Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Emmanuel Macron’s global climate summit. More than 50 world leaders will mark the two-year anniversary of the Paris climate accord. The US pulled out in June, and Donald Trump wasn’t invited to the summit. The French president on Monday awarded grants to 13 US climate scientists to move to France.
SpaceX’s 17th mission this year. It marks a return to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral where the SpaceX rocket exploded in September 2016. The cargo supply mission, bound for the ISS, is scheduled for liftoff at 11:46 am ET.
Alabama’s special election for a US Senate seat. Democrat Doug Jones has a decent shot at defeating Republican Roy Moore—accused of molesting minors—in a state that has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1992. Despite party leaders distancing themselves from Moore, Trump has strongly supported him.
Rex Tillerson’s State Department town hall. The secretary of state is expected to explain his planned agency reorganization to staff, who, according to reports, are disgruntled at how he’s managing the department. The session will be closed to the press.
While you were sleeping
The US ambassador said that Trump was “misinterpreted.” Woody Johnson defended the president’s heated spat with the British prime minister after he retweeted videos from a British far-right group. He said Trump wasn’t “namby-pamby” and would likely “ruffle feathers.” Johnson said Trump’s trip to the UK is expected to happen early 2018.
Sean Spicer is writing a book about his time in the White House. It’s perhaps no surprise that the former press secretary’s book will address what he described as the “rampant hostility” by the press towards Trump. Spicer is famous for aggressively defending his former boss and fighting with journalists. The book is due out next year.
France’s Unibail-Rodamco snapped up Westfield for $25 billion. The acquisition (paywall) of the Australian company, which owns shopping centers in the US and UK, will create a shopping-mall group worth $72 billion. Nearly 70% of Westfield’s $1.8 billion annual revenue comes from its US mall business.
Amazon expanded its cloud business in China. The move, announced today, comes despite China’s strict new rules saying foreign firms must store data locally and outsource hardware elements to local partners. Amazon Web Services faces increasing competition in China from domestic rivals like Alibaba.
Comcast dropped its bid for Fox assets. The cable giant’s exit leaves Disney in pole position to acquire most of the assets of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox. The $50 billion deal, which might come this week, would mean Disney also getting a controlling interest in Hulu.
Quartz obsession interlude
Max de Haldevang on the unbearable limbo of being a British eurocrat in the age of Brexit. When you talk to Brits in Brussels about Brexit negotiations, their pronouns become confused. The EU is almost always referred to as “we,” while the UK is sometimes “they.” Asking commission officials about divided loyalties provokes responses veering from the angry to the defiant. Read more here.
Matters of debate
Map apps make traffic worse. Routing drivers through out-of-the-way thoroughfares causes traffic jams, late-night speed demons, and fatal accidents.
Campaigns against cultural appropriation are bad for art and politics. What is really being appropriated is the right to police cultures and experiences, which curbs creativity.
Spotify is ruining music. Its algorithmic playlists are made for background listening, which favors “clickbait” music.
The oldest form of life could solve the world’s biggest energy-storage problem. Feeding energy to archaea microbes produces methane, which can be stored indefinitely.
A former Facebook exec ditched social media because he doesn’t want to be “programmed.” Chamath Palihapitiya feels “tremendous guilt” about creating tools that are “ripping apart the social fabric.”
China’s hottest cryptocurrency is not bitcoin. OneCoin, designed by Chinese tech company Xunlei, increased more than 80-fold within 40 days of its launch.
Marine organisms can shred a single plastic bag into 1.75 million fragments. The amphipod Orchestia gammarellus, seeking a meal, spreads the particles throughout the ocean.
New Zealand has the highest rate of homelessness in the developed world. The country may ban foreign real-estate purchases (paywall) to tackle an affordable housing shortage.
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