Waiting for Draghi, hurricane hat-trick, karaoke with Kim

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

All eyes on the European Central Bank’s big meeting. Investors are on tenterhooks to hear when ECB president Mario Draghi will end the bank’s massive bond-buying program, which expires in December. Analysts expect rates to remain unchanged, a move criticized yesterday by Deutsche Bank’s CEO.

Shinzo Abe sits down with Vladimir Putin. The Japanese and Russian leaders meet in Vladivostok to discuss North Korea and bilateral economic projects. Putin is not a fan of fresh sanctions against Pyongyang, calling them “useless and ineffective.”

SpaceX launches a rocket for the US military. Or at least it plans to—rough weather from the looming Hurricane Irma might delay the launch. This will be the first time a Falcon 9 rocket will carry a highly classified US Air Force drone into orbit. The launch is scheduled for between 9:50am and 2:55 pm ET at the Kennedy Space Center.

While you were sleeping

Three hurricanes hit the Atlantic. Irma may strike Florida this weekend and forecasters are now also monitoring hurricanes Katia and Jose. Early photos and videos reveal the alarming power of Irma, which has claimed at least eight lives and devastated the islands of Barbuda, St. Martin, and Anguilla.

John Deere bet big on robot farmers. The 180-year-old agricultural machinery maker is buying robotics company Blue River Technology for $305 million. The startup uses AI to distinguish weeds from crops, and precision-spray them with herbicides. Blue River claims its first product, LettuceBot, is already used to manage weeds for 10% of US lettuce production.

Saudi Arabia tempered its reform plan for the country. Just a year after its enthusiastic launch, the country will rein in some of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious ideas to grow the country beyond its dependence on oil. The Financial Times reports that the plans for Saudi Aramco’s IPO (paywall) seem to be unaffected.

Australia will vote on gay marriage by post. The High Court threw out challenges against the postal vote, which is a survey on whether Australians support same-sex marriage. Critics slammed the postal vote for the cost ($97 million) and fears it will encourage hate-driven campaigns.

Jaguar Land Rover charged into electric cars. Britain’s biggest car company, owned by India’s Tata, said its entire model range will be available as electric or hybrid from 2020. The UK said in July that it would ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2020.

Quartz obsession interlude

Amy Wang and Allison Schrager on the death of the college lecture. “If you went to a big school, you know exactly what it’s like to have to fight to get into a class. The arcane absurdity of outdated enrollment lotteries. Economics students at A&M used to face that problem, sometimes having to delay graduation thanks to oversubscribed classes. Online learning removes physical limitations, so thousands of students can have the ‘spots’ previously reserved for dozens.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Amazon warehouse workers are the future face of the US workplace. Organizing them is the most important thing unions can do right now.

Interviewers should not ask women their salary history. Women are punished no matter how they answer.

Our focus on optimization and data has made us less human. Information is not the same as knowledge, and knowledge is not the same as wisdom.

Surprising discoveries

Chocolate has a new color. ”Ruby chocolate” is the first new naturally pigmented chocolate since white chocolate debuted more than 80 years ago.

Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong-un sang karaoke together. The former NBA star and North Korean dictator have formed a friendship around never talking politics.

Bacteria use bursts of electricity to communicate. Communities known as “biofilms” use electrical exchanges to recruit new bacteria from their surroundings and negotiate with neighboring biofilms.

Celery was the avocado of the Victorian era. The veggie was considered a fashionable luxury.

Wild dog packs count sneezes to vote democratically. The canines aren’t just clearing their noses, but casting their votes on whether to go out hunting.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, pink chocolate, and puppy-sized tissues to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.