What to watch for today
Vladimir Putin lands in China. The Russian president is one of many leaders flying in to celebrate 70 years since the end of World War Two. Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have become famously friendly (paywall) of late, although economic ties are now ebbing between Moscow and Beijing.
Mexico’s president delivers his state of the nation address. Enrique Pena Nieto’s approval ratings are lower than ever as he deals with corruption scandals, the escape of drug lord El Chapo, and an under-performing economy (paywall).
Brazil decides on interest rates. Economists expect the central bank to maintain its benchmark rate of 14.25%, after a series of hikes. The country faces a deepening fiscal deficit and is trying to avoid losing its investment-grade credit rating.
Millions of workers go on strike in India. Almost all of the country’s major trade unions have agreed to a one-day nationwide strike to protest recent changes in labor laws and to demand a minimum wage. The country is bracing for major transport and service interruptions.
A former DR Congo rebel leader goes on trial at the Hague. Bosco Ntaganda handed himself in to the US embassy in Rwanda in 2013, but denies 18 charges of murder, rape, and the recruitment of child soldiers.
While you were sleeping
China ordered brokerages to “clean up” gray market lending. Beijing wants to end the practice, in which investors borrow money from outside the brokerage system in order to buy stocks, by the end of the month. But restricting sources of cash could backfire: Around 1 trillion yuan ($157.1 billion) in stocks are thought to have been purchased with gray market loans.
Australian GDP hit the brakes. The economy grew by 0.2% in the second quarter—half the rate analysts expected—after a fall in China trade hurt its raw materials sectors and household spending slowed. Year-on-year growth reached 2%, but economic expansion is expected to remain at a snail’s pace for the foreseeable future.
A US judge gave the green light to an Uber class-action lawsuit. Some 160,000 California Uber drivers are fighting to be recognized as employees of the ride-sharing giant, not just independent contractors. The outcome could have huge implications for the cost-effectiveness of the $50 billion tech company.
Details of China’s new development bank were leaked. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China’s prospective challenger to the World Bank, will not ask borrowing nations to deregulate or to privatize businesses in order to obtain loans, sources told Reuters. That could make it more attractive to some borrowers than the World Bank—a concern for the US, which opposed the AIIB’s development.
McDonald’s finally surrendered to the all-day breakfast. US franchisees voted to approve around-the-clock offerings of Egg McMuffins and other breakfast treats, which will be introduced at the chain’s 14,300-plus locations from Oct. 6. The biggest shake-up to McDonald’s operations in many years is an attempt to boost slumping sales.
Quartz obsession interlude
Melvin Backman on why oil prices are slumping. “Despite the relatively low prices, drillers around the world continue to produce at breakneck speed with an eye on retaining market share once prices—as they eventually must—go back up. Before they do turn around, prices are likely to drop very, very low—and stay there for a few years.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Don’t worry about murderous robots. The US military’s top robotics expert thinks we’ll all be just fine.
It’s not too late for US Democrats to ditch Hillary Clinton. She is terrible on the issues that the party cares about most.
The all-day breakfast is a mistake for McDonald’s. The restaurant is eliminating the very scarcity that drives demand.
China could go broke this year. The reserves used to stabilize its stocks and currency are in danger of running out.
Heroic actions are instinctual. If you ever risk your life to save someone else, it won’t be a conscious decision.
99% of seabirds will have plastic in their stomachs by 2050. That doesn’t bode well for the health of the Earth’s oceans.
Gadgets can slow down mental aging. Tech-savvy senior citizens can shave a decade off their mental age.
Britain’s national sperm bank only has nine donors. Its female boss urged men to prove their ”worth” by donating.
A man won $1 million in the lottery using a $20 bill he found. He may pay it forward by planting $20 bills for strangers to find.
Brazil’s downturn is cramping helicopter commuters. The world’s biggest air taxi fleet is shrinking in the recession.