Abe hires, Trump fires, Delhi high life

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Shinzo Abe makes some changes. The Japanese prime minister is expected to replace several cabinet members and reshuffle his party’s leadership. Defense minister Takeshi Iwaya, who has been accused of pandering to South Korea in recent trade negotiations, will most likely be among those shown the door.

Joshua Wong talks to German students. The Hong Kong activist continues his tour of Berlin with a public discussion at Humboldt University. Wong’s attempts to drum up support in Germany have already infuriated the Chinese government, which took umbrage at the dissident’s meeting with German foreign minister Heiko Maas.

Catalan separatists rally. Leaders of the fractured independence movement say this year’s National Day demonstration has been the “most difficult” one to organize in recent memory. The rally comes just weeks before Spain’s supreme court is set to deliver verdicts against 12 leaders who led Catalonia’s failed attempt to secede in 2017.

Robert Mugabe’s body comes home. The former president of Zimbabwe died in a Singapore hospital five days ago. His casket will be flown to the capital Harare, where he will lie in state for three days before he is buried.

While you were sleeping

Donald Trump fired his national security adviser. The US president announced John Bolton’s departure via a tweet, writing, “I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions.” Bolton, a hawk who encouraged Trump to tear up the Iran nuclear deal and pushed back on his plan to make peace with the Taliban, insisted resigning had been his idea. Oil prices immediately dropped as the chances for conflict with Iran fell.

Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to annex parts of West Bank. The Israeli prime minister promised that Israel would exert sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea, and all Israeli settlements in the West Bank if his party wins next week’s general election. Netanyahu said none of these moves would stand in the way of reaching a peace deal—Palestinians disagreed.

Apple debuted new gadgets. The company didn’t break much ground on its most recent line of phones, watches, and tablets, which all featured incremental improvements over their predecessors. But Apple finally revealed that its upcoming streaming service will cost $4.99 per month, undercutting its competitors’ prices.

Parliament took the day off. On the first day of the British legislature’s prorogation, MPs retreated to their corners to plot their next moves. Prime minister Boris Johnson met with leaders of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, who warned that any deal that splits Northern Ireland off from the rest of the UK is a “non-runner.” Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn promised a new Brexit referendum if his party wins an upcoming general election.

WeWork’s IPO hit a $30 billion roadbump. Softbank, the real estate company’s main outside investor, urged executives not to go through with its stock listing after the company’s valuation fell from $47 billion to somewhere between $15 billion-$18 billion. But CNBC reports that WeWork plans to go through with the IPO anyway, and will kick off its roadshow on Monday.

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Big tobacco isn’t going anywhere—it’s merely teaming up with tech to reinvent smoking. Reporter Jenni Avins talked to Philip Morris International’s COO Jacek Olczak about how vaping is breathing new life into tobacco’s hopes for the future, even as it raises new health concerns. See what’s new in our ongoing vaping field guide.

Quartz Obsession

“Happy Birthday to You” is the most-sung ditty in the English language. And while it may seem hard to imagine a world without the tune, it’s a relatively recent invention—a slightly awkward, ubiquitous tradition that also feels deeply personal. But where did it come from? The Quartz Obsession blows out the candles and makes a wish.

Matters of debate

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Let kids vote. They’re hardly less informed than the average adult, and participating now could turn them into lifelong voters.

We may have free will after all. A prevailing study that seemed to show we don’t control our own decisions had some fatal scientific flaws.

Defensive bosses can still be corrected. Do your research, time your comments, make suggestions, and accept that you might be ignored.

Surprising discoveries

Delhi and Mumbai consume a lot of weed. The former now out-tokes Los Angeles, while the latter is higher than London.

A robot could supersize your order. McDonald’s hopes its new AI voice tech purchase will make the drive-thru experience faster and more accurate.

There’s a new electric eel in town. Electrophorus voltai delivers the most shocking shocks, as high as 860 volts—but it’s still not enough to seriously injure humans.

Serial killers are out there. And in greater numbers than we think.

People of color make up the majority of new US hires. It’s a historical first, and could mean a shift in financial security.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, tactful corrections, and eel-based renewable energy schemes to hi@qz.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, Isabella Steger, and Nicolás Rivero.