Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Netflix and Walmart misses, VW keeps reeling, DC’s vicious owl

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

Japan reopens its second nuclear reactor. Kyushu Electric Power will restart an 89-megawatt reactor at the Sendai nuclear plant—only the second to be made operational since the Fukushima disaster in 2011. Prime minister Shinzo Abe has been pushing for a return to nuclear power despite widespread public opposition.

Time’s up for Puerto Rico’s electric company. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is at the end of its ninth extension to reach a deal with bondholders over $8.3 billion of debt. The territory is also reportedly in talks to issue a “superbond” to restructure its $72 billion in debt, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall).

The US releases weekly jobless numbers. Analysts predict new applications for jobless benefits will tick up slightly to a seasonally adjusted 270,000, after a decline last week. Claims hit a 40-year low in July.

Citigroup and Goldman Sachs release third quarter earnings. The giant banks are expected to feel the pain from China’s turbulent stock market; Citigroup has already said it expects trading revenue to be lower. UnitedHealth, Blackstone, Charles Schwab, and Mattel are also expected to release quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

Netflix missed. The video streaming company’s shares plunged by 14% after third-quarter numbers came up short: it only added 880,000 new US subscribers instead of the 1.15 million that analysts expected. Netflix, which outpaced expectations on international subscriber growth, attributed the US shortfall to a recent switch to chip-enabled credit cards.

Walmart spooked investors. The mega-retailer warned that wage increases and investments in e-commerce would result in flat sales and a 6% to 12% decline in earnings per share for fiscal 2017. The company’s shares fell by about 10%, erasing $20 billion of market value in less than 20 minutes.

Omid Kordestani became Twitter’s new executive chairman. Newly-confirmed CEO Jack Dorsey continued his sweeping changes by plucking Kordestani away from Google, where he had worked since 1999, to lead Twitter’s board of directors. Separately, Dorsey’s other company, electronic payments start-up Square, filed for an initial public offering.

Volkswagen kept reeling from its emissions scandal… The German automaker said that some of its 2016 diesel vehicles have software that’s similar to earlier models that cheated on pollution tests. And VW’s newly-appointed North American chief, Winfried Vahland, abruptly resigned.

… and Toyota said it would mostly ditch gasoline by 2050. The Japanese automaker said gas-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel-cells, and electric vehicles will account for “most” of its global sales within 35 years. “It’s like the world is turning upside down and Toyota has to change its ways,” said a top executive.

Quartz obsession interlude 

Frida Garza on why a New York restaurant empire is ending the injustice of tipping. “Critics of tipping—ubiquitous in the United States, though rare in the rest of the world—say that it is inherently unfair, not only because it rewards food servers over food preparers, but because tips are not meted out based on the quality of service. In turn, it incentivizes servers to prejudge customers based on stereotypes about who tips well.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Credit scores are oversimplified. Complex consumers shouldn’t be reduced to a single number.

A Republican will win the 2016 US presidential election. Despite the primary chaos, computer models favor the GOP.

The tech industry’s diversity drive is mostly white. Being inclusive doesn’t just mean hiring more white women.

Europe should stop whining about its migration crisis. The aging continent needs an influx of workers.

There’s a bright side to Antarctica’s melting ice sheet. Bold action can prevent the worst-case scenario.

Surprising discoveries

Training for a marathon can make you gain weight. Unfortunately it’s not just “muscle weight.”

Sweden is teaching kids about menstruation with singing tampons. They already know about sex from dancing genitals.

You can get half an MIT masters degree for free. You don’t have to ever appear on campus.

A vicious owl is attacking runners in Washington, DC. The creature has its own Twitter account.

Being born in the summer may be better for your health. Not to mention the outdoor birthday parties.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, singing tampons, and summer birthday piñatas to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.