Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The UK’s new Parliament gets to work. MPs from all parties will be sworn in today, with prime minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party taking 365 seats in last week’s election—an even bigger victory than was expected. Johnson is likely to immediately get down to the business of pushing Brexit through.
India’s Supreme Court is asked to intervene over police brutality. It will hear accounts of actions against students protesting a new citizenship law that discriminates against Muslims. Another bench will hear an application to review the death sentence of one of the men convicted in the 2012 fatal gang rape of a college student.
The UN Security Council discusses sanctions on North Korea. China and Russia have proposed the UN lift sanctions on exports of statues and seafood. At China’s request, the council will also discuss the situation in Indian Kashmir four months after New Delhi retracted its autonomy.
Europe launches space telescope Cheops. The European Space Agency will use the instrument to study the formation and composition of far-off planets. A Russian rocket launched from French Guiana will carry it into orbit.
While you were sleeping
The US shaped a $1.3 trillion spending package to avert a shutdown. The plan, which is expected to be voted on early this week, covers nearly $740 billion for the military, a pay increase for federal workers, and also tacked on a measure welcomed by health advocates—raising the age for buying tobacco products to 21.
Boeing said it would halt production of the 737 Max. The move, which will take effect from January, will have ripple effects on the US economy. It comes as technical issues and damaging information have slowed the return to service of the plane, which was grounded globally after a second deadly crash in March.
Hong Kong’s protests led to an exodus of $5 billion in investment funds. The Bank of England included the information in its latest banking stress test report. The financial institutions it examined included UK banks HSBC and Standard Chartered, which have major operations in Hong Kong.
Swiss drug maker Roche cleared its last hurdle to buy a gene therapy firm. The US antitrust green light for the $4.3 billion acquisition of Spark Therapeutics will help the Swiss firm move into treating genetic disorders.
Tyson Foods got permission to sell chicken to China. The US food giant was banned from exporting to China after an American avian flu outbreak in 2015, but Beijing lifted restrictions last month to give consumers an alternative to Chinese pork, which has been devastated by its own disease outbreak.
The world is running out of freshwater. Just 3% of the Earth’s water is fresh, and almost nowhere is its value truly reflected in its price. Now, investors are paying more attention to corporate water issues, and businesses are beginning to respond. In this week’s field guide, John Engen explores the world’s water woes.
Cyborgs already walk among us. Humans whose bodies have been implanted with cutting-edge tech have long lived in the realm of sci-fi movies—but many of us already use devices that augment our hearing, vision, and memory. You could even argue that the ubiquity of smartphones turns most of us, at least functionally, into cyborgs. Upgrade your knowledge with the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
Keynes’s optimism about the future was wrong. Far from having moved beyond basic economic problems, Gen Z faces economic stagnation and ecological collapse.
“Ethical” companies should be forced to keep their promises. When they don’t behave as well as they claim they do (member exclusive), consumers should be able to sue.
Clothing sizes are meaningless. Even with new sizing technology, it’s hard to assign a number that fully defines anyone’s figure (paywall).
Italian soccer used pictures of apes in an anti-racism campaign. The tone-deaf campaign was meant to discourage fans from making monkey noises at black players.
A man pooping is a traditional part of a Catalan Nativity scene. The figure is typically depicted as a peasant in a red cap who is crouching with his butt exposed.
Japan’s Little Miss Period is trying to make menstruation less taboo. The movie’s animated character knocks women out with a “period punch” before extracting blood.
Britain’s baby prince loves celebrity chefs. One of 19-month-old prince Louis’s first words was “Mary,” after he recognized TV chef Mary Berry on a cookbook cover.
An Alaskan newspaper is for sale for $0. The owner just wants someone willing to live in Skagway—population 1,000—to keep the publication alive.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, baby foodies, and surprising Nativity figurines to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Tripti Lahiri and edited by Isabella Steger.