Bank of England, Democratic debate, anti-seduction law

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What to watch for today

The UN considers the North Korean missile launch problem. The group’s security council will meet behind closed doors, at the request of France, Germany, and the UK, to discuss how to best restart conversations on denuclearizing the peninsula. This comes after North Korea fired two ballistic missiles yesterday, its second such launch within a week.

A by-election in Wales makes Boris Johnson uneasy. If the MP seat—formerly held by Johnson’s Conservative party—is turned over to the opposition, it narrows the already shaky Tory majority in parliament to a single member.

The Bank of England decides on rates. Economists expect the central bank to hold rates at 0.75%, even as the threat of a no-deal Brexit looms on the horizon, causing the sterling to plunge in recent days. The US Fed, in its first cut since 2008, dropped rates by 25 basis points yesterday. The European Central Bank is expected to follow suit with a rate cut next month.

Mozambique’s president signs a peace deal with opposition party Renamo. The agreement between Filipe Nyusi and opposition leader Ossufo Momade will bring an end to armed hostilities with the former rebel movement. The deal follows an amnesty law signed on Monday, which would grant clemency to conflict-related crimes committed since 2014, and a disarmament process that began Tuesday.

While you were sleeping

The other US Democrats debated. Ten more presidential candidates took the stage on night two of the second round of showdowns. Contenders went after former vice president Joe Biden, criticizing his plans and challenging him to keep up with the party.

Taipei’s independent mayor will form a new party. Ko Wen-je announced that he is establishing the Taiwanese People’s Party to run in the January 2020 legislative elections, fuelling speculation that he may join the high-stakes presidential race. That would potentially complicate president Tsai Ing-wen’s re-election bid amid increasing tensions with China.

A North Korean soldier defected across the DMZ, says South Korea. An unidentified active duty soldier crossed the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas, in a rare and highly dangerous escape. The soldier is now in South Korean military custody.

Iran’s foreign minister was hit with US sanctions. Any of Javad Zarif assets in America will be frozen, in a move that senior US officials say was due to the minister’s actions on behalf of the Iranian regime. Zarif swiftly responded with a tweet insisting that the sanctions would have no effect on him.

The son of Osama bin Laden is believed to be dead. Hamza, who was trying to lead an al Qaeda resurgence by staging attacks on Western targets, is dead,  according to reports citing US officials. He is believed to have been killed at some point over the last two years.

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30 years after it opened, it’s nearly impossible to have a conversation about the history of global contemporary art that does not—with respect, or skepticism, or both—mention Les Magiciens de La Terre. Go on a deep dive with reporter Annalisa Merelli about the Paris exhibition that changed the art scene forever.

Quartz Obsession

Claw cranes are full of promise. The ubiquitous arcade games contain heaps of brightly colored plush toys—and the occasional iPhone—locked in a plexiglass box and waiting for liberation via a metal claw. But are they mere games, or are they a form of gambling? The Quartz Obsession rolls the dice.

Matters of debate

Join the conversation with the new Quartz app!

Just add water. Dehydrated goods take up less space, use less packaging, and might just save the world.

No one knows basic math. This equation doesn’t have large figures or exotic symbols, but it’s still managed to divide the internet.

Get rid of the lottery. It’s a rigged capitalist competition and takes advantage of people’s desperation.

Surprising discoveries

The golden years are turning into blackout sessions. Binge drinking among seniors is on the rise.

Woodstock 50 is dust in the wind. A planned anniversary celebration of the iconic music festival has been officially called off two weeks before it was due to start.

Kids have a complicated relationship with bearded adults. Children identify bearded men as older, stronger, but much less attractive than their clean-shaven counterparts.

A Malaysian senator dropped his proposed anti-seduction law. Mohamad Imran Abdul Hamid had suggested legislation to protect men from being “seduced” by women into committing sexual crimes.

Children born in cities earn more than adults. Large urban hubs bring with them advantages like better amenities and larger social networks, according to new research by two economists.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Woodstock stories, and dehydrated foods, to Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Mary Hui and edited by Isabella Steger.