Fed cuts, trade talks, sooty face

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

US-China trade talks resume. Deputies from the two countries are meeting in DC to prep for high-level talks planned in October—and also explore a potential interim deal to stave off threats of tariffs until the nations reach a permanent deal.

Huawei unveils its new Google-less phone in Europe. The Mate 30 will be an Android device but without any Google apps because of a ban that prohibits American firms from working with the tech company. The top-tier models have sold well in China but analysts wonder if the phones will garner any global consumers.

China auctions off its pork. As pork prices rise ahead of the National Day holiday—and with African swine flu rearing its head—China will let bidders purchase up to 300 metric tons (330 tons) of pork from 10,000 metric tons (11,000 tons) in its state reserves Thursday.

While you were sleeping

The Fed issued a quarter percentage cut. With rates now between 1.75% and 2%, chairman Jerome Powell said the decision for a second cut in less than two months was made to keep the economy strong as global slowdown worries persist. The bank’s leader also signaled that it’s ready to take further action later this year.

Israel leaders Netanyahu and Gantz agreed to form a government. As results from Tuesday’s election—the second in five months—show no clear winner between the prime minister and opposition leader’s parties, the two say they will lead the next government together.

Trump increased Iranian sanctions. In a tweet, the US president ordered the treasury secretary Mnuchin to “substantially increase” sanctions against the country, which US intelligence says is the culprit of the Saudi oil attack. Meanwhile, the US top diplomat called the attack on the oil refineries an “act of war.”

Facebook revealed a device for calling and chatting via a TV. The $149 Portal TV will connect to any screen for calls via Messenger and WhatsApp. In the rare hardware release, the social network built in options like sliding camera covers to fend off privacy concerns, along with updates on its Portal device line.

Trump named a new national security advisor. US State Department’s hostage negotiator Robert O’Brien is replacing John Bolton, who resigned or was fired last week. O’Brien is the fourth person to fill the national security advisor role in Trump’s presidency.

Quartz Membership

Sign up for your free trial.

Electric vehicle development in India has been stuck in a chicken-and-egg situation for years, with consumers hesitating to embrace the environmentally-friendly mode of transportation without a supporting infrastructure, and companies holding back from investing without high demand. Among those determined to break the limbo and develop an ecosystem of their own: Ola. Learn how and why as part of our field guide on India’s own ride-hailing giant.

Quartz Obsession

Area 51 is like catnip to UFO enthusiasts. The deeply classified military facility in Nevada has a 64-year history of hosting experimental espionage aircraft. And, according to true believers, visitors from beyond the planet. What’s the story behind this remote patch of desert real estate? The truth is out there, and the Quartz Obsession is on it.

Matters of debate

Join the conversation on the Quartz app!

We can’t handle a global pandemic. Countries tend to act to protect themselves, not the rest of the world.

Everyone should have the right to return. The world gave it to Israelis, so why not other displaced native populations?

Money can’t buy you time. Rich people are happy, to a point, but the happiness that comes with having more free time has no ceiling.

Surprising discoveries

South Korea’s “Hwaseong murders” were solved. The serial killer and rapist who terrorized the country in the 1980s was identified using DNA.

A lawmaker discussing pigeon poop got pooped on by a pigeon. An Illinois state representative had his point nicely illustrated while talking to a TV reporter.

Instagram’s “coolest man” lost a copyright lawsuit. A judge said E*Trade’s “Yacht Man” doesn’t infringe upon the yacht-loving Gianluca Vacchi’s rights.

The Rugby World Cup’s whistle traveled from the UK to Japan. Two cyclists carried the symbolic piece across 20,000 km through 27 countries.

A Dutch Christmas figure is dropping its blackface… sort of. The controversially made-up “Black Pete” will now have a “sooty face.”

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, respectful pigeons, and coolest men 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 Patrick deHahn.