Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
US tax bill voting kicks off. Republicans in both the House and Senate are hoping to get the $1.5 trillion tax bill on president Donald Trump’s desk by tomorrow. While some votes are still up in the air, a pass would make it the biggest tax overhaul in decades.
The world’s biggest video game launches in North America. Tencent’s Honor of Kings has about 200 million monthly players but its success has been limited mostly to China. The internet giant renamed it Arena of Valor for overseas players and hopes to prove that China’s gaming sector can compete on the global stage.
FedEx delivers earnings. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the courier company to post a 5% growth (paywall) in revenue to $15.7 billion in the second quarter, from the same time a year ago.
While you were sleeping
The derailed Amtrak train was speeding. Investigators confirmed late Monday that the train that crashed in Washington state yesterday was doing 80mph on a 30mph part of the track. At least six people have been killed, and about 100 were injured.
China warned Washington not to brand it as a competitor. Reacting to Trump’s new national security strategy, Beijing said that “confrontation will bring mutual losses” and urged the US to “stop intentionally distorting China’s strategic intentions.” Trump yesterday accused Russia and China of seeking to erode US security and prosperity.
The US publicly blamed North Korea for the WannaCry cyberattack. Tom Bossert, Trump’s homeland security adviser, alleged in a Wall Street Journal column (paywall) that North Korea was “directly responsible” for the attack that affected hospitals, businesses, and banks across the world in May. The hack hit more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries and cost billions in damage.
Thailand will allow elections next year. The prime minister and head of the military junta, Prayuth Chan-ocha, said he would lift a ban on political activity that has been in place since the 2014 coup. He said the country would hold an election in November 2018.
House Republicans unveiled a massive disaster-aid bill. If passed, the legislation would provide $81 billion in emergency aid for recent hurricanes and wildfires, making it the largest single funding request for natural calamities in US history. Last month Trump had requested $44 billion, an amount widely criticized for being too low.
Quartz obsession interlude
Marc Bain on the remarkable enduring cool of the Doc Marten boot. “Kids today are comfortable assembling their eclectic identities by pulling in references and ideas from a variety of places, just as their Instagram feeds do. Fashion today feels less defined by strict categories, such as ‘prep’ or ‘punk.’ As much as pointing to how the brand has grown, and how its image has shifted over the decades, Dr. Martens’ broadening customer base could be seen a symbol of this change as well.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Getting political is good for business. Consumers are increasingly making values-based purchasing decisions.
Trump is making the US more vulnerable to terrorism. Top jobs have been left unfilled at the Department of Homeland Security, and the agency is being pushed into focusing on immigration while ignoring real threats.
There are hidden benefits to being a woman in tech. You can manipulate male bias, tap into a network of female investors, and turn inappropriate flirting into an investor litmus test.
A Washington state mayor predicted the new Amtrak line would cause fatalities. “We thought a train-vehicle collision was virtually inevitable,” said Lakewood mayor Don Anderson.
The UK Navy’s new $4 billion aircraft carrier is leaking. The HMS Queen Elizabeth is taking on up to 200 liters of sea water per hour.
Buying lunch with bitcoin could become a thing. The Lightning Lab is trying to cheapen bitcoin transactions so we can use the cryptocurrency to pay for small stuff.
The British police’s new AI confuses desert photos with naked pictures. The image recognition tool does better with pictures of drugs and guns, than porn.
A German banker spent six months counting 1.2 million pennies. A trucker collected the pennies over his 30-year career, and later bequeathed the 2.5-metric-ton, €8,000 ($9,440) inheritance to his family.
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