War games, Ukrainian phone records, labradoodles

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What to watch for today

Nuclear weapon talks and speeches at the United Nations General Assembly. A day of speeches from world leaders gathered in New York—including the heads of government from Indonesia, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Vietnam—will also feature a high-level meeting on the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

India, Japan, and the US conduct large-scale naval war games. Nine days of military exercises off the coast of Japan begin against the backdrop of the continuing militarization of the South China Sea. The training event is reportedly focusing on anti-submarine warfare.

Indonesians continue protests of proposed new laws. Thousands are expected to return to the streets of cities across the country to protest new laws that weaken anti-corruption measures,  ban criticism of the president, and forbid co-habitation and sex outside of marriage.

While you were sleeping

The White House released notes on the Ukraine call. It’s not a verbatim transcript, but it does show that US president Donald Trump urged the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to look into any role Joe Biden may have played in stopping an investigation into Biden’s son, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company. Trump went on to deny any wrongdoing in a rambling press conference at the United Nations.

The US and Japan announced a major trade deal. While the deal does not cover the sensitive topic of automobile imports, Trump said the agreement would allow $7 billion of US products into Japanese markets.

CEOs headed for the exits. On the heels of a ban in China and growing crackdowns in the US, Juul’s CEO, Kevin Burns, announced that he was stepping down, to be replaced by an executive from big tobacco firm Altria, which owns 35% of Juul. EBay’s Chief Executive Devin Wenig also stepped down on Wednesday, citing differences with the company’s new board of directors.

The Taliban lets the World Health Organization back in. Afghanistan’s Taliban lifted a ban that had been in place since April, now allowing the organization to continue its work on eradicating polio. The Taliban removed a similar ban on the International Red Cross earlier this month.

Amazon and Facebook showed their stuff. Amazon made a big push into wearables with the announcement of Alexa-enabled eyeglasses, earbuds, and a large black ring at its annual hardware showcase. Meanwhile, Facebook’s Oculus division held a Zuckerberg-fronted keynote that introduced new games and features for its Quest and Rift virtual reality headsets.

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China’s rise has created a new kind of Chinatown. The noodle shops, massage parlors, and bubble tea are still there, but you’ll also find students, professionals, swanky high-rises, and high-end restaurants, all primarily serving Chinese customers. The latest episode of Because China takes you to Flushing, New York, where the bustling immigrant enclave has become one of the fastest-growing economies in New York City.

Quartz Obsession

Before the internet, there was PLATO. The computer network was born out of the space race and had thousands of users across the world. It featured chat rooms, message boards, multiplayer games, a blog-like newspaper, and accredited distance learning, all piped to flat-panel plasma touchscreens. Did we mention this was in the 1970s? Log on with the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of debate

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Movie continuations of TV shows have turned a corner. What used to be a risky jump from small to big screens is finally breaking good.

Ban mandatory minimums. Stringent sentencing rules fuel the fires of police misconduct by shielding law enforcement from scrutiny.

Green travel starts with global finance. For the travel industry to be able to make a significant change, it’ll need committed backing.

Surprising discoveries

One steak per week equals two tanks of gas, yearly. Cutting red meat consumption by just that much will save the planet 270 kg of carbon dioxide.

The world is getting into bowing. At the Rugby World Cup, non-Japanese teams have adopted the tradition of bowing to fans.

The inventor of labradoodles regrets his error. The popular crossbreed’s behavior issues and health problems make it a very good boy, but a bad idea, he says.

Disappearing ink is passé. New technology lets invisible messages be written with water on special paper.

A forgiveness emoji could be on the horizon. A Finnish nonprofit group is crowdsourcing ideas to propose to the emoji powers that be.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, restless ex-CEOs, and misbehaving mutts 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 Max Lockie.