BoE rate cut, Apple sells power, $180 peanut butter

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

The Rio Olympics begin. Opening ceremonies start on Friday at 8 pm local time, and with 206 countries, 28 sports, and 306 competitions, it can quickly become overwhelming. You can keep track of the major events and other news in Rio by signing up here.

The US jobs report. The economy is expected to have added about 180,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate is expected to fall to 4.8%. That’s decent but would be less than last month’s sizzling 275,000 additions.

Thais go to the polls under the military’s watchful eye. Voters will weigh in on a referendum for a new constitution, in the first big vote since a military coup in 2014. The country’s main political parties say the constitution would give the military a permanent veto over elected governments.

While you were sleeping

The Bank of England cut interest rates for the first time in seven years. In a move that would’ve been a surprise just a few months ago, the central bank cut its benchmark rate to a new all-time low of 0.25%, from 0.5%, to try to contain the economic fallout after Brexit. The bank also boosted its government bond-buying program, and cut its GDP forecast for 2017 and 2018.

Alibaba got off the hook. A Manhattan judge dismissed racketeering claims in a lawsuit by several luxury brands, including Gucci, that accused the Chinese e-commerce giant of promoting the sale of counterfeit products such as knock-off handbags.

Chevron is selling off its Asia operations. The second-largest US oil company is selling up to $5 billion of its assets to raise cash, including a Chinese offshore oil field venture, geothermal assets in Indonesia, and natural gas assets in Thailand. It’s all part of a larger effort to adapt to lower oil prices.

Most Russian athletes were cleared to compete in Rio. The International Olympic Committee allowed 270 Russian athletes to take part in the games, in sports including boxing, tennis, golf, and swimming. The entire team narrowly escaped a blanket ban after a massive state-sponsored doping program was exposed.

Apple became an electric utility. The tech giant was cleared to sell energy on the wholesale market by US regulators. Last year, the company bought a 130-megawatt solar farm in California, joining companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon in investing in energy production.

Quartz markets haiku

London’s key rate falls
with Brexit reality
It’s stimulus time

Quartz obsession interlude

Michael Coren on the technology being developed to hack our bodies.“Upgrades are not just for software anymore. Humans are steadily gaining access to technologies that enhance our brains and bodies. But most Americans see this as yet another way for the haves to get a leg up over the have-nots.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Charisma is a dangerous talent. It’s a much-admired personality trait, but it’s bad for democracy.

President Obama has poignant, feminist advice for dads. He calls attention to his own journey to escape claustrophobic gender norms.

Swearing brings people together. Swearing in front of someone is a matter of trust.

Surprising discoveries

Global warming is unearthing Cold War waste. Buried diesel fuel, sewage, and radioactive toxins may resurface in Greenland.

Archeologists have discovered 3,000-year-old ball of thread. It was in a Bronze Age village in eastern England that was abandoned after a fire.

Veganism is not great for the environment. Vegetarian and omnivorous diets are more sustainable, according to new research.

A medical startup is charging $180 for peanut butter… The precisely measured doses are designed to prevent peanut allergies.

…And a Michelin-starred restaurant is selling $2 meals. It’s a Singaporean food hawker that sells award-winning soy sauce chicken and rice.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, ancient thread, and cheap Michelin meals to You can download our iPhone app or follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.