Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The US Space Command gets off the ground. Donald Trump and vice president Mike Pence will attend a White House ceremony marking the launch of SPACECOM, the first new armed forces branch in a decade. But the command, intended to boost US military capabilities in space, has yet to decide on the location of its headquarters.
The Environmental Protection Agency rolls back protections. The Trump administration will significantly loosen restrictions on methane emissions, a large contributor to greenhouse gases. Major oil companies have come out against the dismantling of environmental regulations.
Your earnings roundup. Workday Inc is expected to report a large bump in quarterly revenue, thanks to strong demand for its cloud-based finance and human resource management software. Meanwhile, Best Buy is expected to post an earnings bump, helped by online sales, and both Dollar Tree and Dollar General report.
While you were sleeping
The 2020 Democratic field narrowed. New York senator and #MeToo advocate Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out after regularly failing to poll above 1%. Ten candidates have qualified to be on stage in Houston in September for the next Democratic debate.
Argentina asked the IMF for better terms. It wants the global Fund to restructure last year’s $56 billion loan and push back payments that are due from 2021. The peso has been roiled since a poll showed president Mauricio Macri far behind his leftist opponent Alberto Fernández, a sharp critic of the IMF.
Greta Thunberg arrived in New York. The 16-year-old Swedish climate change activist completed her two-week journey across the Atlantic on a yacht. Received by cheering crowds in Manhattan, where she will attend two UN climate summits, the schoolgirl advised Trump to “listen to the science.”
The World AI Conference kicked off in Shanghai. Heavy tech hitters Jack Ma and Elon Musk opened the event with a debate. The Tesla CEO may introduce the first Chinese-made Model 3 and has already said he’ll open the Chinese division of his Boring Company.
China moved new troops into Hong Kong. The People’s Liberation Army said it was a normal rotation of its garrison in the semi-autonomous territory, as trucks carrying troops and armored personnel carriers entered Hong Kong early Thursday. Meanwhile, police for the first time banned a rally and a march planned for Saturday by the organizer of earlier mass protests.
China’s investment in Africa over the past two decades has been both unprecedented and unparalleled. Just last year, Beijing was the single largest financier of infrastructure in Africa—and to show the scale of investment, Quartz reporter Youyou Zhou looks at satellite images showing China’s footprints across the continent.
To mark our field guide on China’s Africa project, take 50% off your first year of membership by using the 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
Join the conversation on the Quartz app!
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.
Humankind’s oldest known ancestor had a really small brain. The 3.8 million-year-old skull found in Ethiopia is thought to be the predecessor of the famous “Lucy.”
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.
Scientists spawned the whitest lizard… The pair of albino lizards is the first successful use of CRISPR on reptiles.
… and BMW rolled out the blackest car. The limited edition X6 coupé is the first car to feature Vantablack, “the world’s blackest black.”
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, invisible ink stamps, and Burning Man tickets to firstname.lastname@example.org. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Adam Rasmi and Rashmee Roshan Lall.