Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Markets watch for taper tips from Mario Draghi. The head of the European Central Bank isn’t expected to alter interest rates, but investors are watching closely (paywall) for hints on how the bank plans to wind down its €60 billion ($69 billion) monthly bond buying program.
O.J. Simpson is up for parole. Most observers say 70-year-old Simpson, who was convicted on robbery and kidnapping charges after a botched heist at a Las Vegas casino hotel in 2008, has a good chance of getting released.
Microsoft releases quarterly earnings. The tech giant is expected to announce major layoffs as it reorganizes its sales staff to focus on its growing cloud-computing business.
While you were sleeping
John McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer. The US senator’s office confirmed McCain has a brain tumor, discovered when the 80-year-old underwent surgery last week to remove a blood clot from above his eye. The type of tumor, glioblastoma, is particularly aggressive and difficult to treat.
Deutsche Bank braced for subpoenas over dealings with Donald Trump. Regulators are looking into the German bank’s ties to the president dating back to the 1990s, when it was one of the few banks willing to lend to the property mogul. Deutsche is expected to share info with Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the federal investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia.
Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort were summoned to testify in the Russia probe. The president’s son and former campaign manager will appear before the Senate on Wednesday. The duo’s meetings with Russians claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton will be the main topic of conversation.
SAP got a boost from the cloud. The German software giant saw core profits rise 3% and revenue jump 10% in the second quarter, thanks to the success of its latest cloud services. And that’s despite the short-term costs of shifting from big one-time sales to subscription-based services.
Unilever reported a bumper profit. The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group, which fended off a takeover bid from Kraft Heinz earlier this year, reported a big rise in first-half profit, to $3.5 billion, thanks to robust sales in all categories apart from spreads. Unilever is in the process of selling its ailing margarines and spreads unit, which could fetch up to $8.5 billion.
Quartz obsession interlude
Ephrat Livni on how the American legal system helped define the hot dog. “The differences between a hot dog and a sausage, say the cognoscenti, are the production process and flavors… Hot dogs are a subset of the sausage but the meat used for franks are ground finer and emulsified. Hot dog recipes tend to use far fewer spices than other sausages.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Withdrawing from NAFTA will kill 50,000 US jobs. Imposing taxes and tariffs on Mexican imports will handicap American automakers.
There’s a logic behind China’s brutal treatment of Liu Xiaobo. For the Chinese Communist Party, it was better to make a martyr (paywall) out of the Nobel laureate than to allow his potentially destabilizing ideas to spread.
Paid parental leave shouldn’t be mandatory. The US doesn’t need another middle-class entitlement that would harm low-income workers.
A nine-year-old discovered a million-year-old fossil. He tripped on a hike and came face-to-face with the tusk of an ancient “elephantine creature” (paywall) in New Mexico.
Estonia got taller. The Baltic country switched the way it measures heights above sea level from the Russian to the European system—and its highest point gained 20 centimeters (7.8 inches)
Hip-hop has overtaken rock as the dominant US music genre. The rise of streaming and the death of physical albums is reshaping the charts.
Humans have created 8.5 billion metric tons (9.4 tons) of plastic in the past 65 years. Of all the plastic we have thrown out, only 9% has been recycled and 12% incinerated.
Demand for Irish passports in the UK has jumped 50% since Brexit. Anyone with an Irish parent or grandparent is eligible for citizenship.
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