Hong Kong escalation, Aramco IPO, meme merchants 

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

US lawmakers mull a Hong Kong bill. Senators could pass legislation requiring regular checks to ensure the territory still retains enough autonomy to warrant its special trade status. Hong Kong is a key gateway for capital flows into China, so an irritated Beijing is watching the deliberations closely.

Sri Lanka gets a new president. Strongman Gotabaya Rajapaksa will take the oath, having defeated ruling-party candidate Sajith Premadasa over the weekend. Known for his authoritarian leanings, Rajapaksa faces allegations of corruption and torture from his time as defense chief during the nation’s civil war.

Manchester United passes its latest quarterly earnings to investors. The Premier League soccer club is having a so-so season, but hopes to cheer the market with some fancy financial footwork.

Over the weekend

China sent soldiers to a Hong Kong protest site… It marked the first time since the demonstrations began that Chinese soldiers took to the streets, though they did so in shorts and t-shirts to clean up rubbish. Pro-democracy lawmakers said the move was illegal and a PR stunt.

…and clashes between demonstrators and police escalated. Students at the barricaded Hong Kong Polytechnic University threw petrol bombs at an armored vehicle and shot one officer with an arrow. Police threatened to use live bullets.

Saudi Aramco set a price for its IPO. The state-owned oil giant said it plans to sell a 1.5% stake for up to $25.6 billion next month. That would value the group at around $1.7 trillion, provided it finds enough buyers for the Riyadh-listed shares. Saudi officials originally hoped to raise $100 billion at a $2 trillion valuation.

The New York Times obtained secret Chinese documents detailing mass detentions. The 403 pages detail how president Xi Jinping and top party officials created indoctrination camps for up to 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region. A “member of the Chinese political establishment” leaked the information to the newspaper.

HP rejected Xerox’s takeover bid. The HP board said it was open to a “potential combination,” but the terms on offer from Xerox aren’t generous enough. The erstwhile tech giants have fallen on hard times lately, each going through a deep restructuring to remain relevant in the modern era.

Prince Andrew spoke about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. In a BBC interview, Queen Elizabeth’s second son denied having sex with a 17-year-old and said time spent with Epstein, the American financier charged with sex trafficking who took his own life in prison, showed “the wrong judgment.” British media panned the prince’s “excruciating” performance.

Quartz Obsession

Sirens save lives. But they also contribute to noise pollution—so much so that we often tune them out and don’t heed their warnings. Now, emergency workers are experimenting with new sounds to warn the public. Listen in with the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of Debate

Universities should offer childcare. It can boost college completion rates by helping student parents juggle competing demands.

Who will buy Aramco’s shares? Security concerns, climate worries, and other issues could make the oil giant’s IPO a hard sell.

It’s up to billionaires to make big philanthropic donations. Mere multimillionaires say they can’t make enough of an impact.

Surprising discoveries

A Washington prison offered inmates unattainable stress-relief tips. A flier suggested those headed to solitary confinement “plant a tree” or “go on a picnic.”

Wine from Leonardo da Vinci’s resurrected vineyard is ready. The first 330 bottles will be sold later this year. Saluti!

Next year, the Baltimore Museum of Art will only acquire works by women. The move comes amid growing awareness of the gender disparities in museums and galleries.

Two of America’s biggest coal plants closed this month. Together, the two retirements equal all the emission reductions from coal plant shut-downs in 2015.

Meme merchants are thriving on Amazon. They trawl social media for viral phrases to plaster on mugs and shirts.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, lumps of coal, and realistic stress-relief tips to hi@qz.com. 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 Jenny Anderson, Steve Mollman, and Jason Karaian