What to watch for today
Japan’s Emperor talks succession. The 82-year old scion of a 1,500 year-old dynasty will speak to the Japanese people on television, following rumors that he will abdicate in favor of his son due to ill health. The Imperial family, though possessing no formal political power, remains a revered institution, but any transition could raise awkward questions about the monarchy’s role in Japanese society.
Donald Trump elaborates on his economic plans. The blustery Republican presidential contender will attempt to fill out his sketchy agenda with a major address at the Detroit Economic Club, just days after announcing a team of advisors that includes many of his wealthiest donors but no women.
Rio 2016: In the pool and on the pitch. Day three of the 2016 Olympics features the men’s 200 meter freestyle swim finals, with most-decorated Olympian Michael Phelps making his comeback; the women’s 100 meter back- and breaststroke finals; and the return of rugby to the games for the first time since 1924. To keep up with the action, subscribe to our Olympics calendar and check out our viewing guide.
Over the weekend
“The Punisher” launches anti-corruption purge. Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte accused 159 officials, including judges and members of parliament, of drug-related corruption, giving them 24 hours to surrender to his forces. Nicknamed “the punisher,” Duterte has vowed to end corruption, but extra-judicial killings have raised fears of his authoritarian bent.
Russia was banned from participating in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The International Paralympic Committee said none of Russia’s Paralympic athletes would be allowed to compete in the September games because of a doping scandal that led some, but not all, of Russia’s Olympic team to be excluded from the Olympic games.
Iran says it executed a nuclear spy. An Iranian nuclear scientist at the center of a murky spy tale was executed by Iran for giving “vital information about the country to the enemy,” five years after he renounced his defection to the US and returned to his homeland.
Thai voters okay junta’s constitution. Some 61% of Thai voters approved a constitution written by the military junta that took power in a 2014 coup led by retired army general Prayuth Chan-ocha. Authorities took steps to prevent political discourse ahead of the vote, which lays the groundwork for a civilian government in 2017—but on the military’s terms.
Hacked cryptocurrency exchange gives customers a haircut. After Hong Kong-based Bitfinex had $72 million stolen last week, its operators said losses would be shared, with every customer seeing a 36% reduction in their accounts. They will also receive a credit for equity in the Bitfinex’s parent company.
Quartz obsession interlude
Elizabeth MacBride on the deceptively simple case for giving refugees cash, not camps. “Most aid comes from a fractious combination of governmental agencies and NGOs and is doled out in the form of vouchers and in-kind donations—think blankets, kerosene heaters, and bags of rice … this kind of aid does little to help build new lives. And that’s where cash comes in.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The US has the world’s best cyber army. Russia isn’t the only country digitally interfering in foreign elections.
Intel is to blame for Apple’s stagnant laptops. The lack of new Apple laptops on the market isn’t because of lazy designers—it’s because chipmakers haven’t come up with anything worth building a new computer around.
Uber should go public as soon as it can. After selling its Chinese operations to Didi, Uber needs to IPO before slow growth disappoints investors.
More than a million dancing robots broke a world record in China. One million and seven, to be precise, shook their stuff at the Qingdao Beer Festival in Shandong, setting a new record for most robots dancing simultaneously.
Engineers use “Bond villain” tools to remove oil tankers from the North Sea. Replacing oil and gas platforms with wind farms takes robot submarines, diamond saws and underwater lasers.
The next big thing in space business is actually quite small. The successful flight of 12-foot long prototype rocket signals a new wave of space entrepreneurs with the tiniest big dreams.
The monitor you’re reading this on could be hacked. For the latest in digital anxiety, researchers say hackers can take over computer monitors to steal information—or manipulate what you’re reading.
The best professional golf score on record: 58. American Jim Furyk set the record at the Travelers Championship; in related news, we also learned that president Barack Obama’s handicap is 13 and his “sand game is terrible.”
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