Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—World Peace Day, rugby’s big upset, the sounds giraffes make

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Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Peace on Earth—or at least the promotion of it. The world is not particularly peaceful at the moment but the UN is observing its international day of peace and calling for 24 hours of global ceasefire.

The Emmy Awards. The annual show honoring achievements on the small screen begins at 8am HKT (8pm EST). You don’t need a TV to watch it—but having one makes things easier.

Talks to save Northern Ireland’s government. Belfast’s power-sharing arrangement is in danger of collapsing after a murder linked to the Irish Republican Army led first minister Peter Robinson to resign.

Netanyahu and Putin meet to discuss lethal weapons sent to Syria. 

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu travels to Moscow to talk to president Vladimir Putin

about Russia’s troop deployment in Syria, and the threat he says Israel faces from the state-of-the-art weaponry being transferred there.

Over the weekend

Japan’s rugby team had a “miraculous” win. The team, which had never beaten a southern hemisphere side before, defeated two-time World Cup champions South Africa in a spectacular upset.

Greek voters reelected Alexis Tsipras and Syriza. But record-low turnout suggests a fair bit of apathy.

Pope Francis arrived in Cuba. He praised the nation for repairing diplomatic ties with the US and called on Cuba to “open itself to the world”.

Novelist Jackie Collins died. The writer, who was 77, had kept her breast cancer diagnosis secret from all but her closest family for more than six years. Collins authored 32 racy “bonkbuster” novels, all of which appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.

The US said it will increase the number of refugees it accepts. Secretary of State John Kerry promised refuge to 100,000 in 2017, significantly above the current cap of 70,000.

Quartz obsession interlude

Ana Campoy on a campaign to rescue dying accent marks on the Internet. “For better or for worse, languages across the world are being shaped—and truncated—by internet users who want to get their message across as quickly and easily as possible. In Spanish, users replace ‘qué’ (what) with ‘q,’ while the word ‘más’ (more) is often reduced to a simple ‘+.’ But a few defenders of the Spanish language are now using the internet as a way to fight back.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The economic policies driven by Silicon Valley could destroy social democracy. Tech firms like Uber could transform employment law and create a new economic order.

Sports truly shine on Vine videos. There’s no need to watch an entire game, and the six-second format lets viewers watch incredible moments repeatedly.

Only the childless can keep up in the constantly competitive world of work. It sounds like a woman’s problem, but it’s a sign of a broken system that harms men, too.

Should Israel declare war on rock throwing? The act has been described as an “honored act of defiance” but can be fatal for both the thrower and the target.

What’s the best way to set a global poverty line based on local figures? This is.

Surprising discoveries

Neuroscience has started to learn from Buddhism. Researchers now accept that the self is in a constant state of flux, and that cognitive faculties can be trained through meditation.

Which member of the European Union has the highest percentage of Muslims? Not France or Germany—it’s Bulgaria.

Giraffes make a distinctive sound. They hum in the evenings at an extremely low frequency, too low for humans to hear, but detected by researchers who examined eight years of recordings.

The off-the-shoulder trend has been carefully planned. High-end fashion designers, high-street imitators, trend forecasters, stylish influencers, and the media all featured the latest must-have item.

There’s a Dominican Republic town where around one in 90 boys only start to grow a penis when they’re 12. A deficiency in an enzyme called 5-α-reductase means they look female when they are born, but get a surge of testosterone at puberty.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, accent marks, and off-the-shoulder tops to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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