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What to watch for today and over the weekend
Boris Johnson heads for a solid majority. The prime minister’s Conservative Party took a string of opposition strongholds as Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn said he would step down as party leader. The Scottish National Party made significant gains, strengthening the possibility of a second independence referendum.
The US House judiciary committee makes a historic vote on impeachment. After a marathon 14-hour debate was abruptly adjourned yesterday night, lawmakers will reconvene today for the final votes to send the articles of impeachment against president Donald Trump to the House floor next week.
Sudan’s deposed ruler receives his verdict. Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted from power by the military in April, will learn the results of his corruption trial tomorrow. He also faces other charges, including incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters.
While you were sleeping
The US and China struck a tentative trade deal. Mere days ahead of a scheduled escalation of tariffs, Trump signed off on terms for a limited trade deal that put off imminent US tariffs and reduced existing levies. China will increase purchases of US farm products in return for the concessions.
The EU left Poland out of its climate neutrality deal. An hours-long summit to lay out a €100 billion ($110 billion) investment plan for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 managed to win over the Czech Republic and Hungary, but Warsaw remained against.
New Zealand deployed divers failed to find the last two bodies. After six bodies were retrieved in a risky high-speed rescue operation, police sent a dive team to locate the final missing bodies near White Island volcano, which erupted on Monday. Navy and police divers will try again tomorrow.
Refinitiv censored Reuters stories on Hong Kong protests in China. The financial information provider that distributes Reuters news to investors and is the news agency’s largest client blocked over 200 stories that were potentially unfavorable to Beijing. It also blocked the Reuters investigation that revealed the censorship.
Australia named its first female spy chief. Rachel Noble will become the next director-general of the Australian Signals Directorate, which intercepts foreign intelligence signals.
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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—the sector is expected to reach $1 trillion in 2023.
Espionage, but make it adorable. Whether they admit it or not, intelligence agencies around the world use animals to snoop on each other. Yes—even in an age of microscopic cameras, satellites, and drones—dogs, dolphins, pigeons, and the occasional spy squirrel still have abilities that we have yet to improve upon, like echolocation and highly developed senses of smell. The Quartz Obsession goes deep undercover into the world of animal spies.
Matters of debate
The likes of Netflix and Disney+ are writing over cinema’s past. The streaming giants prioritize their own content at the expense of film cannon.
Mass protests push impeachments along. Large-scale demonstrations signal to politicians that a head of state should go.
Self-awareness spoils modesty. It’s something that you can’t really brag about.
Recent storms exposed thousands of “penis fish” in California. The pink, throbbing, phallic creatures known as fat innkeeper worms usually burrow under the sand.
Sweet potatoes warn of bug attacks. When one leaf is damaged, the plant produces an odorous chemical to warn its fellow buds to make themselves inedible to bugs.
Roman ear cleaners and tweezers were unearthed in England. The roughly 2,000-year-old metal tools look like modern day cotton buds.
The oldest story ever told is on a cave wall in Indonesia. It shows people hunting animals 44,000 years ago.
Mars has water an inch below its surface. A newly released ice map could steer future missions to get humans on the red planet.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, sweet potato defenses, and Martian water to email@example.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app on iOS or Android, and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Mary Hui and edited by Isabella Steger.