Russia war games, US hurricane evacuations, Sri Lanka nut rage

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Russia holds its biggest military exercise since the Cold War. Vostok 2018 (“East 2018”) will involve about 300,000 troops from Russia, China, and Mongolia, in the largest show of force by the Kremlin since 1981.

Google tries to stop the EU’s “right to be forgotten” from going global. In a hearing before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, the internet giant will appeal a French privacy regulator’s ruling (paywall) that Google must adhere to EU privacy rules across all of its websites around the world.

Catalonian separatists take to the streets again. Separatist leaders are urging people to show (paywall) their support for independence on the region’s national day, almost a year after a failed attempt to break away from Spain. Carles Puigdemont, the former Catalan leader who fled to Belgium, has refused to return to Spain to face prosecution.

While you were sleeping

The US evacuated 1 million people ahead of a hurricane. Coastal regions in North and South Carolina are being cleared after Hurricane Florence grew into a category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 140 mph (220 km/h). If it continues on its current path, Florence would be one of the few storms to ever make landfall that far north on the US east coast.

The White House is mulling sanctions on China for its treatment of Uyghur Muslims. The New York Times also reported (paywall) that US officials are considering limiting sales of American surveillance technology to China. Beijing is holding millions of people in Xinjiang in what it calls “re-education” facilities, allegedly to combat religious extremism.

Donald Trump received an invite from Kim Jong Un. The White House said the “very warm, very positive” letter asked to set up another meeting between the leaders. The administration is open to another summit and has already begun coordinating with its North Korean counterparts.

California announced plans to go carbon neutral by 2045. Governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order to eliminate carbon emissions in the state and another bill to make its electricity supply carbon neutral by the same year.

A large semiconductor deal was announced. Japan’s Renesas said it had agreed to buy US rival IDT for $6.7 billion to boost its autonomous-car technology. It bought another US chipmaker, Intersil, for $3.2 billion last year.

Quartz Obsession interlude

Robert David Hart on what happens when a machine botches your surgery. “This is not an abstract discussion. Defining both ethical and legal responsibility in the world of medical care is vital for building patients’ trust in the profession and its standards. It’s also essential in determining how to compensate individuals who fall victim to medical errors, and ensuring high-quality care.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Big banks are safe from a financial crisis. But 10 years after Lehman imploded, risk is accumulating at shadow institutions (paywall).

Restaurants should charge for no-shows. Asking people to hand over their credit card details when making a reservation implies mistrust, but allows small, independent restaurants to survive.

It’s possible (and dangerous) to be over-inclusive. By looping in too many people to emails, meetings, and projects, organizations risk job satisfaction, retention, and both the quality and timeliness of employees’ work.

Surprising discoveries

You don’t have to poop every day. The optimal number of bowel movements can be as few as three per week.

Sri Lanka’s president complained about airplane cashews. Maithripala Sirisena said the snacks on his country’s national carrier were not even suitable for dogs.

You can now re-live the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore. The hotel that hosted this summer’s historic meeting is offering a “Path to Peace” package so guests can walk in the footsteps (paywall) of the leaders.

Wifi moves faster than the speed of sound. Noise-canceling headphones can now outpace noise itself.

A soccer match will be broadcast in black and white. The first 25 seconds of an England vs. Switzerland game will be shown in monochrome in a show of support for anti-racism in the sport.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, no-show fees, and supersonic headphones to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Isabella Steger and edited by Alice Truong.