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What to watch for today
Gibraltar’s supreme court holds a hearing on a detained Iranian oil tanker. The vessel was seized by the Royal Marines in the Mediterranean last month and was accused of violating European sanctions by taking oil to Syria, a charge Iran has denied. The court decides on the ship’s fate today, when its order for its detention lapses.
Mexico decides on rates. Latin America’s second-largest economy is expected to hold its benchmark interest rate steady at a key meeting today, but a rate cut may come as early as next month if the US-China trade war puts pressure on the dollar-peso exchange rate.
India celebrates 73 years of independence. Addressing the nation this morning, prime minister Narendra Modi defended the recent removal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status as necessary to “restore” the “past glory” of the region. There will be a parade later in the day and the president will deliver an address in the evening.
Walmart and Alibaba report earnings. All eyes will be on digital growth when America’s biggest retailer delivers its second-quarter report card today. Meanwhile, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s earnings statement will provide clues on whether it has managed to insulate itself from the trade war.
While you were sleeping
Jeremy Corbyn vowed to oust Boris Johnson. The Labour leader called yesterday for a no-confidence vote to stop the prime minister from forcing a no-deal Brexit. In a letter outlining his plan, Corbyn urged leaders of other opposition parties to install him as a caretaker prime minister for a “strictly time-limited” period.
Donald Trump tied the China trade deal to Hong Kong. The US president warned Chinese president Xi Jinping—whom he called a “good man”—that a resolution to the trade war would hinge on China “humanely” dealing with the political unrest in Hong Kong.
A powerful storm slammed Japan. Severe tropical storm Krosa, packing winds of up to 160 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour), lashed west Japan this morning, sparking evacuation warnings amid strong winds, torrential rain, and the possibility of landslides and flooding.
An autopsy found multiple broken bones in Jeffrey Epstein’s neck. The new findings adds to the mystery surrounding the disgraced American financier, who apparently killed himself under bizarre circumstances in a jail cell where he was being detained on charges of sex trafficking.
US stocks went into a free fall. Markets plummeted after a key bond-yield curve inverted, indicating that a recession could be around the corner. Stocks in Asia also sank in morning trading, tracking the Wall Street slide.
At least six police officers were shot in Philadelphia. A gunman opened fire at the police as they were serving a drug warrant, triggering an hours-long standoff during which the SWAT team was called in to rescue two officers trapped in the house with the active shooter, who remains inside.
You know the theory: human labor doesn’t stand a chance against machines—after the “automation apocalypse,” only those with spectacular abilities and the owners of the robots will thrive. But you might want to also familiarize yourself with the competing theory: In the long run, we’re going to be just fine. In the latest installment of our field guide to the future of work: an optimist’s argument for how automation will impact jobs.
The humble garbage can is a surprisingly powerful weapon in the war on trash. Yet what bins should look like, where they should be placed, and how trash should be sorted varies tremendously from city to city. The Quartz Obsession talks trash.
Matters of debate
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A part-time job doesn’t have to be a dead-end. Crafting a flexible career is possible if managers and employees collaborate.
The world is feeling the aftershocks of British imperialism. The troubles in Hong Kong and Kashmir are direct results of their colonial pasts.
Doctors should screen patients for drug use. A US panel recommends interviewing adult patients to better combat the opioid epidemic.
Scientists found microplastics in the Arctic. What looked like pristine sea ice in one of the world’s remotest regions was actually contaminated with tiny pieces of plastic.
New Zealanders were warned against eating “sexy pavement lichen.” Misleading reports have been spreading online about the lichen being a natural alternative to Viagra.
Dr. Martens has a thriving vegan boot business. Sales of the company’s leather-free line have soared by “multiple hundreds of percent” in recent years.
Elephants and whales could help cure cancer. Giant animals have evolved to avoid the disease, but we can’t study them if we don’t protect their populations.
A Leonardo sketch was hiding beneath a masterwork. Imaging techniques show an earlier, abandoned plan for Virgin of the Rocks.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, stimulatory lichen, and hidden drawings 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.