What to watch for today and over the weekend
India’s national security advisor meets Xi Jinping. Ajit Doval’s meeting with the Chinese president comes amid a six-week-long military standoff along the countries’ shared border.
Japan’s defense minister will resign. In a blow to prime minister Shinzo Abe, Tomomi Inada will announce her departure over a cover-up of a botched UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
The Tesla Model 3 hits the road, finally. The automaker will hand the keys of its mass-market electric car to 30 lucky customers. That’s just the first step in an ambitious rollout by Elon Musk to produce 5,000 sedans a week by the end of the year, and twice that many in 2018.
While you were sleeping
Amazon results fell way short. Quarterly net income plummeted to $197 million from $857 million, well below analyst expectations, due to expensive investments in video content and Indian expansion. Shares fell more than 2%, dinging the net worth of CEO Jeff Bezos, who earlier in the day briefly claimed the title of the world’s richest man.
The UK scrapped Libor. The London Interbank Offered Rate, a scandal-ridden benchmark for more than $350 trillion in securities and loans, will be phased out by 2021 for a new rate tied to actual transactions. Banks paid some $9 billion in fines for manipulating Libor, which became synonymous with rigged financial markets.
US scientists genetically modified human embryos. Researchers in Oregon used the controversial gene-editing method CRISPR to alter human DNA, a first for the United States. The powerful yet controversial tool promises to end many genetic diseases, but also opens up the possibility of “designer babies.”
Starbucks doubled down on China. The coffee chain bought a controlling stake in its East China joint venture for $1.3 billion, its biggest deal ever, which will give it full control over 1,300 cafes in the fast-growing Chinese market. The rest of the world is more tepid: Starbucks’ quarterly results were weaker than expected.
The Pentagon pushed back on Trump’s transgender ban. The Defense Department said there would be “no modifications” to the current policy permitting transgender people to serve in the US military until it receives formal instructions from the White House. The presidential tweets announcing a ban earlier this week caught military leaders by surprise.
Quartz obsession interlude
Moses K Gahigi on the transformative rise of mobile money in Africa “Mobile money accounts in sub-Saharan Africa have surpassed bank accounts … It gives a fighting chance for millions of un-banked rural poor.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The economy has created a workforce of quitters. Short-term gigs have encouraged employees to see themselves as marketable goods.
Employers should reconsider drug tests. As marijuana is decriminalized, companies must admit that some good workers smoke pot.
Meg Whitman is the CEO that Uber desperately needs. The seasoned tech leader would be a shrewd pick for a company that badly needs stability.
Blowing out birthday candles spreads bacteria. A single puff increases bacteria by up to 1400%—but it’s probably harmless.
British food is suffering from shrinkflation. Manufacturers have downsized some 2,500 products as they cope with higher costs and a weak currency.
Fraudsters are selling fake eclipse glasses. Relying on the phony eyewear could result in serious injuries during the Aug. 21 celestial event.
A professional video game league is mandating health insurance. Overwatch pros will receive a $50,000 salary plus health and retirement benefits.
German condoms funded the Russian Revolution. Vladimir Lenin could not accept direct payments, so instead he profited from the resale of commodities (paywall).
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