Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Mike Pence sits down with Boris Johnson. The US vice president will meet the embattled UK leader, after British MPs overruled his wishes and voted to delay Brexit, with discussions on a post-Brexit trade agreement expected. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu meets Johnson ahead of Sept. 17 elections in the country, and will also get some time with Pence.
Italy swears in a new government. The country’s anti-establishment and center-left parties formed a new coalition after the 14-month-old right-leaning government fell apart as a result of populist leader Matteo Salvini’s attempt to seize power. The new government faces fresh votes of confidence in parliament as soon as this week.
Your earnings roundup. Athleisure brand Lululemon is expected to post positive second quarter earnings sculpted by strong sales and an expanded product line. Zoom Video also reports, with more subscribers to its video conferencing services expected to lift the numbers.
While you were sleeping
The US and China agreed to talk face to face again. Beijing’s top negotiator, Liu He will meet US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin in Washington next month to discuss the increasingly bleak trade standoff as each side ramps up tariffs.
Dorian strengthened. Now back at Category 3, the hurricane is forecast to make landfall in the Carolinas today, bringing as much as 15 inches of rain before gradually weakening on Friday.
Germany’s factories have slowed down. Manufacturing orders from foreign buyers dipped nearly 7% in June and July in Europe’s largest economy—another sign of an impending Eurozone recession. Meanwhile, chancellor Angela Merkel is on a three-day visit to Beijing, most likely working on an EU-China trade deal.
Colombia’s rebels launched FARC 2.0. Senior commanders of the demobilized group said the new political movement would work “clandestinely.” It’s the latest blow to the 2016 peace deal that ended one of South America’s longest running conflicts.
Another deadly blast struck Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed the explosion—the second one this week—that left at least 10 dead and 42 injured near the US embassy. Foreigners appear to be the target, as a US envoy was in town paving the way for a US-Taliban deal.
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Big banks should look at the Uber story in fear. In a conversation with Quartz Future of Finance reporter John Detrixhe, Barclays’ former CEO Antony Jenkins says that the regulatory “moat” around established banking institutions is being picked apart by neobanks, robo-advisors, fintech startups, and the like. Is there a cheaper way to run international finance at scale? Find out more in today’s member exclusive interview.
Vacuum cleaners are supposed to suck. The household cleaning powerhouses were invented by an asthmatic janitor whose dusty broom was making him sick, and their basic design hasn’t changed all that much in the hundred years since. From the Rube Goldberg contraption to rolling robot, the Quartz Obsession takes it all in.
Matters of debate
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Let your employees wear shorts. As more organizations welcome “business casual” attire, some wonder if showing a little knee could cost a promotion.
Weight loss and body positivity are not enemies. A new movie raises the question of how culture and society can promote exercise without fat phobia and body-shaming.
What’s not to like about the convenience of cartons? Perhaps the environmental costs.
Squirrels eavesdrop on bird conversations. Shrieks or chirping by birds help the furry animals make sure areas are clear to search for food.
All languages convey meaning at the same pace. Some may seem faster, but they transmit equal amounts of information.
The five most powerful millennials are pretty un-woke. From Jared Kushner to Mohammed bin Salman, they’re running the world, and we’re toast.
Monkey-to-man charts get evolution all wrong. These images misrepresent how evolution really works—and risk reinforcing misconceptions.
Donald Trump: statesman, mapmaker, meteorologist. The US president used a marker to extend Dorian’s projected path to validate one of his tweets.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, map-altering markers, and work-appropriate shorts 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 Susan Howson, Rashmee Roshan Lall, and Adam Rasmi.