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What to watch for today
Hong Kong protesters could win a key victory. Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, is expected to formally withdraw an extradition bill that has sparked unprecedented civil unrest in the city, acceding to a key demand of the protesters. The chairman of Cathay Pacific stepped down amid controversy over the airline’s handling of the protests.
Hurricane Dorian makes its way up the US coast. The National Hurricane Center warned that the entire southeastern coast, from Florida to North Carolina, may be affected by “life-threatening surf and rip” conditions within the next 36 hours. Five states have now declared a state of emergency. Dorian was downgraded to a Category 2 storm yesterday, after it pummeled the Bahamas.
The UK parliament moves to delay Brexit. Following a disastrous day for prime minister Boris Johnson, who lost his parliamentary majority and expelled 21 Tory rebels from the party, MPs will try to pass a law to block a no-deal Brexit. Johnson will push for an early election, while finance minister Sajid Javid will announce a further £2 billion ($2.4 billion) for Brexit planning.
Christine Lagarde v. European Parliament. The former head of the International Monetary Fund and nominee to lead the European Central Bank will answer questions from the Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee this morning. MEPs will vote on her candidacy in mid-September. Listen to Lagarde explain her views on leadership to Quartz’s editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney here.
While you were sleeping
Poor economic results Down Under. Australia’s economy slowed, with just 0.5% GDP growth this quarter, the country’s weakest since the financial crisis. Prime minister Scott Morrison said the numbers, which were slightly better than predicted, were “a repudiation to all those who sought to talk it down.”
The World Economic Forum’s African edition runs into trouble. The presidents of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Malawi said they wouldn’t attend the event in South Africa, due to violence against migrants. The continent’s economic powerhouse, Nigeria, has strongly condemned the attacks.
The UN says the West shares responsibility for Yemen. A new report lays out the ways in which the UK, US, and France supported the Saudi-led coalition behind the Yemeni government. The report indicates the government is as complicit in war crimes as the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
Amazon India goes green. The company said that by June 2020 it would stop including single-use plastic in its packaging, opting instead for recyclable paper cushions, in a move to more closely align its business model with India’s environmental goals.
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Big US banks are muscling in on their foreign rivals’ home turf. American lenders have benefitted from a better economy at home, and now these mega banks are pressing their advantage abroad. But as they grow ever bigger and more global, investors are questioning whether financial conglomerates still make sense, or if they are dinosaurs that refuse to die. John Detrixhe continues his field guide on the future of banking.
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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Truth is the basis for misinformation. People form beliefs on the basis of evidence that they gather and share.
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.
It’s OK if Uber and Lyft die. If treating drivers like employees kills rideshare companies, maybe they shouldn’t exist.
Men are pickier than women about their tennis balls. Their fussiness 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.
Berlin’s ubiquitous tote bag is utterly geheimnisvoll. Nobody quite knows where the design came from, but everybody carries it.
Apple Airpods are causing transit issues. New York City is considering a PSA urging riders to secure their tiny ear computers around the subway.
We may figure out what color the dinosaurs really were. Fossilized remains can still tell us about their pigmentation and the arrangement of their internal organs.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, tennis ball jokes, and trendy totes to email@example.com. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Annabelle Timsit, Rashmee Roshan Lall, and Susan Howson.