Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today and over the weekend
China’s pharmaceutical firms eye Cardinal Health. Bidding for the US drug distributor’s China unit begins today, and could fetch up to $1.5 billion. Cardinal’s exit comes ahead of Chinese drug distribution reform that the US company fears could slow growth.
Boris Johnson meets his Japanese counterpart. The UK foreign minister will meet with Fumio Kishida to discuss bilateral ties between the nations. Johnson will also talk security, Brexit, and the Olympics as Tokyo prepares to host the 2020 games.
General Electric bids farewell to Jeffrey Immelt. The longtime CEO will oversee his last quarterly earnings release alongside his replacement John Flannery (paywall), who may provide some clues about the future of the industrial conglomerate.
Timor-Leste goes to the polls. Asia’s youngest nation, which has a population of 1.3 million, votes in parliamentary elections on Saturday. One of the major issues is the future of the country’s oil wealth, which funds more than 90% of government spending but which is dwindling quickly.
While you were sleeping
Donald Trump is probing Robert Mueller’s investigators. In response to the widening of special counsel Mueller’s probe into Trump’s Russia connections, the president’s lawyers and aides are looking into the backgrounds (paywall) of Mueller’s team, zeroing in on potential conflicts of interest such as donations to Democrats. Trump is also looking into the possibility (paywall) of pardoning his family, aides—and even himself—in connection with the probe.
The IMF approved a conditional $1.8 billion loan for Greece. The move ends two years of speculation over whether it would take part in another Greek bailout. However, the deal comes with the condition that euro zone countries must provide debt relief to the country so that repayment is more “realistic” for Greece.
ExxonMobil is suing the US government. The move comes in response to the Treasury Department’s $2 million fine against the oil giant for violating Russia sanctions by signing several deals with Igor Sechin, the blacklisted head of Russia’s largest oil company. US secretary of state Rex Tillerson was Exxon’s chief executive at the time.
Shake Shack’s CEO joined the board of Square. Randy Garutti, who has spent his whole career in the hospitality industry, could help Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s mobile payments company develop further in the restaurants sector.
Quartz obsession interlude
Joon Ian Wong on a coding error that led to $30 million in the digital currency ethereum being stolen. “All software has bugs, but when that software is responsible for millions of dollars changing hands through immutable transactions, those coding errors become serious business. It’s one of the problems with trying to build an ‘unstoppable world computer’—the crux of the ethereum project.” Read more here.
Amazon’s Sears deal: / An A student shares its notes / with retail’s class clown
Matters of debate
Sexual harassment usually indicates other unethical corporate behaviors. Perpetrators feel entitled to other people’s property, physically and financially.
ISIL is preparing for guerrilla warfare. After a hard-fought battle to regain control of Mosul, Iraqi security forces have “tougher days coming.”
A low-end car could be more disruptive than a Tesla. French automaker Renault’s $4,000 Kwid is making car ownership more accessible in India.
Cold brew is perking up the coffee-bean market. The method requires twice as much ground beans as regular joe.
Germany has ended a century-long debate over a missing letter in its alphabet. The ß character known as eszett, which is transliterated as “ss,” finally has a capitalized form.
Brazil has a booming market in ankle monitors. A corruption crackdown has authorities scrambling for solutions to monitor inmates beyond prison walls.
It may cost $7 trillion a year to remove carbon dioxide from the air. That’s the price of “negative emissions” technologies to bring atmospheric carbon back down to relatively safe levels.
A new line of clothing by McDonald’s isn’t terrible. The flip-flops, sweatsuits, and other swag will be bundled with UberEats deliveries.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, wearable tech for ankles, and McDonald’s swag to email@example.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.