Wong appeals to US, gushing oil prices, blackest black

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What to watch for today

Joshua Wong testifies before Congress. One of Hong Kong’s most prominent protesters will take the stand before a congressional committee to attempt to convince the US government that any military efforts by China will hurt the global economy.

Israel has another election. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an unprecedented second election within six months of his narrow victory in April after he failed to form a ruling coalition in parliament.

Taiwan closes its Solomon Islands embassy. The break follows an announcement by Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen that the former ally had decided to officially sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan, in a big win for China.

While you were sleeping

Oil prices gushed skyward. US intelligence reported that the drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities over the weekend were likely perpetrated by Iran, and president Donald Trump warned of a US–Saudi retaliation. The damage has cut Saudi oil production in half, possibly delaying the highly anticipated Aramco IPO.

Terry Gou pulled out of Taiwan’s presidential race. The former Foxconn CEO decided not to run as an independent after failing to secure the nomination of the pro-China opposition party. Gou said he would stay involved in politics and keep pushing for his platform, which included promoting ways to profit off the US-China trade war.

Amazon rearranged its search algorithm. The Wall Street Journal reports that the retail giant now shows customers the products that are most profitable for Amazon, instead of the most relevant or best-selling results. The decision, made last year, echoes Apple’s tweaks to its App Store algorithm, which triggered antitrust complaints.

GM faced a costly auto workers’ strike. 46,000 full-time employees walked off the job to pressure the carmaker to boost pay, benefits, and job protections. Analysts estimate the strike will cost GM $50 million–$100 million per day and could wipe out a tenth of its estimated third-quarter profits by the end of the week.

A new era of Wi-Fi officially began. Devices compatible with the next generation of Wi-Fi have been trickling out all year, but on Monday the Wi-Fi Alliance, an organization that sets standards for the industry, began certifying new, faster devices. The set of technologies known as Wi-Fi 6 will make connection speeds much faster in places where many devices are on the same network.

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If you’ve heard of the Indian ride-sharing giant Ola, you probably know it as a scrappy challenger to Uber. But that narrative misses one of Ola’s biggest successes: It has become the face of India’s electric vehicle industry. Read our complete guide to Ola and the startup scene it spawned as part of this week’s field guide.

Quartz Obsession

Inbox zero: the information worker’s ultimate goal. But is it worth it? Its creator, Merlin Mann, came up with the concept in 2006, shortly after Gmail put a practically infinite amount of storage in everyone’s reach. Now he’s worried he’s created a monster of workflow that overshadows actual work—but some Silicon Valley stars still swear by it. Take a priority read at the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of debate

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Hollywood has given up on free expression. Caving to Chinese censors for short-term profits is chipping away at the film-industry’s hard-won autonomy.

5G will reinvent working from home. Faster connection speeds will allow employees to work in virtual reality as if they were physically in the room.

Raise your kids in the city. They’re full of child-friendly fun and parks are better than lawns, anyway.

Surprising discoveries

A neutron star is stretching the laws of physics. It’s more than twice as massive as the sun and teetering on the edge of what is theoretically possible.

MIT made the blackest black ever. Scientists accidentally created a material that absorbs 99.995% of light.

Weed might soon be odorless. A startup is experimenting with removing the plant’s terpenes, but some say being dank is the whole point.

Astronomers caught an interstellar object on camera. The comet is just the second visitor we’ve ever seen from another star.

Milton’s copy of Shakespeare is sitting in a Philadelphia library. Scholars hailed the find as one of the biggest literary discoveries in modern times.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, undank pot, and literary crossovers 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 and Nicolás Rivero.