Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Walmart and Alibaba report earnings. All eyes will be on digital growth when America’s biggest retailer delivers its second-quarter report card. Meanwhile, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s earnings statement will provide details on how it is insulating itself from the global trade war.
Mexico decides on rates. The country’s central bank is expected to hold its benchmark interest rate steady, but a cut may come as early as next month if global financial conditions deteriorate and policymakers decide the economy needs a boost.
Trump holds a rally in New Hampshire. In the middle of his 10-day summer vacation, the president heads to Manchester as part of his re-election campaign. New Hampshire holds the first presidential primaries in February, and Trump lost the state by just 2,700 votes in the 2016 election.
While you were sleeping
Global markets continued to slide. Tokyo’s Nikkei stock index fell by more than 1%, following Wall Street’s slide yesterday. Bond markets are particularly spooked, with the 30-year US government bond yield dropping to its lowest level on record, a sign that investors are seeking safety amid worrying economic signs around the world.
Trump tied a China trade deal to Hong Kong… He 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 political unrest in Hong Kong.
…and China staged a military parade across Hong Kong’s border. Thousands of officers waving red flags, along with armored vehicles, assembled at a sports stadium in nearby Shenzhen. The incident comes as concerns mount that China could intervene to put down pro-democracy rallies, now in their tenth week.
Jeremy Corbyn vowed to oust Boris Johnson. The Labour leader called yesterday for a no-confidence vote to stop the UK prime minister from engineering the harshest form of Brexit. In a letter outlining his plan, Corbyn urged leaders of other opposition parties to install him as prime minister for a “strictly time-limited” period.
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.
Universal basic income is a form of social security that has attracted a lot of interest in recent years, and pilot programs in places like Finland, Kenya, and Oakland, California. Although guaranteed incomes might make our lives more comfortable and secure, Quartz reporter Ephrat Livni asks: would it make people any happier? This is part of our weeklong exploration of the future of work.
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 opioid use. A US panel recommends interviewing adult patients to better combat the 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.
BBQ rats are a popular snack in rural Cambodia. They cost as little as $0.25 for a skewer, but do they taste more like chicken, beef, or pork?
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, uplifting algae, and hidden sketches 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 Jason Karaian.