Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The UK releases June inflation data… Price increases are expected to hold steady at a four-year high of 2.9%, as the pound recovers from its post-Brexit depreciation. Economists predict retail sales rebounded from a May decline.
…And unveils its Jane Austen £10 note. The polymer note will be revealed by Bank of England governor Mark Carney on the 200th anniversary of the writer’s death. Besides the queen, Austen is the only woman pictured on an English bank note.
Bank of America and Goldman Sachs report second-quarter earnings. Trading revenue is expected to be weak (paywall) due to low market volatility in the quarter, following the pattern set by other banks that announced earnings last week.
The Palestinian Authority president meets with Xi Jinping. Mahmoud Abbas visits China’s president in Beijing to discuss developments in the Middle East. The leaders are expected to sign several agreements to strengthen diplomatic ties.
While you were sleeping
The Republican health-care bill is dead in the water. The announcement by Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas that they won’t support the bill leaves it two votes short of passing. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for a Senate vote in the coming days to repeal ObamaCare altogether without a replacement.
R. Kelly denied he is running a “cult.” In response to a BuzzFeed News investigation which alleges Kelly is holding a number of women against their will in his properties, the R&B star said through his lawyer that he “unequivocally denies” the accusations.
Australia announced a new “super ministry” to manage national security. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said the move is the biggest reform of national security and intelligence in Australia in over four decades. The new body incorporates immigration, border protection, and domestic security agencies, more similar to the UK’s Home Office than the US Department of Security, said Turnbull.
Tesla added two new independent directors to its board. Investors had been calling for Tesla to diversify its board as many members have close ties to CEO Elon Musk. The two new directors are 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch and Linda Johnson Rice, CEO of Johnson Publishing and Ebony Media.
Quartz obsession interlude
Manu Balachandran on a Mumbai-based company that makes toothpaste and soaps from cow dung. “The spotlight has never been so firmly on the cow in India. Since Narendra Modi took charge as prime minister in 2014, bovine-worship has assumed a distinctly menacing character. Several people, mostly non-Hindus, have been lynched for transporting cows and consuming beef.” Read more here.
Too much planning of / China’s planned economy / For investor tastes
Matters of debate
Business leaders need to read more science fiction. The genre forces us to question our assumptions—the key to solving problems in creative ways.
Technology is setting us up for a training crisis. Repetition and apprenticeships are popular training strategies in many types of businesses with high automation potential.
The US opioid crisis is not unprecedented. A similar epidemic beset the country 150 years ago, and doctors solved it by prescribing less addictive painkillers.
There may be dangerous chemicals in powdered mac and cheese. Phthalates have been banned from some children’s products (paywall) for causing birth defects and behavioral problems.
Male writers of psychological thrillers are adopting gender-neutral pen names. Since women are the biggest consumers of books like Gone Girl, male authors don’t want (paywall) readers to doubt the authenticity of a book delivered by a female narrator.
Tofu was a luxury food in pre-modern Japan. It was an upper-class delicacy until it exploded in popularity in the mid-18th century.
A Chinese mall offers “husband storage” pods while wives shop. The free service includes a chair, monitor, computer, and retro 1990s games.
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