Apple keynote, Florence nears land, “chairdrobes”

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Apple debuts new products. Chief executive Tim Cook is expected to present the iPhone XS, a new Apple Watch generation, and possibly new iPads and computers at the company’s annual fall event. Apple will livestream the much-anticipated gathering on Twitter for the first time.

The Census Bureau publishes its annual report on income and poverty. The US government uses the report, in particular its findings on the federal poverty level, to determine who should qualify for aid.

A climate change summit kicks off in San Francisco. Thousands of executives, politicians, and activists will gather to discuss the fight against global warming, a counterpoint to Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord.

While you were sleeping

Hurricane Florence drew closer to North Carolina. The Category 4 storm is on track (paywall) to make landfall on the coast of the southeastern US on Thursday or Friday, and is expected to bring life-threatening floods and destructive winds. More than 1.5 million people have been ordered to evacuate coastal regions.

Vladimir Putin claimed that the Russian poisoning suspects are civilians. The UK had said that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the two men suspected of carrying out the March poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, were Russian military intelligence officers. Putin also said the pair had been found, and that he hoped they would tell their stories soon.

Hermès posted some stylish results. The French luxury group described its 17% increase in net profit for the first half of 2018, as “dazzling” (paywall). China is still a key market for the brand, which makes the exclusive Birkin and Kelly bags. Shares in Hermès are up 20% since the start of the year.

Tesla competitor Nio trimmed its US IPO target. The Chinese electric-car startup priced the shares for its NYSE listing at the bottom end of the range, valuing the company at $6.4 billion. Demand for Nio’s first SUV, the ES8, isn’t that strong, and Tesla’s production woes may color investors’ enthusiasm for its smaller rival.

Zara owner Inditex had a robust year so far. The world’s biggest clothing retailer said its autumn fashion line was proving popular with customers. Despite taking a hit from the strong euro, Inditex said net profit was €1.4 billion ($1.6 billion) in the first half of the year.

Quartz obsession interlude

Corinne Purtill on how robots will help care for us in our old age. “Loneliness is already a crisis for older people. The idea that any of the limited human interaction many older people have could be outsourced to machines is unsettling, and unacceptable to many critics of the rush to AI solutions. Is our goal to never be inconvenienced by anything? Shouldn’t the people we love be the one thing that’s worth our time and trouble?” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The US-Canada spat over dairy reveals the defining conflict of our era. At issue is not just NAFTA, but a nation’s right to create domestic economic policies.

Apple’s future is in software. Shiny new devices with rapid replacement cycles (paywall) are no longer the focus for Apple fans.

Americans need to stop thinking hard work can end poverty. The rise of bad jobs (paywall) means work is no longer the solution.

Surprising discoveries

The lightly worn pile of clothes in your bedroom has a name. “Chairdrobes” appear in 60% of millennial bedrooms, and cleaning companies are coming for it.

A giant “pool noodle” is being used to clean up an ocean garbage patch. The Ocean Cleanup Project hopes to clear 88,000 tons of plastic in a two-week trial.

A Domino’s giveaway spurred a tattoo spree in Russia. The chain had to cap an offer of 100 years of free pizzas for customers who got a tattoo of its logo.

Egypt doesn’t have a name for its new capital. Cairo will be replaced in June by something currently called NAC, or “new administrative capital.”

NASA may start selling naming rights. The space agency is researching the potential benefits (paywall) of sponsored spacecraft and paid astronaut endorsements.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, chairdrobes, and pizza giveaways 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 Jill Petzinger and edited by Sarah Todd.