Hong Kong rally, Imran Khan’s UN plea, human cockroaches

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today and over the weekend

Hong Kong rallies. Police have given the green light to a major Saturday demonstration in Tamar Park organized by the Civil Human Rights Front—the last two were rejected by officials, though took place nevertheless—to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement.

Egypt faces its own unrest. A planned protest in Cairo today has drawn warnings from police, who say they’ll use force when necessary on demonstrators who object to president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. Nearly 1,900 have already been arrested at protests that broke out last weekend.

Pakistan asks the UN for backup. Prime minister Imran Khan told The New York Times that he plans to make his case to preserve the autonomy of the Jammu and Kashmir region—whose status India revoked in August—in an address to the General Assembly today.

Japan meets Ireland on the pitch. The host country of the Rugby World Cup faces off with the second-ranked national team in the world in a highly anticipated battle. Both sides easily defeated their opponents in their tournament debuts.

While you were sleeping

The complaint behind Trump’s impeachment inquiry was released. The US House Intelligence Committee released a version of the whistleblower’s complaint, which claims that White House officials were disturbed by Trump’s urging for a probe into Joe Biden during phone conversations with the newly nicknamed Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. Further, the White House knew the call was problematic and skirted normal procedures in an attempt to hide its details.

The US committed troops and missiles to Saudi Arabia. The Pentagon announced a plan to send an Army Patriot missile defense battery as well as 200 support personnel to help strengthen Saudi defenses after that country’s oil fields came under attack earlier in the month.

North Korea–US talks were delayed. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said Thursday that attempts to arrange meetings between the two countries have proven unsuccessful, at least for the time being. Washington and Pyongyang have been in somewhat of a stalemate, with the former offering concessions that fall short of the latter’s insistence that the US ease sanctions.

Muslim-majority countries announced an anti-Islamophobia TV channel. Following a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the leaders of Pakistan, Turkey, and Malaysia announced their intentions to launch an English-language TV channel to address “misconceptions” about Islam.

Uber hailed a new app. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says the new interface, which combines ride-hailing, food delivery, scooters and bikes, and even mass transit, aims to become “the operating system for your everyday life.” The new app was revealed with much pomp at an event in San Francisco.

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Who’s winning the race to 5G? Even if you’ve absorbed nothing else about 5G, you almost certainly know these three things: There’s a race to build it. China is winning. And that should make you afraid. (Or if you’re in China, thrilled.) But if past technological leaps tell us anything, it’s that it will take a lot of trial and error—and, above all, time—to start reaping genuine, self-sustaining returns from 5G technology. Either way, it’s time to get up to speed.

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Can bird watching save the world? Our feathered friends are in free fall, victims of habitat loss, climate change, and other risks. And we know this because of bird watchers—citizen scientists whose passion plays a critical role in how researchers keep track of species. It’s also easier than ever thanks to new technology and thriving online communities. Look to the horizon at the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of debate

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Humans are as resilient as cockroaches. We’ll outlive climate change and nuclear war, no matter how bad it gets.

We should do better than “do your best.” Telling employees to just try hard actually sets them up for workplace mediocrity.

What a time to be alive! The 21st century is the most important one yet, as human beings face existential threats on multiple fronts.

Surprising discoveries

Prehistoric babies drank animal milk from bottles. Recently discovered 5,000-year-old clay objects contained the residue of cow, sheep, or goat milk.

Blame your bad decisions on too much exercise. Overtrained athletes exhibit poor decision-making and a diminished capacity for long-term thinking.

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. The fissures produce cracked chunks of granite, making it easier to construct the city’s stone walls.

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, old baby bottles, and your very best efforts 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.