Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The EU’s top court finally decides on the status of Hamas. In late 2014 a lower court ruled Hamas should be removed from a list of terrorist organizations. An appeal by the EU Council followed, and Hamas stayed on the list, which meant frozen funds and an inability to openly conduct business in the EU. Today the European Court of Justice will at last settle the matter.
The Federal Reserve leaves interest rates unchanged. Analysts think the US central bank is highly unlikely to raise its benchmark rate while inflation is below the 2% target rate. Investors will look for signals that the Fed is preparing to offload its $4.5 trillion in Treasury and mortgage bonds.
Facebook’s quarterly results. The company is expected to report slowing ad revenue growth from its core news feed, and shift attention toward its Instagram app. But it’s unwise to underestimate Mark Zuckerberg: His company has exceeded profit expectations for 16 consecutive quarters.
While you were sleeping
John McCain blasted Republicans for not standing up to Trump. The 80-year-old US senator, back from surgery and diagnosed with brain cancer, told lawmakers “We are not the president’s subordinates.” He urged his party to work with Democrats on a new health-care bill, saying he expected Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare to fizzle, though he voted yes on opening a related debate.
A court ordered Apple to pay $506 million to a university. It decided the tech giant infringed on a patent held by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s patent-licensing arm. The patent relates to computer processor technology used in some versions of the iPhone. Apple will appeal the ruling.
US officials predicted a nuclear-capable North Korean ICBM in 2018. The Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that Pyongyang will have a reliable intercontinental nuclear missile about two years earlier than expected (paywall). The prediction is based on data from recent missile tests.
Australia missed its inflation mark. In the third straight quarter of decline, tradable goods prices fell 0.3% from the previous quarter, the biggest drop since the first three months of last year. The reading, along with low wages and high household debt, means policymakers will likely extend a nearly yearlong interest-rate pause.
Quartz obsession interlude
Anne Quito on how IKEA promises domestic bliss for different cultures. “For 67 years, the IKEA catalogue has served as a product showcase, design inspiration and manifesto for the 74-year-old furniture company’s grand vision of creating a ‘better everyday life for the many people.’ But ‘many people’ means many different versions of the good life.” Read more here.
Tractors and burgers / Tech stocks take a back seat to / outfits that make things
Matters of debate
Keyboards are overrated. Cursive handwriting is making a comeback, and science shows that it makes us smarter.
Chinese exceptionalism is the new challenge to US power. Once-reticent Chinese citizens now see their country as ascendant—and America in decline (paywall).
Buying time makes us happier. People reported a boost in well-being after spending money on time-saving purchases versus material goods.
Cryptocurrencies are turning to old-fashioned bank vaults. After a series of costly hacks, issuers use Swiss safe deposit boxes to protect digital assets.
A tech company is injecting microchips into its employees. The rice-sized RFID implant allows workers to swipe into the building or pay for food in the cafeteria.
Electric cars may get rid of the brake pedal. Nissan is planning on a single accelerator to control the vehicle’s speed.
Tiny magnetic robots can swim through your blood. The experimental Chinese nanobots could someday deliver medicine to targeted areas of the human body.
Billions of rogue planets are wandering the galaxy. The Earth-sized nomads were separated from their own galaxies and now lurk in the Milky Way.
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