Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—VW CEO resigns, Pope Francis addresses Congress, Japan’s centenarian sprinter

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What to watch for today

Clues on China from Nike. The sportswear giant is on an earnings hot streak thanks to a turnaround in China, its second-largest market, and to the US “athleisure” fashion trend. Revenues are expected to climb 2.5% to $8.2 billion, but investors will be looking for clues about China’s slowing economy.

Pope Francis addresses US lawmakers. At around 9am ET, he will become the first pontiff to address a joint session of Congress. The pontiff then travels to New York City to lead evening prayers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.

Narendra Modi lands in New York. After a day in Ireland, India’s prime minister is headed to a series of meetings at the United Nations to discuss sustainable development goals for 2015 and security council reforms, and attend a peacekeeping summit hosted by US president Barack Obama.

Colombia’s president makes a surprise trip to Cuba. Juan Manuel Santos will negotiate a deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) after receiving encouragement from Pope Francis, who said the country has a historic chance at peace. One sticking point: how to punish rebel commanders for human rights abuses.

While you were sleeping

Volkswagen’s CEO fell on his sword. Martin Winterkorn stepped down after the carmaker admitted to a massive scheme to cheat on emissions tests. “This is the only way to win back trust,” he said in a short statement, while denying any personal wrongdoing. There was no immediate word on his replacement.

The pope sided with Obama on climate change. Francis devoted most of a speech in Washington, DC to climate change, saying mankind can no longer leave this issue to future generations. He called Obama’s initiative to reduce air pollution “encouraging.”

Egypt released two Al Jazeera journalists. Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, jailed for more than a year on contested terrorism charges, were among 100 political prisoners pardoned by president Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. The pardon was meant to mark the holiday of Eid al-Adha, but it was also conveniently timed in advance of Sisi’s upcoming visit to UN headquarters in New York.

China placed a $38 million order with Boeing. Chinese president Xi Jinping was touring Boeing’s factory in Everett, Washington, when the company made the announcement. The purchase involves more than 300 airplanes, some of which will be finished at a new Boeing factory in China after being partly assembled in the US.

Brazil’s currency hit an all-time low. The Brazilian real fell as low as 4.14 to the US dollar. It has lost more than a third of its value this year, due largely to its reliance on selling commodities to feed a slowing Chinese economy.

Quartz obsession interlude

Tim Fernholz on how draconian US copyright rules made it easier for Volkswagen to cheat. “A controversial US law governing digital copyright prevents tinkerers from examining or modifying the computer code that controls everything from the engine’s throttle to the brakes, and even the steering … incidents like the hacking of a Jeep’s control system or problems that led some Toyotas to accelerate out of control might have been nipped in the bud if the auto hackers could have seen the code.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

It may be too late for Syria. A bombed country can be rebuilt, but an abandoned one cannot.

We still live in Hitler’s world. As climate change looms, there is no reason to think we are superior to the people who allowed the Holocaust to happen.

“Dieselgate” is the worst scandal since Enron. VW’s deception produced 1 million additional tonnes (1.1 million tons) of air pollutants every year.

Leaving the EU would make Britain’s border problems worse. Losing the cooperation of France would increase the flow of asylum seekers.

Twitter needs to get over Jack Dorsey’s dual roles. Yes, he’s CEO of Square as well, but he’s exactly what Twitter needs at the moment.

Surprising discoveries

Japan’s most famous sprinter is a 105-year-old man. He hopes to race Usain Bolt one day.

Nature invented mechanical gears. Some insects have joints with intermeshing teeth to synchronize their legs during jumps.

You really only use about three apps. That’s where Americans spend 80% of their smartphone time.

Wind power has a negative price in Texas. Wind power producers are paying power companies instead of the other way around.

PETA wants a monkey to own his selfie. The group is suing a photographer, who left his camera unattended, for the copyright.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, monkey selfies, and centenarian sprinting records to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.



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