BRICS summit, Facebook Pay, obese monks

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What to watch for today

Brazil and China patch it up at BRICS. The two nations, who command a strategic trading partnership, have been at odds since 2019, but will take steps to make amends at the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa summit in Brasilia today and Thursday. Focus is expected to center on boosting economies as growth slows.

Donald Trump has a big day. The US president hosts his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is expected to continue cultivating a friendly relationship with Trump. Meanwhile, US House impeachment hearings will make their live debut on the small screen.

Luckin and Toshiba go over the numbers. China’s second-largest coffee chain still plans to give Starbucks a run for its money, though quarterly profits may be lackluster. Japan’s Toshiba, however, will post a major spike in its latest six-month operating profit, but a net loss nonetheless.

Delhi’s air quality hits “emergency” status. Slowing winds and lower temperatures will most likely push pollution to critical levels.

While you were sleeping

Presenting…Facebook Pay. Facebook pushed forward with its plans to tie together its various businesses with the announcement of a new service that will allow users to send and receive funds across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Evo Morales made it to Mexico. The newly-resigned president of Bolivia was offered asylum while protests over his ouster rage at home. Morales, who urged his followers to resist “dark powers,” has promised to return with more “strength and energy.”

The UK’s Labour Party was (nearly) hacked. Weeks before an election, the opposition party announced it had been the victim of a targeted cyberattack. No data breach had occurred, but leader Jeremy Corbyn expressed anxiety that this could be the first of many such digital interferences as the election looms.

Catalonia made another bid for secession. While separatists in the Catalan parliament approved a motion to “exercise the right of self-determination in a concrete way,” separatists on the streets demonstrated by blocking major highways. Spain’s government is determining the legality of Catalonia’s motion.

The US Supreme Court weighed the fate of Dreamers. A conservative majority of justices appeared ready to allow the Trump administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, reasoning that it is within the president’s power to withdraw protections from 700,000 immigrants.

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The concept of antitrust first emerged, as the word suggests, as a means to break up the “trusts” that sprang up in the late 1800s. They were owned by the Gilded Age tycoons that seized much of the US economy. In this week’s field guide, Quartz reporter Alison Griswold investigates how we might tame big tech today (and perhaps its tycoons).

Quartz Obsession

The world’s most popular fruit—the banana—is under threat. Only 15% of bananas are exported but the yellow, sweet staple accounts for an $8 billion global export market. Today, it’s under threat by a Panama fungus disease. Peel back the layers in the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of Debate

Google’s healthcare ambitions are terrifyingly open-ended. Vacuuming up millions of people’s data is scary, but being cagey about why is worse.

The rise of resale markets is good for luxury brands. Cash-strapped customers are more likely to buy a new Louis Vuitton bag if they can flip it later.

Tencent should split itself up. Listing its fintech business as a separate entity would create China’s fourth-largest public company.

Surprising discoveries

Switzerland has an emergency stockpile of coffee. The government decided to keep its 15,000 tons of joe, following a public outcry.

A runner set a new marathon record. British athlete Nick Butter has now completed the 26.2 mile race in all the UN-recognized countries on earth.

A Patek Philippe watch sold for $31 million. It broke the previous $17.7 million record, which went to a watch once worn by Paul Newman.

Thai monks have an obesity problem. Required to eat the rich, sugary alms the faithful give them, about half the monks are overweight.

Astronomers are grappling with the biggest things in the universe. “Large-scale structures,” made of hydrogen and dark matter, could bind galaxies billions of lightyears apart.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, emergency coffee, and vintage watches to Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app on iOS or Android, and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Susan Howson and Nicolás Rivero.