Two massive storms, the pope’s US meeting, Dogecoin’s rise

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Two huge storms on different sides of the world. The US east coast will start feeling the effects of Hurricane Florence, just as Super Typhoon Mangkhut barrels toward the Philippines with sustained winds of 265 km/h (165 mph). More than 1 million Americans were ordered to evacuate; up to 43 million people could be affected in southeast Asia.

Pope Francis meets US bishops to discuss the Catholic Church’s sex-abuse scandal. A group of US bishops will confront the pope over allegations the Vatican knew of ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s misconduct for nearly 20 years.

Europe’s and England’s central banks are expected to keep interest rates flat. Economists think it’s unlikely the Bank of England will raise rates after the benchmark interest rate was increased last month to 0.75%, its highest level since February 2009. The European Central Bank is expected to trim its growth forecasts but probably won’t announce any major policy changes. ECB president Mario Draghi could also give an update on the effects of the US trade war (paywall).

Inflation data from Germany and the US. In its preliminary report for August, Europe’s largest economy said inflation rose by 2%. Economists expect US inflation to show marginal easing (paywall) in annual inflation, from 2.9% to 2.8%.

While you were sleeping

Aung San Suu Kyi said the imprisoned Reuters journalists can appeal their case. Activists had hoped Myanmar’s de facto leader would grant amnesty to Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were sentenced to seven years in prison after reporting on the massacre of the Rohingya Muslim minority. Speaking at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN, Suu Kyi admitted her government could’ve handled the Rohingya crisis better. She will skip the UN General Assembly meeting that starts next week.

South Sudan signed a peace deal. President Salva Kiir and rebel factions have agreed to end the civil war that’s killed more than 50,000 people and displaced 2 million since 2013, two years after the country gained independence from Sudan. The deal also reinstates rebel leader Riek Machar as vice president.

Malaysia charged Najib Razak’s lawyer with money laundering. Muhammad Shafee, who is representing the country’s former prime minister in his corruption case, pleaded not guilty to charges of receiving money from the proceeds of illegal activities and income-tax fraud.

Hershey’s agreed to buy a cheese-puffs maker for $420 million. The chocolate company is wading into the $2.5 billion cheese-puffs market with its purchase of Pirate Brands, which makes snacks such as Pirate’s Booty and Smart Puffs. B&G Foods bought Pirate Brands in 2013 for $195 million.

Quartz Obsession interlude

Chase Purdy on the scientists fighting to make Pluto a planet again. “Pluto itself—caught in the sun’s gravitational grip and powerless to save face—is the real victim here. Sure, it might not command a room like Jupiter. It could never outshine the splendor of Saturn, dripping in ringed eleganza. But Pluto has a lot going for it, like its oceans and that bad-boy glum reserved for only the most mysterious and quiet of outcasts.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

JPMorgan is the new welfare. Its new $500 million initiative provides more resources to cities than the US government is willing to offer.

Apple’s most exciting product is no longer the iPhone. Its best innovations can be found in the Apple Watch.

South Africa won’t become less violent until it’s more equal. Inequality is the best predictor of whether a country will experience high or low levels of crime.

Surprising discoveries

The strongest cryptocurrency right now is a total joke. Dogecoin has doubled in value over the past three months as assets like bitcoin and ether have plummeted.

Scientists have discovered a gelatinous fish that melts at sea level. The pink, blue, and purple snailfish have evolved to survive pressure at 25,000 feet underwater.

A romance novelist took her stories too literally. Nancy Crampton Brophy, who wrote the essay “How to Murder Your Husband,” has been charged with fatally shooting her spouse (paywall).

Plant shadows can help us see around corners. Non-line-of-sight imaging could be used to help self-driving cars navigate blind spots.

A boiled rat cost a hot-pot chain $190 million in market value. A video of a rodent being fished out of a vat in China led to shares falling to their lowest (paywall) in a year.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, cheese puffs, and hot-pot ingredients 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 Alice Truong and edited by Maria Thomas.