Rugby World Cup, Kashmir protests, horse wars

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Correction: Yesterday’s Daily Brief implied that Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz were working together to come up with a plan for the country’s government. It was Avigdor Lieberman of the Yisrael Beitenu party who called for a united government.

What to watch for today and over the weekend

The Rugby World Cup kicks off in Japan. The tournament is coming to Asia for the first time, where 20 teams from around the world will compete in 48 games across 12 different venues over a matter of six weeks. 400,000 international fans will be in attendance—and they all want beer.

More than 150 countries strike for action on climate change. Just before the UN Climate Action Summit, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg and several other climate activists are leading a strike that could be the world’s largest environmental protest of its kind on Friday.

Fresh calls for independence in Kashmir. Amid a tightening security presence in the region after India’s move on its autonomy, Kashmiris in the Pakistani-held section are calling for pro-independence protests along the border on Saturday. Meanwhile, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is visiting the US at a massive event in Houston on Sunday—with US president Donald Trump joining.

While you were sleeping

US-Iran tension over the Saudi oil attack cooled. Just a day after US top diplomat Mike Pompeo called the attack on Saud Arabia’s oil supply an “act of war” and Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif threatened an “all-out war” in defense, the Trump administration is advocating for diplomacy to reach a “peaceful resolution.”

Hong Kong police accused of torture. International human rights organization Amnesty International said Hong Kong police have practiced torture, intimidation, arbitrary arrests, and other tactics over three months of protests. Police claim they have exercised restraint.

An even weaker global economy forecasted. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicted international growth at a 2.9% rate this year—and warned of long-term damage, though good fiscal policy could turn it around.

Airbnb declared it will go public in 2020. In an announcement highly anticipated among investors, the home-sharing platform last valued at $31 billion said it will issue an IPO sometime next year.

Jeff Bezos announced a climate change plan. The Amazon CEO hopes his company will meet the Paris climate agreement standards a decade early—reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2040. A first step includes today’s purchase of 100,000 electric delivery trucks.

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Why hail four wheels, when two wheels do the job? Two of the largest cab-hailing companies in the world have diversified into two-wheeler taxis in India, and ventures focused on bikes have mushroomed in recent years. India’s largest homegrown internet-based transport company, Ola, runs bike taxi services in more than 150 Indian cities—archrival Uber only offers them in 11. Ananya Bhattacharya takes a look at the two-wheeled wave as part of her week-long Ola field guide.

Quartz Obsession

Vegetarianism is up, as much for the climate’s health as our own. Well, not strict vegetarianism, but climatarians, reducetarians, flexitarians, Meatless Monday participants, VB6ers, and more are cutting back as they learn about the connections between carnivorousness and climate. And tech startups as well as big food companies are riding the wave. Taste the future at the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of debate

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Nice women finish last. Traits like warmth and compassion are devalued only because they’re associated with femininity.

Climate change migration may not be for you. It’s not just about rising daily temperatures—the futures of particular regions are hard to predict.

Protecting nature from nature polarizes humans. The western US wild horse debate illustrates the muddy waters of environmental compromise.

Surprising discoveries

Leonardo da Vinci’s mechanical lion came to life. The original may be lost to time, but the 500-year-old schematic spawned a new iteration.

Bird populations are taking a nosedive. Fewer insects, disappearing habitats, and more glass to run into are all taking their toll.

Magic mushrooms are getting their own research center. The first facility of its kind will launch in Jamaica.

“Havana syndrome” may have been due to pesticides. Sufferers had brain damage in a way that points to a specific type of neurotoxin.

A shaman won’t get to exorcise Putin from the Kremlin. A Siberian man with a growing following walked 1,700 miles before being arrested.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, new-old mechanical beasts, and exorcists to 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.