Miami braces for Irma, earthquake hits Mexico, free-range trees

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Before we get started, want to take this offline? Quartz wrote a book about 10 objects that are driving radical change in the global economy: how we communicate, what we eat, and the way we spend our money.

What to watch for today and over the weekend

Hurricane Irma continues to wreak massive damage. The Category 5 storm has already devastated a string of Caribbean islands, and is poised to hit the Bahamas, Cuba, and Florida next. Hurricane warnings were issued for southern Florida late Thursday local time, with Irma on track to hit Miami.

Seven countries face tsunamis. A tsunami warning was issued for Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, and Honduras after an 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico’s southwestern coast. At least five people are dead.

North Korea may launch another intercontinental ballistic missile. South Korean prime minister Lee Nak-yon warned of a possible launch on Saturday, as North Korea celebrates the anniversary of its founding.

While you were sleeping

Florida highways were jammed in the mass Irma exodus. With the hurricane bearing down on the Miami-Dade country, thousands of cars headed north and people waited for hours in airport lines to get flights out. Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties together have around six million inhabitants.

London could lose Saudi Aramco’s $2 trillion IPO to New York. Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil giant Saudi Aramco aims to list 5% of its shares in what will be world’s largest IPO. The UK’s financial regulator is trying to change a rule that currently makes it impossible for Aramco to list on the London Stock Exchange.

Trinity Mirror plans to buy a bunch of UK newspapers. The Daily Mirror publisher is in talks to buy the Daily Express, Sunday Express and Daily Star, owned by billionaire Richard Desmond. The deal is thought to be worth £130 million ($170 million).

Hackers stole a massive trove of sensitive data from Equifax. The credit reporting giant said data on 143 million Americans—nearly half the country’s population—was illicitly accessed, including social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and even credit card numbers. UK and Canadian citizens were also affected.

Japan’s economy actually didn’t grow 4% in the last quarter. The ministry of finance said the economy expanded 2.5% in the quarter ended June 30, versus a preliminary reading of 4%. The revision was mostly due to lower capital spending by firms, but Japan still booked its sixth consecutive quarter of growth.

Quartz obsession interlude

Abdi Latif Dahir on the launch of Somalia’s first innovation hub. “Somalia has one of the most active mobile money markets in the world, with millions of people subscribed to e-payment services. Young people, with increased access to the internet and mobile phones, have shown interest in launching technology-driven businesses, crowdfunding entities—and even innovating around famine relief efforts.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Silicon Valley should stop worshipping Ayn Rand. Her extreme form of capitalism appeals to many billionaires, but Henry George’s theories are more forgiving.

Hurricanes are not good for the economy… The theory that repairs stimulate the economy is a myth.

…But they’re not that bad, either. Recent catastrophic storms did not have an appreciable impact on the US GDP.

Surprising discoveries

British Airways thought “Wakanda” was a real country. In its in-flight magazine, the airline said actress Lupita Nyong’o is a citizen of the mythical kingdom, home of Marvel’s African superhero the Black Panther.

An engineer designed clothes that will grow with your child. Overlapping, permanent pleats allow the clothes to stretch outward in different directions.

Chocolate syrup used to be medicinal. Pharmacists used Hershey’s cocoa powder to mask the flavor of bitter remedies.

Gluten-free water not insane enough? How about “free-range trees”? A macadamia-nut-milk company has come up with the newest, crazy product claim.

Nike’s new robots use static electricity to make shoes. A startup called Grabit uses electroadhesion to assemble sneakers in less than a minute.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, free-range trees, and postcards from Wakanda to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.