Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—China’s military parade, Tesla’s delivery dates, boredom-detecting smartphones

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What to watch for today

The European Central Bank meets. Analysts don’t expect the bank to tweak its interest rate, but it could change its inflation forecast. Discussions over China’s economic slump, and its effects on European markets, are also expected.

Twitter’s board discusses its next CEO. Three months since its previous chief quit, the social media company’s share price has dropped 22%, and many product heads have also resigned. Investors will want to hear what Twitter directors have planned.

The reviews come in for Samsung’s new smart watch. Media will review the world’s top phone maker’s new Gear S2 wearable at an event in Berlin.

Will Sweden cut its rate even more? In an effort to reach inflation targets despite lower commodities prices, Swedish central bankers might cut their main repurchase rate further into negative territory (paywall), after July’s cut left it at -0.35%.

While you were sleeping

China kicked off its lavish military parade. Over 10,000 troops, 200 aircraft, and a host of new missiles and weaponry are being paraded through the streets of Beijing to commemorate the end of World War Two—known in China as the War of Resistance Against Japan. In his opening speech, president Xi Jinping announced plans to cut 300,000 troops from the army, as part of a radical plan to modernize the force.

The IMF sounded the alarm over global growth. The forecast for worldwide economic growth could be cut significantly, the International Monetary Fund warned the G20. The IMF, which downgraded the same forecast in June, pushed the group to implement policies to boost growth, regardless of recent market volatility.

Tesla gave a date for its mass-market car. CEO Elon Musk announced in a tweet that the electric car company’s first $35,000 auto, the Model 3, will be available in two years, following an unveiling in March. Musk added that the affordability of the car relies on the completion of the company’s planned “gigafactory,” a Nevada battery-making plant.

Japan’s services sector unexpectedly grew. The Markit/Nikkei purchasing managers’ index for services came in at 53.7 in August, a big leap from 51.2 in July. That brought the composite—the combination of manufacturing and services—to 52.9, also higher than July and well over the 50 mark indicating expansion. That’s good news for an economy struggling to achieve its inflation goal.

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 chairwoman of the new entity.

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 Le Pen.

Forgiving abortions doesn’t mean the Vatican thinks it’s OK. The church still considers the act a grave sin.

Meat-eaters are better animal rights advocates. They are more relatable than vegans.

Hitchhiking is better than Uber. Social serendipity is too important to be left to massive corporations.

Surprising discoveries

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.

You can Google “fun facts” and it will return a fun fact for you. It also provides a link to the original content.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, cannabis wine, and travel jackets to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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