Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today and over the weekend
The US gets its August jobs report. The latest numbers come after a survey that showed manufacturing had contracted for the first time in three years, another sign a recession could be on the horizon. Soon after, Fed chairman Jerome Powell speaks from Zurich on the US’s economic outlook and interest rates.
The UK’s House of Lords signs off on a Brexit delay. The upper house is expected to pass a bill to prevent a no-deal departure on Halloween. Three high court judges will rule on a legal challenge to prime minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament. Johnson has had a torrid week, politically and personally.
India lands a rover on the moon. If successful, India will become the fourth nation to nail a soft landing on Earth’s satellite—an impressive feat given the program cost less than filming 2014’s Interstellar. The landing, expected between 4pm and 5pm ET, can be streamed live here.
While you were sleeping
Hurricane Dorian slowed down. As it closes in on the North Carolina coastline, wind speeds have dropped to 90 miles (150 km) per hour. Evacuations have been ordered there and in Virginia.
Samsung finally launched its foldable phone. After months fixing problems with its flexible screen, the Galaxy Fold went on sale in South Korea. It will be available in Europe later this month, but a US launch date has not yet been announced. Read Quartz’s review.
Alibaba bet $2 billion on China’s love of foreign goods. With the purchase of rival site Kaola from gaming and music firm NetEase, Alibaba now monopolizes cross-border e-commerce in China, a sector it apparently feels confident about despite trade tensions with the US.
Fitch downgraded Hong Kong. The global ratings agency lowered its assessment of the territory’s debt from AA+ to AA with a negative outlook because of months of conflict—which have hit its economy and raised concerns about its governance. More protests are expected this weekend, even though Hong Kong’s leader has announced the bill that triggered them will be withdrawn.
Robert Mugabe died in a Singapore hospital. The 95-year-old icon of Zimbabwe’s independence, once lionized for leading the fight against white minority rule, became increasingly dictatorial and was ousted after nearly four decades in power by a 2017 coup.
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Trading on Wall Street isn’t what it used to be. Profits are harder to come by, and automation is taking over. That’s why Stuart Sopp left in 2014 to start a digital bank for teens. He’s betting he can win the next generation of customers before the big banks get to them. Find out about neobanks and an industry that’s moving at the speed of money in this field guide on the evolution banking.
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 small footprint. Not to mention its considerable natural resources. Now, with climate change melting the sea ice and glaciers—potentially opening the island for big business—there are even more incentives. Take a tour with the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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Give forests back to the people they were stolen from. The Amazon fires—being discussed today by the leaders of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru—highlight a burning issue of injustice.
There’s no such thing as a “functioning alcoholic.” Booze may help you cope, but the addiction is papering over the real problem.
Black athletes should leave white colleges. Promising student athletes could bring much needed money and attention to historically black colleges.
London, Seattle, Suzhou. Some of the world’s priciest housing markets aren’t where you might think.
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 checked on the 750 lb (350 kg) structure in the Baltic, they only found 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.
Scientists discovered a “Japanese dragon god.” A complete skeleton, dating back 72 million years and measuring 26 feet, belongs to a previously unknown dinosaur species.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Nessie sightings, and missing observatories to firstname.lastname@example.org. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Adam Rasmi, Susan Howson, and Rashmee Roshan Lall.