What to watch for today
China throws a lavish military parade. As part of a celebration marking the 70th anniversary of World War II, 12,000 troops will march through Beijing as 200 fighter jets whiz overhead. Hundreds of factories have been shut down to ensure smog-free skies for the big event.
Star Wars: the marketing force awakens. During an 18-hour marketing blitz across 15 cities around the world, Disney will introduce new Star Wars toys that will go on sale Friday. The huge promotional effort, which includes a livestream on YouTube, begins in Australia.
Samsung unveils a watch. The world’s top phone maker tries to catch up on the smartwatch market by showcasing its new Gear S2 wearable at an event in Berlin.
The European Central Bank talks China. Don’t expect much action on interest rates at the ECB’s policy-setting meeting, but look out for possible changes to the central bank’s inflation forecast. Analysts also expect some discussion of the economic slump in China, and its effects on European markets.
Will Sweden cut rates even more? In an effort to reach inflation targets in the face of lower commodities prices, Swedish central bankers might lower their main repurchase rate again, after July’s cut left it at -0.35%.
While you were sleeping
Barack Obama made headway on the Iran nuclear deal. The US president now has all the Senate votes he needs to stave off a Congressional challenge to the agreement.
Tesla’s CEO tweeted his plans. The word from Elon Musk is he’ll deliver the electric-car maker’s much-anticipated crossover SUV, the X, on Sept. 29, while the mass-market, $35,000 Model 3 will follow in two years, with pre-ordering beginning in March.
Pimco’s flagship fund sank below $100 billion. Investors in the Pimco Total Return Fund pulled out $1.8 billion in August, the 28th consecutive month of outflows. Assets in the bond fund formerly managed by Bill Gross haven’t been this low in eight years, and are now at roughly one-third the high set in 2013.
Hollywood insiders said DreamWorks is ditching Disney. Steven Spielberg’s production company has had an exclusive distribution deal with the Walt Disney Co. since 2009, but The Hollywood Reporter says the partnership is about to end. Spielberg may be taking his studio to Universal, which he’s long been tied to through the Jurassic Park franchise.
Net-a-porter’s founder resigned. Natalie Massenet, the woman who invented luxury e-commerce as we know it, is leaving her company—and walking away with $150 million after selling her shares. Net-a-porter is about to merge with rival Yoox, and Massenet was set to become chairman of the new entity while Yoox’s founder would be its chief executive.
Quartz obsession interlude
Svati Narula on why Nepal hasn’t spent any of its earthquake relief aid yet. “While nongovernmental organizations made immediate efforts to provide food, medical treatment, and tarps and tents for shelter after the 7.8-magnitude quake—which together with a 7.3-magnitude quake on May 12 left nearly 3 million people homeless in the Himalayan country—almost no one expected immediate help from the Nepalese government itself, including the people I spoke with in Kathmandu when I was there on May 3 and May 4.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Alibaba is a better indicator of China’s economic health than official GDP. And the picture isn’t pretty.
More Americans should take Donald Trump seriously. He is a dangerous brand of white nationalist, akin to France’s Marine LePen.
Forgiving abortions doesn’t change the Vatican’s view that abortion is a sin. But it will at least rankle the conservatives.
Meat-eaters are better animal rights advocates. They are more relatable than vegans.
Hitchhiking is better than Uber. It’s the sharing economy without the bias.
Smartphones can be programmed to detect human boredom. When a user seems bored, the phone might offer up games or news articles.
A “travel jacket” is Kickstarter’s most-funded piece of clothing ever. It has 15 features, including an inflatable neck pillow.
Cannabis-infused wine is making a comeback. The drink was last popular among ancient religious sects and surgeons.
Vladimir Putin exercises in $1,400 sweatpants. Just another Sunday in Sochi.
Hurricanes affect fish, too. Rough seas and dark clouds make it hard to swim and feed below the surface.
A pregnant woman in Hawaii wants dolphin doulas. When she gives birth in the open ocean, she expects dolphins to step in as midwives.