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What to watch for today and over the weekend
Samsung finally launches its foldable phone. After months of delay over problems with its flexible screen, the Galaxy Fold goes on sale in South Korea today. The phone will be available in Europe later this month, but a US launch date has not yet been announced. Samsung also canceled all Galaxy Fold preorders in order to “rethink the entire customer experience.”
India lands a rover on the moon. If successful, the country will become only the fourth nation to nail a soft landing on Earth’s satellite—an impressive feat given the program’s limited budget. The very early morning landing can be streamed live here.
Iran announces another step away from the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran says it will unveil its next move if the EU fails to come up with a viable workaround to US sanctions. Experts say the announcement could include updates to the country’s rate of uranium enrichment.
Bangladesh cuts off Rohingya Muslims’ cell service. About one million Rohingya could lose their mobile connection by Sunday, further isolating those living in refugee camps. Bangladeshi officials claimed the move was necessary for “state security” and “public safety.”
While you were sleeping
Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans hit some snags. The UK prime minister said he’d “rather be dead in a ditch” than ask for another delay—despite the passage of a House of Commons bill forbidding Britain from leaving the EU without a deal. Separately, Johnson’s brother announced he was leaving his government post.
A bomb blast threatened the US-Taliban peace deal. Negotiations for a US withdrawal from Afghanistan were already facing headwinds in Washington when an explosion at a Kabul checkpoint killed 10 including an American service member.
Abu Dhabi confirmed it will invest in SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2. The emirate’s state fund Mubadala Investment Company is expected to announce participation in the Japanese group’s tech-focused fund in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Peugeot and Dongfeng worked out a restructuring plan. Automakers PSA Group and Dongfeng Group agreed to short-term cost cuts at their Chinese joint venture with the goal of growing sales to 400,000 cars by 2025.
WeWork drastically cut its valuation ahead of its IPO. Once valued at $47 billion, the office rental company has seen weak demand for its public offering and could IPO at a valuation of less than $25 billion.
An Apple exec hinted at the tech giant’s crypto future. The vice president of Apple Pay said in a CNN Business interview that the company believes cryptocurrency has “long-term potential”. Meanwhile, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman has released a Hamilton-inspired music video about cryptocurrencies.
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Why buy Greenland? Donald Trump wants it for the same reasons his predecessors Andrew Jackson and Harry Truman did: political strategy in a region where America has a relatively tiny footprint. Not to mention its considerable natural resources. Now, with climate change melting sea ice and glaciers—potentially opening the island for big business—the incentives are heightened. Pay a visit at the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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Give forests back to the people they were stolen from. Prohibiting indigenous communities from managing park lands has increased the likelihood and intensity of forest fires.
There’s no such thing as a “functioning alcoholic.” A substance may serve a function in the sense that it helps you cope. But the addiction is papering over the real problem.
Black athletes should leave white colleges. Encouraging student-athletes to attend historically black colleges could bring needed money and attention to the beleaguered schools.
Walmart dodged up to $2.6 billion in taxes. The world’s largest retailer used a “fictitious” Chinese entity to avoid taxes, according to documents reviewed by Quartz.
Scientists discovered the Loch Ness monster. After spending a year analyzing DNA data, researchers say that Nessie may, in fact, be a giant eel.
An underwater observatory has mysteriously disappeared. When divers went to check on the 750 lb (350 kg) structure they only found its shredded fiber-optic cable.
NFL teams are too expensive, even for billionaires. The league is mulling changes to ownership rules following the lackluster auction of the Carolina Panthers last year.
An Australian journalist got a surprise £55,000 beer tab. The single beer purchased at a UK hotel was supposed to cost £5.50.
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