Florence flooding, hydrogen-powered trains, Fortnite divorces

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Rising waters in North Carolina. Waters dumped by Hurricane Florence, now downgraded to a tropical storm, continue to rise, threatening widespread, catastrophic flooding. Thousands have been evacuated amid fears of the worst flooding in state history.

Hydrogen-powered trains go into service in Germany. Operating in northern Germany near Hamburg, they’ll be the first such trains to be put into commercial operation, according their French manufacturer Alstom.

Over the weekend

The woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault went public. Professor Christine Blasey Ford confirmed she wrote a confidential letter alleging that US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her over 30 years ago. Kavanaugh has denied wrongdoing (paywall).

Typhoon Mangkhut wreaked havoc in Southeast Asia. The powerful storm killed over 50 people in the Philippines, largely from landslides, and caused significant damage to crops in a key agricultural area. In Hong Kong it ripped off roofs and forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights before heading to southern mainland China.

Hurricane Florence ravaged the Carolinas. The enormous storm claimed at least 15 lives and caused much flooding, moving slowly and repeatedly drenching certain areas. North Carolina governor called it “an uninvited brute that just won’t leave.”

Deutsche Bank is planning to shift major assets out of London after Brexit. The bank could eventually move about 75% of its estimated €600 billion in capital back to its Frankfurt headquarters, the Financial Times reported (paywall). European regulators have insisted the bank bulk up its capital and liquidity in Germany.

A fire broke out at Tesla’s gigafactory. The Nevada production facility, which makes Model 3 electric motors and battery packs, evacuated employees after the fire erupted on Saturday night. The electric-car maker has been trying to work out production kinks after failing to meet several deadlines.

Quartz Obsession interlude

Tripti Lahiri on the two biggest threats to academic freedom coming together in China. “One of the biggest threats… is authoritarianism. But just as harmful… is ‘market fundamentalism,’ or the commodification of many public services, including education, which has put more power in the hands of administrators focused on business concerns rather than scholarly ones.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Negative feedback is best delivered in the morning. Self-control fades and defensiveness increases later in the day.

Netflix hasn’t ruined the Great British Baking Show. In some ways it’s even improved it, despite the fears of loyal fans.

Drawing is the best way to learn. It fosters close observation, analytical thinking, patience, and even humility.

Surprising discoveries

Apple is investing in negative emissions via mangrove restoration. It’s backing a project in Colombia that will sequester as much as 17,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide in two years.

Nearly 90% of Japan’s centenarians are women. The nation just reached a record-high of 69,785 people aged 100 or older.

Fortnite contributed to 5% of UK divorces this year. The addictive video game isn’t just for teens.

BPA-free plastics may not be safer than regular plastics. The common alternatives carry their own health risks, says new research.

The latest iPhones cost way more in Germany. Expect a price change of over 130% for the Xs, Xs Max, and Xr models compared to in the US.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, healthy plastics, and Fortnite alternatives to hi@qz.com. 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 Steve Mollman and edited by Annaliese Griffin.