Pyongyang’s missiles, HSBC’s sinking profits, alcohol-detecting tattoos

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Tesla’s losses mount. The electric-car maker is expected to post another quarterly loss due to heavy spending on its massive “gigafactory” and its high-stakes Model 3 for the mass market. Shareholders will have questions about the $2.6 billion SolarCity acquisition, production targets for its growing product line, and CEO Elon Musk’s recently published “master plan” for the company.

South Africa holds a pivotal election. The ruling ANC party is likely to suffer setbacks in more than 250 municipal contests, after a campaign season marred by violent protests. Mounting dissatisfaction among the country’s poor could mean major gains for the opposition Democratic Alliance.

Japan’s Shinzo Abe reshuffles his cabinet. The prime minister is expected to choose hawkish ally Tomomi Inada as defense minister. She is known for regularly visiting a controversial World War II shrine.

While you were sleeping

A North Korea missile landed in or near Japanese controlled waters. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said the launch represented a “grave threat” to his nation. Pyongyang has been conducting such launches in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions, and is angry about an anti-missile defense system announced by the US and South Korea.

HSBC’s first-half profit fell 29%. Slowing economic growth in its key markets—Britain and Hong Kong— led to a difficult six months for the bank. HSBC is also worried about the impact of Brexit, and how slowing growth in China will affect its business in Hong Kong.

Barack Obama joined Singapore’s prime minister to sell the TPP. The US president and Lee Hsien Loong argued for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, opposed by both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Obama wants Congress to approve the controversial trade pact before he leaves office.

Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega named his wife as his running mate. Heading into elections the former guerrilla leader has chosen first lady Rosario Murillo to be his vice president. Critics accuse the couple of running the country as their own personal fiefdom.

Quartz obsession interlude

Cassie Werber on the Brompton folding bike phenomenon: “The bikes are built for lives lived in tiny apartments with little storage–they fold up small enough to fit under a table or on a shelf. They speak of autonomy, but instead of expressing the need for escape to open fields and mountains—as sports bikes might—they’re knit-up with city life.” Read more here.

Quartz markets haiku

Automakers stall
Dimming a once shining light
On long road ahead

Matters of debate

Hillary Clinton is dangerously close to repeating the “Remain” campaign’s mistake. The war against populism is best waged with values, not just facts.

Harry Potter, the boy who lived, needs to die. The collective reluctance to move on is proof of “early onset nostalgia.”

Travel can be less dangerous than staying at home. People tend to misconstrue the risks of going abroad.

Surprising discoveries

There is little proof that flossing your teeth actually works. Your dentist and the US government are wrong about the benefits of dental floss.

Alaska’s main road is melting. Rising temperatures are melting the permafrost beneath the Alaska Highway.

An electronic tattoo can track your blood alcohol content. The device tells your phone if you’ve had too much to drink.

Sleeping with your lights on could make you age faster. Lab mice exposed to artificial light had weaker bones and muscles.

Millennials are having less sex than their parents and grandparents did. The causes could include delayed adulthood and the changing definition of consent.

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