US bishops meet the pope, Suu Kyi’s defense, Dogecoin’s rise

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Two huge storms on different sides of the world. The East Coast of the US will start feeling the effects of Hurricane Florence, now a Category 2 storm. Meanwhile, Super Typhoon Mangkhut barrels toward the Philippines, bringing winds of 165 mph.

Pope Francis meets US bishops to discuss the Catholic Church’s sex-abuse scandal. A delegation from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops will meet the pope in Rome to discuss what the Vatican knew about misconduct allegations against ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The pope’s top adviser on clergy sex abuse, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, will attend.

The US rolls out inflation data. Economists expect to see a 2.4% year-over-year increase for core CPI, the preferred measure of inflation, in keeping with the previous month’s pace.

While you were sleeping

Aung San Suu Kyi defended a court decision to jail two Reuters journalists.  Myanmar’s de facto leader said that Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Ootwo could appeal their seven-year jail sentences. Many had hoped she would grant amnesty to the pair, who had reported on the massacre of Rohingya people. Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Suu Kyi admitted her government could have handled the Rohingya crisis better.

A Pussy Riot member was hospitalized in a suspected poisoning. Pyotr Verzilov, a member of Russian feminist punk band and activist group, was taken into intensive care (paywall) in a Moscow hospital. He fell ill shortly after a court hearing on Tuesday. Pussy Riot activists frequently demonstrate against the Russian government.

Adobe eyed Marketo. Reuters reports that the Photoshop maker is in talks to buy the Californian marketing software company, which would help strengthen Adobe’s push into cloud-based software. Vista Equity took Marketo private two years ago for $1.8 billion, and Adobe, which reports its quarterly earnings today, is expected to pay more than that.

China welcomed more trade talks with Washington. Asian stocks and the Chinese yuan got a bump Wednesday after the Trump administration invited Beijing to restart trade talks. China said today it’s up for another round. Washington is still planning to slap tariffs on a further $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Hershey sank its teeth into the $2.5 billion cheese-puffs market. The chocolate company agreed to buy Pirate Brands, which makes snacks such as Pirate’s Booty, Original Tings, and Smart Puffs, from B&G Foods for $420 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.

Engaging with Steve Bannon is a form of liberal narcissism. White supremacists need to be shut down, not given a platform by media outlets like The Economist.

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

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.

There’s 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 Chinese hot-pot chain $190 million in market value. A video of a rodent being fished out of a vat caused the chain’s shares to plummet.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, cheese puffs, and Dogecoins 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.