Violence in Hong Kong, US-China tariff delay, twinfluencers

Good morning, Quartz readers!


What to watch for today

South Korea commemorates comfort women. Japan issued a travel advisory warning visitors about anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea, which remembers the women and girls forced to serve in Japanese brothels today and celebrates its liberation from Japanese rule tomorrow. The relationship between the two nations continues to wane over recent trade disputes.

Luckin and Macy’s report. China’s answer to Starbucks has yet to make a profit but will post the results of its attempts for the last quarter. Macy’s is expected to show a decline in its own profits over the same quarter last year.

Pakistan’s Independence Day. Security in Kashmir and Jammu will be re-tightened this week as both Pakistan and India celebrate their independence days on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, followed by Muslim prayers on Friday.

While you were sleeping

Hong Kong airport protests turned violent. Demonstrators’ second day of protests inside the region’s international airport led to multiple injuries and arrests. A man identified as a reporter at the state-run Global Times newspaper was attacked by protestors and later taken away by ambulance.

Trade talks had a good day. The US announced a delay on a 10% tariff on products including phones and computers following a conversation between senior US and Chinese trade officials. The news sent US stocks soaring, as President Trump tweeted that he delayed the tariffs because of concerns over a weak holiday shopping season—admitting, perhaps for the first time, that the tariffs affect US consumers.

The Russian nuclear explosion got shadier. Residents of Nyonoksa in Northern Russia were told to evacuate their village following a nuclear explosion that killed at least five people last week. Then, apparently due to negative press, military officials told everyone to stay put. Radiation levels in the region were reportedly up to 16 times above average following the accident.

CBS and Viacom finally announce their merger. The two companies will rejoin in an effort to compete against industry giants like Disney and Netflix after splitting in 2006. The combined company will be worth around $30 billion and includes properties such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and Paramount Films.

The NFL and Jay-Z are going into business together. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation has a working agreement with the National Football League to consult on entertainment events like the Super Bowl halftime show as well as social activism initiatives. NFL owners have already committed to spending $89 million on a range of causes identified by players in the league.

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Is it lights out for fireflies? Their bioluminescent flirtations bring wonder to the summer across the globe, and we’ve harnessed the wondrous chemistry behind it to track bacterial contamination in food and cancer cells in humans. Scientists are even trying to imitate their lanterns to build better bulbs. But light pollution and habitat loss has their population on the wane. Shine a light on the subject at the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of debate

China can’t see itself. The Hong Kong protests are a natural result of a government that pauses to reflect instead of blaming the wider world.

Social media is ruining resumes. When you’re trying to get hired, there’s a fine line between standing out and being too casual.

Women aren’t responsible for fixing the pregnancy penalty. Birthing children and having careers is absolutely doable, if society supports it.

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Surprising discoveries

Virtual society is getting a third life. A gaming startup is quietly working on an online world where users can build complex personal relationships with sophisticated AI.

The algorithm favors twins. Twins have built-in couple chemistry with high prankster potential, everything YouTube requires in an influencer.

The secret to life is collaboration. Amino acids and fatty acids helped each other to survive, and life was born.

Uranus is now moving backward. The planet’s apparent about-face may not be as glamorous as the Perseid meteor shower, but it’s still visible if you look hard enough.

Old TVs showed up on Virginia lawns. At least 60 homes got a mysterious night-time delivery from a jumpsuited prankster with a TV for a head.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, twinfluencers, and new TVs to 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 Max Lockie.