Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
New Zealand begins retrieving bodies. A small team of military specialists will land on White Island to attempt to retrieve the bodies of eight victims of Monday’s deadly volcanic eruption. New Zealand police said the recovery attempt will move forward even though scientists believe another eruption is possible on the island.
Bellwether companies report quarterly results. Costco is expected to impress with healthy foot traffic and same-store sales. Analysts are also watching chipmaker Broadcom for a modest rise in sales, and tech giant Oracle for an improvement in cloud revenue.
Christine Lagarde holds her first European Central Bank meeting. And a press conference right after. They will offer clues on how Lagarde’s leadership could differ from that of former ECB president Mario Draghi, who never raised interest rates.
While you were sleeping
India’s new citizenship bill sparked violence. Demonstrators set fire to train stations in Assam, which shares a border with Bangladesh, to protest against the bill granting citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from neighboring countries. The Indian Union Muslim League, a political party, petitioned the Supreme Court asking for the bill to be declared illegal.
Brits started to vote… The general election could determine the course of Brexit—or whether it happens at all. Prime minister Boris Johnson is looking to avoid a hung parliament, in which no single party wins a majority of seats, so that he can “get Brexit done” at last.
…As did Algerians. The five contenders to succeed Abdelaziz Bouteflika–the strongman who was deposed in April after demonstrations—are seen as regime candidates. Protestors have been demanding the election be cancelled, saying they don’t want a sham poll.
Australia put Facebook and Google on notice. The government warned technology giants against abusing their market power, and told them they will have to agree to new rules on competition by November 2020, or have the rules imposed on them anyway.
The National Rifle Association got its way. A US federal judge blocked a Los Angeles law requiring businesses seeking city contracts to disclose any ties to the NRA. Los Angeles has argued that providing public funds to contractors with NRA ties undermines gun safety.
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India’s Paytm is trying something new as it battles to stay ahead. The country’s largest homegrown digital payments company is dealing with the competition posed by international giants such as Walmart and Google. Paytm’s story shows how the fintech landscape has changed in India in the nine years since it was founded. There’s a lot to play for, Ananya Bhattacharya writes in our field guide—India’s digital payments sector is expected to grow from $200 billion in 2018 to $1 trillion in 2023.
The story of the light bulb truly exemplifies innovation. The intensely competitive and highly experimental race between Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan resulted in a creation that spans the world—an average American home has 40 light bulbs, and 15% of the globe’s energy consumption is taken up by lighting. Become illuminated by the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
Africa can “entrepreneur” its way out of bad governance. Its mobile telecommunications industry is proof.
Self-awareness spoils modesty. It’s something that you can’t really brag about.
There’s no reason to fear intelligent machines. They won’t be conscious of the nature of human experience for a long time yet.
The oldest story ever told is on a cave wall in Indonesia. It shows people hunting animals 44,000 years ago.
The world’s youngest leader’s inspiration is a band that was woke before the term caught on. Finland’s Sanna Marin said she liked Rage Against the Machine.
The camera is the extension of the white eye. A new book says photography is a visual world created by white people in their own image.
Colombia is suing Walmart over a holiday sweater. The ill-conceived pullover references Colombian “snow” (aka cocaine).
Most donations to the Pope don’t go to charity. The Vatican uses about 90% of the funds on its administrative budget.
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