Spy chief, Israel deadlock, old British men

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What to watch for today

Spy chief testifies on Trump-Ukraine issue. Joseph Maguire, acting director of national intelligence, gives his account of the complaint against Trump by an unnamed officer when he appears before members of the house intelligence committee today.

Israel’s two rival parties try to team up. After the president tapped prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to break the post-election deadlock, the right-wing Likud and the opposition Blue and White party are discussing a “broad unity government.”

Nuclear weapons and financing development at UNGA. Another day of speeches from world leaders gathered in New York coincides with high-level meetings on plugging the gaps in development funding, and on the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

UK parliament tries to calm down and carry on. Events took an ugly turn when lawmakers reconvened yesterday. Boris Johnson was unrepentant; the opposition accused him of inflammatory language. Everyone did a lot of shouting.

While you were sleeping

China’s stockmarket is down. On Wednesday, US president Donald Trump raised some hopes of a deal to end the US-China trade war, but by the close of markets any injection of optimism had faded.

Illegal abortion became a thing of the past in Australia. New South Wales became the last state in the country to decriminalize abortion, overturning a 119-year-old law. NSW will now allow terminations up to 22 weeks, and later with medical consent from two doctors.

Minimum alcohol prices are slowing Scottish drinking. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that people in Scotland are buying less booze after it became the first country in the world to introduce minimum alcohol pricing, back in May 2018.

A Chinese HIV whistleblower died. Shuping Wang discovered and exposed dangerous practices at blood donation centres in China in the 1990s, calling out a lack of testing for hepatitis C and HIV. She lost her job and was ostracized, and died in the US aged 59.

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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.

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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.

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

Neoliberalism has tricked us into fighting climate change as individuals. The real solution is a collective check on corporate power.

Surprising discoveries

British men are catching up in the longevity race. The ratio of men living to the age of 90 compared to women is now 1:2, where 25 years ago it was 1:4.

A landlord exposed a Chinese influencer’s “double life.” The glamorous online star’s apartment was littered with moldy food and dog poop.

Machu Picchu was deliberately built on fault lines. New research suggests that the fissures produce cracked chunks of granite, making it easier to construct the city’s stone walls.

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

Boaty McBoatface has a new name. The polar exploration ship will not carry the name, but some of its subs will keep the moniker.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, forgiveness emojis, and old British men 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 Cassie Werber and edited by Hasit Shah.