmyra.

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 show more respect to 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.

Kanye West should run for president in 2016. It’s a great time for political outsiders to be taken seriously.

Surprising discoveries

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

You can watch China’s state investors inflating its stock market. The money pours in right before the end of the trading day.

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.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, unlocked Nutella jars, and “Yeezy 2016” posters to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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