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What to watch for today
White House officials gather in Peru. National security advisor John Bolton and US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross are in Lima to discuss the crisis in Venezuela with a group of South American nations. President Donald Trump froze all Venezuelan government assets in the US yesterday in a bid to ramp up pressure on president Nicolás Maduro.
The UK’s foreign secretary begins a North America tour. Dominic Raab sets off to Canada, Mexico, and the US in a bid to boost international trade ties with non-EU partners ahead of Brexit. The trip follows a visit to Bangkok last week to push for closer trade links with Southeast Asian countries.
Disney’s earnings get superpowered. The entertainment giant is expected to post stellar results, following the huge successes of Avengers: Endgame, a new Star Wars theme park attraction, the 21st Century Fox acquisition, and its forthcoming streaming service, Disney+.
While you were sleeping
The US labelled China a currency manipulator. Trade tensions reached a new high as Washington, for the first time since 1994, accused Beijing of devaluing its currency to gain an unfair trade advantage. The move caused Asian stocks to tumble, and may push the Federal Reserve to cut US interest rates further in order to ease financial conditions.
North Korea fired more test missiles… It’s the fourth such launch in 12 days, according to South Korea’s military, and coincides with US-South Korea annual military drills. The two projectiles fired appeared to be short-range ballistic missiles, launched from the southwest of North Korea into the sea.
…while China warned the US over its missile plans… Beijing said it “will not stand idly by” after defense secretary Mark Esper said he backed deploying intermediate-range, ground based missiles in Asia within months. US allies, including Australia, Japan, and South Korea were also warned that hosting US deployments “would not serve [their] national security interest.”
…and told Hong Kong protesters to tread carefully. Beijing told demonstrators not to mistake “restraint for weakness” as unrest in the semi-autonomous territory enters its third month, and violence escalates between protesters and police.
Universal Music explored new beats. French parent company Vivendi is reportedly in talks to sell a 10% stake in the world’s largest music label to holding company Tencent. The deal could help Vivendi carve out a space in China’s tightly-controlled entertainment market.
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Today’s installment of our week-long field guide on supporting new parents looks at how money from tech investors is joining established, deep-pocketed philanthropists to invest in early childhood. The newcomers, writes Quartz reporter Jenny Anderson, are compelled by the science and economics of early-childhood investment and the power of technology. But what the tech sector offers in bravado and bold thinking, it often lacks in humility.
Hate brainstorming meetings? You’re not alone. But here’s a thought: Your organization isn’t doing them right. The war-inspired method, which dates back to the 1940s, has been tried and criticized often over the years, and creatives have modified the approach in kind. Open your mind to the idea at the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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Motherhood is a bad bargain. If countries want to raise birth rates, they should sweeten the deal for working women.
Ride hailing makes traffic worse. Uber and Lyft have “confessed” to this—as a way to promote congestion pricing policies.
Child leashes are a good solution to runaway kids. People are too quick to dismiss them as offensive.
An artificial tongue could put the lid on counterfeit booze. Its metal tastebuds can detect subtle differences in whisky with 99% accuracy.
Animals keep popping up in prepackaged salad bags. Alarmed customers have found frogs, rodents, birds, and even a bat.
Scientists are using the cold of outer space to rethink air conditioning. The greener cooling system mimics the earth’s ability to transmit heat upwards.
Flying cars are on the horizon. Japanese electronics maker NEC unveiled a vehicle that can hover in the air for about a minute.
A new wearable device can detect the voices in your head. Sensors pick up some of the neuromuscular signals sent when you’re silently talking to yourself.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, mind readers, and guilt-free air conditioning 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.