Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today and over the weekend
Mike Pompeo visits South America. The US secretary of state heads to Argentina today, Ecuador on Saturday, and lands in El Salvador and Mexico on Sunday, the eve of a 45-day deadline to curb migration in return for averting US tariffs.
A weekend for space. Worldwide events tomorrow will mark the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon. Meanwhile, a US-Russian-Italian team will take off for the International Space Station from the launchpad in Kazakhstan where Yuri Gagarin began humanity’s first space voyage in 1961. China’s Tiangong-2 manned space lab also heads back home after two years in orbit.
Puerto Rico and Hong Kong brace for more protests. Ongoing demonstrations in the US territory calling for the governor to resign continue today. In Hong Kong, a pro-Beijing rally tomorrow will show support for local police and embattled leader Carrie Lam, while weeks-long protests against a hated extradition bill ignited will continue with a pro-democracy march on Sunday.
Comic fans geek out. The world’s largest gathering of pop culture fans is expected to draw 135,000 to the San Diego Convention Center by the time it wraps up on Sunday, and has so far provided sneak peaks of Terminator and Top Gun reboots.
While you were sleeping
US-Iran tensions heated up. President Trump announced that the US brought down an Iranian drone after it approached a Navy ship in the Gulf of Hormuz. The escalation came just hours after Iran claimed responsibility for seizing a foreign tanker.
Microsoft came for the cloud crown. The company’s stock ticked up well into after-hours trading after it beat expectations to report its ninth straight quarter of double-digit revenue growth, driven by its booming cloud business, which may even be taking market share from Amazon Web Services.
Netflix got more competition. BBC and ITV have agreed to join forces to launch streaming service “Britbox” in the UK later this year. The news comes days after Netflix posted a decline in paid subscribers for the first time in its history.
PepsiCo made a pitch to expand further in Africa… The food and beverage giant offered to buy South Africa’s Pioneer Foods for $1.7 billion, a move that could help it boost its manufacturing and distribution capabilities through much of the continent. PepsiCo beat expectations once again with its quarterly earnings this week.
…while AB InBev pulled back from Australia. The world’s largest brewer has agreed to sell its Australian business to Japan’s Asahi, for $11.3 billion, sending the debt-laden company’s stock price up. Asahi-owned brands, including Foster’s and Victoria Bitters, already dominate about half of Australia’s beer market.
Daily Brief readers can grab a membership for 20% off! Use the code DAILYBRIEF, and sign up here.
Our field guide this week looked at the ways in which philanthropists are rethinking where and how they give, amid growing inequality and skepticism about the motives of billionaires. We wrap up today with a list of resources for keeping up-to-date with the world of nonprofits, international aid, and philanthropy.
Sober-curiosity is the new temperance. Drinking in America is on the decline, the result of a confluence between wellness culture, alternatives like legal marijuana, and a rise in alcohol-related deaths across generations. It’s opening up new opportunities for businesses—not to mention bartenders, who are concocting low- or no-alcohol alternatives. Next round is on the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
Join the conversation with the new Quartz app!
Future cities won’t have children. America’s most prosperous hubs are shrinking as more people delay or reject parenthood.
Tourists need to watch out for fake alcohol. Unsuspecting visitors are commonly served counterfeit or “illegal” alcohol in many parts of the world.
China may never be a rich country. Its state-driven version of capitalism is hitting its limits (paywall).
The Marshall Islands are radioactive. Parts of the Cold War bomb-testing site show higher levels than even Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Firefighters love their jobs. They may not make the most money, but they’re the happiest at work.
We may not need to see things to see them. Stimulating certain neurons with light made mice “see” that same image.
One man bought out Sotheby’s first-ever sneaker auction… Entrepreneur Miles Nadal paid $850,000 to become the new owner of 99 of the 100 shoes up for bidding.
…while a limited edition sneaker sale had to be shut down by New York police. The pop-up store selling AriZona Iced Tea-inspired Adidas kicks for 99 cents—the cost of a can—attracted quite the turnout.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, mocktails, and moon landing memories to firstname.lastname@example.org. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Adam Rasmi and edited by Jackie Bischof.