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What to watch for today
Hong Kong strikers increase the pressure. After a week of unprecedented violence, thousands of students in high school and universities boycotted class on the first day of school in support of the ongoing protests. If the government continues to ignore the demonstrators’ demands, protest action in dozens of industries could follow (link in Chinese).
The UK parliament reconvenes amid chaos. MPs are expected to bring legislation to the floor that could delay prime minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans or flat-out forbid a no-deal departure from the EU. According to the BBC’s sources, Johnson’s government is poised to demand loyalty from Tory MPs on pain of party expulsion.
South Korea takes stock of its economy. The country releases its latest GDP and inflation data, after Thailand and Indonesia reported slowing numbers yesterday. The Philippines checks in on Thursday, followed by Taiwan on Friday.
While you were sleeping
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister stepped down as chairman of Aramco. While Khalid al-Falih remains in charge of key decisions on Saudi oil policy, his departure from Aramco is being billed as a logical step in the giant oil company’s quest to go public. Falih tweeted his congratulations to his replacement, Yasir al-Rumayyan, head of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund.
The US and Poland signed a deal on 5G security. Setting what he hopes will be “a vital example for the rest of Europe,” US vice president Mike Pence announced Poland will examine any would-be provider of 5G internet infrastructure to see if the supplier is “subject, without independent judicial review, to control by a foreign government.” Chinese telecom giant Huawei was not mentioned by name in the agreement.
Dorian battered the Bahamas. The massive hurricane, downgraded from category five to category four, unleashed water and wind damage as it churned exceedingly slowly over the Caribbean island chain, on its way toward Florida. The first casualty reported was the death of an eight-year-old boy.
Argentina reinstated capital controls. The Argentine peso strengthened against the US dollar in response, but the intervention was seen as an embarrassment for president Mauricio Macri, who upon taking office in 2015 undid similar policies (paywall) of his leftist predecessor.
The US signaled it’s ready to wind down its longest-running war. An American special envoy showed Afghanistan’s leaders a draft agreement between the US and the Taliban, and said the US would recall more than 5,000 of its 14,000 troops there within 135 days of a deal being signed. The agreement still requires approval from US president Donald Trump.
Matters of debate
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Canned wine is the new beer. Convenience trumps aroma.
Same-day delivery is killing us. Amazon needs to take responsibility for hazards involved in super-fast shipping.
Unsuccessful startups get too much credit. Treating failure as nearly inevitable only encourages poor planning.
A Chinese stamp shows a separate Taiwan. The 1968 propaganda piece seems to fly in the face of 2019 propaganda.
Great white sharks aren’t messing with us on purpose. The sharks are not especially into people, but the sea creatures’ changing habits are putting them closer to human vacationers.
Ikea hide-and-seek is ill-advised. Police turned visitors away from a store in Scotland after more than 3,000 people threatened to show up for the game.
A Singapore shop’s closing sale has lasted two years. Misleading promotions like this one will soon be forbidden.
A jazz purist called the cops on a not-jazzy-enough band. The fan said it was psychologically harmful for him to listen to a different genre, and demanded a refund.
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