Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The Bank of England tries to halt its first strike in 50 years. The central bank will meet with union representatives in hopes of heading off a three-day strike over staff wages. If the talks fail, the strike will begin Tuesday. The bank will also announce an interest-rate decision.
Jury deliberations begin in the Martin Shkreli trial. US federal prosecutors argue that Shkreli, who ran two hedge funds along with the pharmaceutical company Retrophin, cheated investors in a Ponzi-like scheme. He could face up to 20 years in prison for fraud.
Germany releases data on industrial production for June. Manufacturing output rose 1.2% on the month in May, easily beating the consensus forecast of 0.3%. Another strong showing (paywall) would bolster chancellor Angela Merkel’s economic credentials ahead of federal elections in September, when she’ll seek a fourth term.
Over the weekend
Trump took China to task over North Korea’s missile tests. US president Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that China’s leaders are doing “nothing” to help thwart North Korea, which on Friday test-launched a missile capable of hitting the US homeland. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson piled on, calling Russia and China North Korea’s “principal economic enablers.”
Venezuela went ahead with a controversial vote. Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro pushed ahead with an election Sunday to form a new constituent assembly that could rewrite the country’s constitution. Critics called it a move to displace the elected, opposition-controlled National Assembly and create a dictatorship. Violence erupted on both sides, with at least nine dead in the past 24 hours.
Russia retaliated against impending US sanctions. Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the US embassy to cut 755 personnel from its staff in response to tough new sanctions approved by the US Congress last week. Although Trump opposed the sanctions, which condemn Russia for allegedly meddling in the 2016 US election, he is expected to sign the bill.
Elon Musk handed over the keys to Tesla’s Model 3. The first 30 owners of Tesla’s long-awaited mass market vehicle drove their cars home after a launch event outside the company’s Fremont factory in California. Tesla hopes the Model 3—getting rave reviews so far—will be the first electric vehicle adopted by millions of mainstream buyers in the US and Europe.
Apple removed apps that help people in China evade censorship… Chinese users rely on virtual private networks (VPNs) to circumvent the country’s internet filters and access the open web. But on Saturday, Apple confirmed that it had removed the software from its China app store in order to comply with a law, approved in January, that bans all VPNs operating without government approval.
… And Putin banned VPNs. The Russian president signed a new law that prohibits the use of VPNs and other technologies allowing people to surf the web anonymously. The regulations will go into force in Russia on Nov. 1.
Quartz obsession interlude
Melody Wilding on the confidence myth. “We tend to think confidence is a personality trait, and treat it as a prerequisite for action. So we put off signing up for a dating site because we feel insecure about our looks, or neglect to apply for jobs because we worry that we won’t be competitive. But the truth is that confidence isn’t an innate trait; it’s a quality gained through experience. So we should take risks in order to build confidence—not the other way around.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Elon Musk should stop running Tesla. Passing the torch on the auto company would relieve Musk of his boring CEO duties, so he could put his visionary talents to better use.
Paid parental leave has bipartisan appeal. Trump and Democrats have come to the same conclusion: The US needs to pay parents for time off after the birth of their children.
The American South is much more diverse than most people assume. The media and pop culture tend to depict the South as a bastion of white conservatives, but the reality is far richer and more complex.
Millennials don’t have any special tech superpowers. Research suggests that so-called “digital natives” are no more adept at smartphones and computers than older generations.
Finnish scientists are using electricity to make food. Zapping protein powder into existence could be a step toward addressing world hunger.
The US Department of Defense wants a better way to vet social science. The goal is to develop a system that can help separate credible research from unreliable studies.
A record-holding 17th-century pub is for sale. The Tan Hill Inn in Swaledale, Yorkshire, the highest watering hole in the UK at 1,735 feet, often gets snowed in—but it’s the perfect spot to glimpse the Northern Lights.
Alcohol may be the culprit behind teenage obesity. A recent study showed that 39% of high schoolers in Canada admitted to drinking five or more alcoholic beverages per night once a month—which adds up to a lot of calories.
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