Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The US Space Command gets off the ground. President Donald Trump and his deputy Mike Pence will preside over a ceremony at the White House marking the launch of SPACECOM. However, the command, intended to boost US military capabilities in space, has yet to decide on the location of its headquarters.
The Champions League draw. The draw for the group stage of Europe’s biggest club soccer competition, involving 32 teams, takes place in Monaco, with the first match kicking off on Sept. 17.
Samsung’s heir awaits a bribery ruling. South Korea’s supreme court will rule on whether to uphold a bribery charge against the conglomerate’s de facto leader Lee Jae-yong. He was sentenced to five years in prison in 2017 for bribing a friend of former president Park Geun-hye, who was ousted from office and sent to prison following an explosive influence-peddling scandal. Lee was freed after a year when a Seoul court halved and suspended his sentence, but prosecutors appealed.
While you were sleeping
China moved new troops into Hong Kong. The People’s Liberation Army said it was a normal rotation of its garrison in the city, as trucks carrying troops and armored personnel carriers entered Hong Kong early in the morning. Meanwhile, police for the first time fully banned an application by the organizer of earlier mass protests for a rally to be held on Saturday, citing fears of violence.
Italy formed a new government. The Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party reached a deal to install a coalition government, thwarting a snap election that could favor their common opponent, the far-right League party. Recently resigned prime minister Giuseppe Conte, whom the new coalition wants to return to office, is due to meet with president Sergio Mattarella this morning.
The World AI Conference kicked off in Shanghai. Heavy tech hitters Jack Ma and Elon Musk opened the event with a debate this morning. The Tesla CEO may introduce the first Chinese-made Model 3 at the event, and has said he’ll be opening the Chinese division of his Boring Company.
Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out of the 2020 race. The New York senator and #MeToo advocate regularly failed to poll above 1%, and did not qualify for the next Democratic debate in September.
Greta Thunberg arrived in New York. The 16-year-old Swedish climate change activist completed her two-week journey on a yacht across the Atlantic. She was received by cheering crowds as she sailed into Manhattan, where she will attend two UN climate summits next month.
Forever 21 prepared for possible bankruptcy. The beleagured fashion chain is shifting its attention to filing for Chapter 11 as alternatives such as additional financing and debt restructuring have stalled, Bloomberg reported. Bankruptcy could spark trouble for some of the biggest US mall operators as Forever 21 is one of their biggest tenants.
Four leading voices on the relationship between China and Africa in the 21st century predict how that relationship will evolve over the coming years. Read our Q&A with economist Cheng Cheng, former Liberian public works minister W. Gyude Moore, development consultant Hannah Ryder, and researcher Cobus van Staden.
To celebrate our field guide on China’s Africa project, take 50% off your first year of membership by using code QUARTZAFRICA at checkout.
In a gift economy, giving is the coin of the realm. Buying, selling, and bartering are all about the goods. Giving and receiving, though, do end up cultivating social capital—not to mention actual wealth. Unwrap the details with the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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Wives of world leaders should stop traveling with their spouses. It sends the message that the women don’t have their own lives, and too often descends into a beauty contest.
“Like” deserves a place in the English language. Criticisms of the oft-used utterance are a way of demeaning certain less powerful groups, mostly young females.
Take your shoes off at home. Dirty shoes won’t make your family sick, but you should still leave them at the door.
Money-free Burning Man is more expensive than ever. Almost a third of attendees spent over $2,500 (excluding tickets) for an anarchic week in the desert.
Invisible-ink stamps could fix Japan’s subway groping. The “anti-groping” stamps—which allow victims to secretly mark their assailants—sold out in minutes.
A crowdsourced app is saving koalas. The new app encourages Australian users to post koala sightings so authorities can track and assist the dwindling population.
Scientists delivered the whitest lizard… The pair of albino lizards is the first-ever successful use of CRISPR on reptiles.
…And BMW rolled out the blackest car. The limited edition X6 coupé is the world’s first car to feature Vantablack, “the world’s blackest black.”
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, koala sightings, and Burning Man tickets 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 Isabella Steger and edited by Tripti Lahiri.