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What to watch for today
The UK parliament moves to delay Brexit. Following a disastrous day for prime minister Boris Johnson, who lost his parliamentary majority, lawmakers will try to pass a law forcing him to delay Brexit until January. Johnson, in turn, will seek approval for an early election, while finance minister Sajid Javid is expected to announce a further £2 billion ($2.4 billion) to planning for a no-deal Brexit.
India and Pakistan discuss reopening the Kartarpur Corridor. The border crossing grants Indian pilgrims passage to one of the holiest sites in Sikhism, located in Pakistan. As tensions simmer over India’s crackdown in Jammu & Kashmir, delegates will work out the final details of the border agreement.
The World Economic Forum comes to Cape Town. Over 50 heads of state meet at a sensitive time for the South African government, as the country has seen a wave of attacks on migrants from elsewhere in Africa. The continent’s economic powerhouse Nigeria has strongly condemned the attacks.
While you were sleeping
Australia reported its slowest pace of growth in a decade. GDP in the second quarter grew just 0.5% from the previous quarter and 1.4% from a year ago, the worst performance since September 2009. Spending growth in the household sector was particularly sluggish.
The US sanctioned Iran’s space agency. For the first time, the US promised to penalize companies and governments that do business with three Iranian space agencies. The Trump administration has accused the agencies of secretly developing ballistic missiles under the cover of civilian research.
Facebook rolled back facial recognition. The social media giant updated its policies, now saying it will no longer trawl through the billions of photos posted on its platform relentlessly searching for your face unless you ask it to. In the past, Facebook automatically used biometric data to suggest friends’ names to tag in photos.
The Pentagon diverted funds toward building border walls. The US defense secretary authorized the use of $3.6 billion originally slated for military construction for 11 wall projects on the Mexican border. Democrats slammed the decision as it would take away funding needed for crucial military projects.
Walmart cut back guns and ammo sales. The retail giant announced that it would no longer sell ammunition for handguns or short-barrel rifles, allow customers to openly carry guns into its stores, or sell handguns in Alaska (the last US state where it did so). Walmart, which controls about a fifth of the US ammo market, faced backlash after two deadly shootings inside its stores.
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How many big banks does the world really need? It’s been 10 years since the financial crisis, and a handful of America’s banking giants still sit at what’s left of the big table. Kicking off this week’s field guide, Quartz’s John Detrixhe explores the industry’s struggles to figure out how to make money in a world where regulation and technology have changed the game.
Alzheimer’s disease is a mystery. It’s the single biggest cause of dementia, but new treatments have been stalled for over a decade, and scientists still can’t predict who will develop the disease. As the world’s population ages, the drive to find a cure for Alzheimer’s has become more urgent than ever, and that has some researchers thinking outside the box. Take a closer look with the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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It’s OK if Uber and Lyft die. If treating drivers like employees kills rideshare companies, maybe they shouldn’t exist.
India is ready to recycle. Over 90% of Indians who shop online say they would recycle more plastic in exchange for a little cash.
An authoritarian future for Hong Kong is almost certain. A bloodless but draconian crackdown would allow Beijing to turn it into just another Chinese city.
Men are pickier than women about their tennis balls. It comes down to a subtle difference in the balls men and women use at the US Open.
“OK” is the most spoken word on Earth. It’s only been used for about 180 years, but its linguistic history still retains some mysteries.
Apple Airpods are causing transit issues. New York City is considering a public service announcement urging riders to secure their tiny ear computers around the subway.
Denmark is the first country to ban a toxic lining used in food containers. PFAS has been linked to a range of health risks including cancer, immune system disorders, and reproductive abnormalities.
We may figure out what color the dinosaurs really were. Fossilized remains can still tell us about their pigmentation millions of years later.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, good tennis balls, and loose Airpods 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 Isabella Steger and edited by Tripti Lahiri.