Mid-Autumn Festival protests, Democrats debate, extreme romance

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today and over the weekend

Hong Kongers plan protests during Mid-Autumn Festival. Alongside festival celebrations that include admiring the moon and eating mooncakes, the weekend will be punctuated by planned demonstrations at the airport and outside the British consulate, and rousing choruses of Hong Kong’s new protest anthem.

Imran Khan makes a speech on Kashmir. Pakistan’s prime minister will deliver an address on the contested region from the capital of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir today. Indian government data show it arrested nearly 4,000 people, including more than 200 politicians, after stripping Kashmir of its special status last month.

UK’s Liberal Democrats take a stronger pro-Europe stand. At a party conference on Saturday, the group is expected to make canceling Brexit part of its platform for forthcoming elections. The party recently gained pro-Remain MPs who defected from the ruling Conservatives and the main opposition Labour party.

Tunisia goes to the polls. The Arab world’s only democracy will cast ballots in its second-ever presidential election on Sunday—a test for a country still grappling with economic turmoil and youth radicalization. On Wednesday, frontrunner Nabil Karoui started a hunger strike from jail, where he’s being held on suspicion of tax evasion and money laundering.

While you were sleeping

Democratic rivals took aim at Joe Biden. In the third primary debate, which saw Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders together on stage for the first time, candidates slammed Trump’s China strategy on trade and sparred over healthcare. But an expected showdown between frontrunners Biden and Warren didn’t happen.

China bought a lot of US soybeans. The purchase of 600,000 metric tons was its largest since at least June and is an indication of easing tensions ahead of trade talks next month. US president Donald Trump, who earlier this week delayed an increase in tariffs on Chinese goods, says he’s open to an “interim” deal.

A photographer of Tiananmen Square Tank Man died. American photojournalist Charlie Cole was one of four who took similar photos during China’s crackdown, but his image won the 1989 World Press Photo award.

The US deficit hit $1 trillion. It’s the first time since 2012 that the figure rose that high in the first 11 months of the fiscal year. To make up the shortfall, the Treasury Department plans to borrow $814 billion from July to December. China and Japan are by far the largest foreign holders of Treasury securities.

Quartz Membership

Celebrate the launch of the new season of our video series by taking 25% off with the code BECAUSECHINA.

US high schoolers have less sex and do less drugs, but they’re vaping a lot more. Most observers think it’s a combination of available flavors, high levels of addiction-inducing nicotine, and the way that Juul fits into modern lifestyles. Plus, it could just lead to more smoking in the long run. Quartz’s Jenni Avins explores the teen angle in this installment of our vaping field guide.

Quartz Obsession

The Kool-Aid Man is hitting a wall. The brand with the anthropomorphic-pitcher pitchman is trying to survive a consumer shift away from processed food, so it’s banking on nostalgia. One place that nostalgia really sells? The aftermarket for vintage flavors (which are not cheap). Oh, yeah: it’s the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of debate

Join the conversation on the Quartz app!

Reducing “likes” to make social media less toxic hurts users. Content creators rely on the metric to determine trends.

AI is a lot more primitive than it’s hyped to be. Over-reporting and PR spins give most artificial intelligence artificially inflated credit.

You probably don’t need that MacBook. The new iPads can do most of what laptops can—except sit comfortably atop laps.

Surprising discoveries

Russians are into “extreme” marriage proposals. They’re shelling out to stage police busts that have a romantic twist.

Ancient hand-holding skeletons were both men. New techniques established that the 2009 find, “Lovers of Modena,” is the first unearthed same-sex embrace.

The average menstrual cycle isn’t 28 days. The age-old number is based on bad science.

The universe is a spring chicken. New research suggests it’s a full two billion years younger than we thought.

Male bees blind queens to keep them from finding other mates. They may die in the mating process, but at least their genetic code will go on.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, vengeful queen bees, and skeletons in love to hi@qz.com. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Tripti Lahiri and edited by Harish C. Menon.