Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today and over the weekend
The US reports second-quarter GDP data. Boeing’s 737 Max crisis may have dented this quarter’s economic growth, as slowing production of the grounded plane impacts airlines and suppliers.
Huawei goes 5G in the UK. The launch of the Mate 20 X 5G, the Chinese tech giant’s first commercially available 5G phone, had been postponed in Britain after the US barred its firms from supplying to the company in May. The jury’s still out as to whether Huawei will be allowed to build Britain’s 5G network.
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 lifting sanctions. The US pulled out of the deal last year, setting the stage for increased tensions with Iran.
Twitter and McDonald’s report. Twitter’s stock has surged over 30% in 2019, and analysts are focused on the company’s monetizable daily active users figures. McDonald’s is up around 20% so far this year; it’s considered by some investors to be more “recession-proof” than higher-end rivals like Starbucks.
While you were sleeping
Alphabet soared and Amazon stuttered. Shares of Google parent company Alphabet popped over 7% in after-hours trading after the company crushed second-quarter expectations, while Amazon slid after it reported a slowdown in its cloud computing business.
Japan’s SoftBank launched a $108 billion AI fund. Vision Fund II will focus on accelerating the “AI revolution” and has secured backing from companies like Apple and Microsoft. Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who invested in the company’s first $99 billion fund, are notably absent from the list of investors, but are expected to be involved.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Try membership for 20% off, using the code DAILYBRIEF. Sign up here.
This week we shone a spotlight on the Hollywood blockbuster franchise, examining the future of the big-budget movie series, and looking at how it’s taken over the box office. We roll the credits today with a toolkit on Tinseltown trends. We also present a six-part video series featuring Andreessen Horowitz’s Scott Kupor, who breaks down each stage of the pitching process, using Instagram’s and Lyft’s early pitches as case studies.
Matters of debate
Join the conversation with the new Quartz app!
Boris Johnson isn’t the UK’s Donald Trump. Their political approach is quite different—for now.
Even non-parents deserve parental leave. Allowing anyone to take extended time off builds trust and prevents burnout.
The US could lose a war with China. China’s capabilities could overtake those of the US within the next five years, military experts warn.
The Booker Prize could go to one 1,000-page-long sentence. Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport has been described as both brilliant and torturous.
Colonialism made Egyptians croquet champs. The game’s world championship in Sussex this weekend will feature more Egyptian players than English ones.
Bugs are crawling into US diets. Scorpions, silkworms, and other critters are increasingly popping up on menus.
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, slow rides, 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 Adam Rasmi and edited by Jackie Bischof.