China’s National Day, Japan’s tax hike, cosmic roast

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

The People’s Republic of China turns 70. The nation celebrates Mao Zedong’s 1949 announcement of a “new China” today with a grand military parade—attended by 15,000 soldiers and 60,000 citizens of Beijing—featuring a speech from president Xi Jinping and massive fireworks. Hong Kong protesters are expected to mark National Day by stepping up demonstrations against China’s communist party.

Japanese consumers see a tax hike. A raise from 8% to 10% on a wide swath of goods and services, effective today, will either support prime minister Shinzo Abe’s claim that the boost will help Japan’s economy, or, as some analysts fear, throw it into a recession as consumers slow down their spending.

South Korea negotiates with South American countries. Representatives from four member nations of the economic bloc MERCOSUR—Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay—will meet in Busan as South Korea attempts to find new consumers for its flagging exports.

The IMF gets a new chief. Kristalina Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist with a strong track record at the World Bank and the European Commission, takes the helm as the first International Monetary Fund leader from an emerging economy. Her job won’t be an easy one.

While you were sleeping

Visa jumped on the fintech bandwagon. The company teamed up with Revolut, a European digital finance app, to power its expansion in 24 new markets including Brazil, Japan, and the US. Visa has lagged behind its rival Mastercard in working with fintech firms, and has spent the past year playing catch-up.

Zimbabwe locked millions of dollars on the internet. Central bank authorities barred users of the country’s most popular mobile money app from cashing out their digital balances. Zimbabwe faces a steep cash shortage, and its citizens make about 5 million transactions a day, amounting to $200 million in mobile money.

A neo-Nazi group stood trial for terrorism. The eight members of a far-right group named Revolution Chemnitz have been accused of plotting an armed attack on immigrants, journalists, and politicians in Berlin last year. They were arrested in coordinated raids after allegedly beating several immigrants but before they could get semi-automatic guns to launch a massacre.

German villagers challenged coal’s future. Twelve villages are set to be razed to allow the expansion of one of the country’s biggest coal mines. Residents say they’ll go to court to argue that they shouldn’t be kicked out of their homes when Germany has vowed to phase out coal by 2038 to fight climate change.

Quartz Membership

One of the world’s most global industries is finding itself at the mercy of global economic, demographic, and technological trends; now, disruption seems inevitable. Every aspect of the passenger airline business will need to change, in ways large and small, from how they fly to the nature of the aircraft itself to how many pilots are in the cockpit. Quartz tourism reporter Natasha Frost’s state of play explores the turbulent skies of air travel as this week’s field guide takes off.

Quartz Obsession

Hangovers are the worst. It’s safe to assume that humans have been experiencing morning-after malaise for about as long as we’ve been producing alcohol, which is around 9,000 years. While the only surefire solution is to let your liver finish breaking alcohol down into carbon dioxide and water, the quest for a hangover cure continues. The Quartz Obsession raises a glass.

Matters of debate

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Forget the trolley problem. The classic ethical dilemma has nothing to do with designing “good” AI.

Not all millennials are woke. In Europe, young people’s political views have shifted right instead of left.

It’s time for startups to update their aesthetics. Modeling self-contained campuses after their parents’ garages cuts tech workers off from the real world.

Surprising discoveries

Elon Musk roasted NASA’s administrator. The pair have been in a snippy tit-for-tat over delayed rocket designs.

Beware Trojan Horse iPhone cables. The malicious, mass-produced lightning cables look legit but allow hackers to take over your computer.

Theresa May is mulling a murder mystery. The former prime minister said she’d rather write a novel about an ill-fated Alps expedition than pen a political memoir.

Drones ended a 17-year manhunt. Chinese authorities used aerial surveillance to uncover a convicted human trafficker’s hideaway cave.

There might be a black hole in our solar system. And that’s not even the weirdest possible explanation for the strange gravitational disturbances in our cosmic neighborhood.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Alpine thrillers, and astronomic burns to Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Nicolás Rivero and Susan Howson.