Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The US Federal Reserve makes an interest rate announcement. A highly-anticipated cut is probably forthcoming—the first in a decade—but it’s not quite a given.
ASEAN foreign ministers get together. The annual meeting begins in earnest today and takes place in Bangkok, where China’s claims in the South China Sea and security on the Korean peninsula are expected to top the agenda. Later this week, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo will make an appearance and lead a meeting.
Colombia and China talk livestock. President Ivan Duque will attempt to capitalize on a pork shortage due to African swine fever by striking a deal with Xi Jinping to bring more of Colombia’s pork and beef to Chinese shores. An agreement could open larger trading doors in the future.
US presidential hopefuls face off. Democrats grace the small screen at 8pm EDT (8am HKT) for round two, night one of a fresh set of debates. Among the first set of 10 candidates: Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.
While you were sleeping
India banned Anheuser-Busch InBev… The world’s largest brewer can no longer sell within New Delhi after evading taxes for three years, according to a Reuters review of government documents. AB InBev, who would take a big hit from losing one of its key markets, says it will appeal.
…As well as a controversial divorce practice. Triple talaq, a Muslim tradition that allowed husbands to instantly divorce their wives at will, was abolished when both houses of parliament passed a new bill. Prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted the news minutes after the ban was made official.
The UN released a damning report on Afghanistan. This year to date, the American and Afghan militaries have killed more civilians than their insurgent opponents. In the first six months, American air strikes resulted in the deaths of 363, including 89 children.
South Korea sought trade sanctions against the US. The dispute dates back to an Obama-era decision to slap tariffs on Korean steel pipes, which prompted South Korea to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization in 2014. On Tuesday, it demanded $350 million annually to make up for the economic damage.
The world’s top spies talked about cracking encryption. Representatives from the “Five Eyes” countries (the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand) spent two days in London talking about how to gain access to encrypted messages on platforms like WhatsApp. Police and spies have lobbied for tech companies to give them backdoor access to monitor suspects’ communications.
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China may have taken over the art world, but reporter Annalisa Merelli brings members a glimpse into the industry beyond China. Locales like Taiwan, Ghana, Cuba, and India could be lucrative for art investors, if they’re willing to take a risk.
Debates don’t have to be nasty. In the 18th century, London debate societies drew crowds eager to hear vigorous but courteous arguments about gender equality, religion, and political power, fostering ideas that led to fundamental changes in society. Believe it or not, this style of debate is still alive and well today. Listen up as the Quartz Obsession takes the podium.
Matters of debate
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Was the US behind the Hong Kong protests? China blames its internal unrest on American spycraft.
Colonizing Mars is a pipe dream. Blustery predictions for cities on the Red Planet are pure sci-fi.
Autoplay videos should be illegal. Social media features designed to be addictive unfairly hack our brains.
Scientists found ground zero for an ancient Martian tsunami. Around three billion years ago, a meteor slammed into the ocean and sent skyscraper-high waves across the planet.
John Dilinger will rise again. The famous gangster’s body will be exhumed from an Indiana cemetery for reasons that are still a mystery.
What’s in a name? Affluence and success. An AI analysis of Indian names revealed clear correlations between certain monikers and life outcomes.
NASA fed moon dust to cockroaches. The scientists also exposed birds, fish, and rodents to lunar samples to test whether the Apollo astronauts brought back any nasty space diseases.
Google wants you to take your hands off your phone. Users can unlock the new Pixel 4 phone with their faces and snooze its alarm with a gesture.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, name-change forms, and dashed Mars dreams 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 and edited by Susan Howson and Nicolás Rivero.