IMF head, Japan-Korea spat, muscle time

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What to watch for today and over the weekend

EU finance ministers vote on the next IMF head. They will try to break an internal deadlock this morning on who should replace departing chair Christine Lagarde, who is stepping down down to lead the European Central Bank.

A treaty that helped end the Cold War is dead. Today marks the end of the US withdrawal process, announced by Donald Trump’s administration in February, from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The treaty was signed by the US and the then–Soviet Union in 1987, banning certain nuclear and conventional ground-launched missiles.

Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Roselló steps down. And no one knows who will take his place. Former congressman Pedro Pierluisi, who Roselló nominated as secretary of state—making him next in line as governor—faces political obstacles, while justice secretary Wanda Vázquez has already passed on the job.

While you were sleeping

Japan removed South Korea from a list of trusted export destinations… The decision by Shinzo Abe’s cabinet today means its neighbor will no longer enjoy less stringent export controls starting from Aug. 28, escalating a new trade war brewing between the two countries. South Korean president Moon Jae-in will convene a cabinet meeting this afternoon to discuss how to respond to Japan’s move.

…while North Korea fired more missiles. In the country’s third launch in eight days, two projectiles that appear to be a new type of short-range missile were launched in the early hours of this morning, according to South Korea.

Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter died of an overdose. Saoirse Kennedy Hill, 22, was a student at Boston College and president of the College Democrats. A statement released by the family quoted her grandmother, Ethel Kennedy, as saying, “The world is a little less beautiful today.”

Liberal Democrats won a by-election in Wales. In a major blow to UK prime minister Boris Johnson, Jane Dodds beat the Conservative candidate in Brecon and Radnorshire, cutting the Tories’ parliamentary majority to just one.

New China tariffs. Trump announced via a tweet that he plans to impose fresh tariffs of 10% on another $300 billion of Chinese goods starting Sept. 1—just in time for new trade talks between the nations. The surprise move may force the Fed to cut rates more than it had hoped.

Saudi Arabia allowed women to travel without male approval. According to local news reports, women older than 21 will be able to apply for a passport for foreign travel without needing permission from a male guardian. The move would mark a major milestone in the fight for gender equality in the kingdom.

The US Federal Trade Commission took another swing at Facebook. Regulators are investigating whether Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp were aimed at neutralizing their threat as rivals. The news comes just one week after the company and agency reached a $5 billion settlement over privacy violations.

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Jake Schwartz is the co-founder and CEO of General Assembly, a global education start-up with 20 campuses and 50,000 alumni worldwide. In an exclusive interview with Quartz editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney, Schwartz discusses how higher education institutions have been normalized as luxury brands; why the lines on your resume are actually “imperfect proxies” for job preparedness; and what the alternatives might look like.

Quartz Obsession

After over 500 years of trying, man finally made the Arctic a shipping route. And we did it through climate change. While the Northwest and Northeast Passages are unlikely to surpass routes through the Suez and Panama Canals, they’re getting busier as Arctic routes go ice-free more often. And it’s not exactly going to thaw diplomatic relations. Explore the region at the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of debate

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Higher plus-size pricing is bad form. It’s also bad business.

Artificial intelligence can own patents. The argument that only humans can innovate is outdated.

Universities should offer cannabis programs. The $14 billion global market for legal marijuana has a shortage of qualified applicants.

Surprising discoveries

Action stars don’t want to lose fights.The males of Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw wanted equal “muscle time”, so a complicated fairness system was born (paywall).

Lab mice have become too clean. By inbreeding mice in sanitized labs, we’ve created test subjects without normal ranges of microbes.

Workout clothes could soon smell better than you do. A new fabric puts out a citronella scent when it comes into contact with sweat.

AI can spot queue jumpers. Facial recognition technology can now give bartenders an idea of who got to the bar first.

A puzzling river hot spot was a North Korean defector. A mysterious thermal reading in the Imjin river turned out to be a rare defection by a North Korean soldier.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, mouse bacteria, and fragrant clothes 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.