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What to watch for today and over the weekend
Europe’s heatwave moves north. After Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands all set new hot-weather records yesterday, it’s Scandinavia’s turn to swelter. The “heat dome,” which has allowed hot air from Africa to come north, could also lead to more Arctic melt this year.
Huawei goes 5G in the UK. The launch of the Mate 20 X 5G, the Chinese tech giant’s first commercially available 5G phone, was postponed in Britain after the US barred its firms from supplying to the company in May. The jury’s still out, however, as to whether Huawei will be allowed to build Britain’s 5G network.
The US reports second-quarter GDP data. Boeing’s 737 Max crisis may have dented this quarter’s economic growth, with its slowing of production of the grounded plane creating a ripple effect on airlines and a range of suppliers.
Hong Kong stays in the streets. Even after police denied them a protest permit—a rare occurrence in Hong Kong—marchers are expected to demonstrate tomorrow in a rural suburb against last Sunday’s violence there, when thugs in white beat train passengers and journalists. Police, who failed to arrive in time to help, say the possibility of clashes between protesters and villagers is too high.
The remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal meet. Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China will join Iran in Vienna on Sunday in an attempt to salvage the 2015 deal to curtail Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for removing sanctions. The US pulled out of the deal last year, setting the stage for increased tensions with Iran.
While you were sleeping
China disputed FedEx’s account of its “mishandling” of Huawei packages. After the US barred American companies from doing business with Huawei, FedEx rerouted some packages traveling between Huawei offices in Asia to the US, leading China to open an investigation and also warn it was putting together an “unreliable entities” list.
Japan and South Korea ties worsened. Japan’s Kyodo News reported that Tokyo plans to remove South Korea from a list of favored trading partners next week, after earlier restricting key high-tech exports to the country. The trade tiff has its roots in South Korean courts’ efforts to order compensation from Japanese companies for using Koreans as forced labor during World War II.
Kim Jong Un said yesterday’s missile tests were aimed at South Korean “warmongers.” The North Korean leader watched the tests of two short-range missiles, seen as a signal of Pyongyang’s frustration over stalled denuclearization talks with the US, and US-South Korean military exercises.
Alphabet soared, and Amazon stuttered. Shares of Google parent Alphabet popped over 7% after crushing second-quarter expectations, while Amazon shares shed about 2% after reporting a slowdown in its cloud computing business.
Gunmen stole $30 million of gold from a Brazilian airport. Dressed as police officers, the suspects entered an airport in São Paulo and stole 750 kg (1,650 lbs) of gold that had been headed for New York and Zurich.
Russia’s last royal family—and those who claim to be members of it—rules our imagination. For nearly a century after they were assassinated, the Romanovs have been subjects of the large and small screens—and the targets of impostors looking for wealth or glamour. Climb the family tree at the Quartz Obsession.
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You’re not imagining things—movies are less original than they used to be. Sequels, prequels, reboots, and remakes are all accounting for an ever-growing share of US box-office revenue. We take a look at how the Hollywood movie franchise has taken over the box office. Over at Private Key, reporter Matt De Silva looks at the odds that Facebook can launch its Libra cryptocurrency in the first half of 2020.
Matters of debate
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Small businesses don’t trust lending robots yet. Many entrepreneurs still like to talk about money matters face-to-face.
Even non-parents deserve parental leave. An open leave policy where anyone can take extended time off builds trust and prevents burnout.
The US could lose a war with China. China’s capabilities in Asia could overtake the United States’ within the next five years, some military experts warn.
The Booker Prize could go to one 1,000-page-long sentence. Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann is either brilliant or torturous, depending on whom you believe.
Colonialism made Egyptians croquet champs. When the game’s world championship is held in Sussex this weekend, there will be more Egyptians than English players competing.
India’s “no-girl” villages might not exist. Officials are investigating what they think may be faulty data collection in remote areas.
A Chinese electric mini-pickup has found takers in the US. About 40 units of the Pickman, which can’t travel faster than 30 mph (50 km/h), have been sold in the US.
Sony made an in-shirt air conditioner. A rechargeable device slips into a pocket and cools the wearer for up to 90 minutes.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, croquet mallets, and short sentences 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 Tripti Lahiri and edited by Isabella Steger.