Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
A$AP Rocky awaits his verdict. The American rapper, whose real name is Rakim Meyers, was detained and charged with assault in Sweden in July, but was released from custody earlier this month. If found guilty, he would have to return to Sweden to serve his prison term.
Germany publishes its second-quarter GDP data. Economists predict the region’s largest economy to have contracted marginally from the prior three months, as investor pessimism and recession fears take hold.
Pakistan’s Independence Day. Security in Kashmir and Jammu will be re-tightened this week as both Pakistan and India celebrate their independence days today and tomorrow, respectively, followed by Muslim prayers on Friday.
While you were sleeping
After a chaotic night, the Hong Kong airport resumed operations… A fifth consecutive day of protests turned violent late yesterday evening when riot police clashed with protesters, and two men believed to be Chinese agents were assaulted. The Airport Authority will now ban protests there except in designated areas. Operations returned this morning and flights appeared to be on schedule.
…while China rejected US Navy requests to make port visits in the city. The USS Green Bay and USS Lake Erie, originally scheduled to arrive in Hong Kong in the coming weeks, had their requests turned down by the Chinese government, with no further explanation given.
China announced unexpectedly weak industrial data for July. Industrial output growth dropped to a 17-year low of 4.8% from a year earlier, even lower than bearish forecasts, as the trade war with the US continues to intensify.
John Bercow vowed to fight Boris Johnson’s Brexit shutdown. The House of Commons speaker said he would do anything he can to stop the prime minister from suspending parliament in order to push through a no-deal EU departure. Separately, former chancellor Philip Hammond accused Johnson of wrecking any chance of a Brexit deal.
Two jail guards were put on leave over Jeffrey Epstein’s death. Days after the disgraced financier charged with child sex trafficking apparently killed himself while in custody, two staffers who were guarding him at the federal prison where he was held have been placed on leave, while the jail warden has been reassigned, on orders of attorney general William Barr.
Automation, advanced manufacturing, AI, and the shift to e-commerce are dramatically changing the nature of work. Ride-sharing startups and others are ushering in the rise of part-time work and redefining what it means to be an employee. As the world becomes more closely connected, migration is also creating more diverse and blended workforces. Join us as we explore the future of work and how employees and employers can prepare.
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 Beijing’s zero-sum worldview.
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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A teenager’s fridge tweets went viral. After his mother confiscated her electronics, this enterprising 15-year-old made use of the family’s smart kitchen device.
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.
To help zebras and cows, make them live together. Mixing wildlife and cattle could help both the livestock and ranchers, according to new research.
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.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, fireflies, and Uranus sightings to email@example.com. 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.