Japan’s emperor speaks, Trumponomics, million-robot dance

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Japan’s emperor talks succession. The 82-year-old scion of a 1,500-year-old dynasty will speak to the Japanese people on television, following rumors that he will abdicate in favor of his son due to ill health. The imperial family, though possessing no formal political power, remains a revered institution, but any transition could raise awkward questions about the monarchy’s role in Japanese society.

Walmart trumpets a $3 billion deal to buy Jet.com. Barring any last-minute snags, the world’s largest retailer is set to announce the biggest-ever acquisition of an e-commerce company. Buying scrappy Jet.com would help Walmart shore up its defenses against Amazon.

Donald Trump elaborates on his economic plans. The blustery Republican presidential contender will attempt to fill out his sketchy agenda with a major address at the Detroit Economic Club, just days after announcing a team of advisors that includes many of his wealthiest donors but no women.

Rio 2016: in the pool and on the pitch. Day three of the 2016 Olympics features the men’s 200-m freestyle swim finals (with Michael Phelps making his comeback), the women’s 100-m back- and breaststroke finals, and the return of rugby to the games. To keep up with the action, subscribe to our Olympics calendar and check out our viewing guide.

Over the weekend

“The Punisher” launched an anti-corruption purge in the Philippines. President Rodrigo Duterte accused 159 officials, including judges and members of parliament, of drug-related corruption, giving them 24 hours to surrender to his forces. Duterte has vowed to end corruption, but extra-judicial killings have raised fears of his authoritarian bent.

Russia was banned from participating in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The International Paralympic Committee said none of Russia’s Paralympic athletes would be allowed to compete in the September games because of a doping scandal that led some, but not all, of Russia’s Olympic team to be excluded from the Olympic games.

Iran said it executed a nuclear spy. An Iranian nuclear scientist at the center of a murky spy tale was killed for giving “vital information about the country to the enemy,” five years after he renounced his defection to the US and returned to his homeland.

Thai voters approved a new constitution. Some 61% of voters approved a constitution written by the military junta that took power in a 2014 coup led by retired army general Prayuth Chan-ocha. Authorities took steps to prevent political discourse ahead of the vote, which lays the groundwork for a civilian government in 2017—but on the military’s terms.

A hacked cryptocurrency exchange gave customers a haircut. After Hong Kong-based Bitfinex had $72 million stolen last week, its operators said losses would be shared, with every customer seeing a 36% reduction in their accounts. They will also receive a credit for equity in the Bitfinex’s parent company.

Quartz obsession interlude

Elizabeth MacBride on the deceptively simple case for giving refugees cash, not camps. “Most aid comes from a fractious combination of governmental agencies and NGOs and is doled out in the form of vouchers and in-kind donations—think blankets, kerosene heaters, and bags of rice… this kind of aid does little to help build new lives. And that’s where cash comes in.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The US has the world’s best cyber army. Russia isn’t the only country digitally interfering in foreign elections.

Intel is to blame for Apple’s stagnant laptops. The lack of new Apple laptops on the market isn’t because of lazy designers—it’s because chipmakers haven’t come up with anything worth building a new computer around.

Uber should go public as soon as it can. After selling its Chinese operations to Didi, Uber needs to IPO before slow growth disappoints investors (paywall).

Surprising discoveries

More than a million dancing robots broke a world record in China. They shook their stuff at the Qingdao Beer Festival in Shandong, setting a new record for the most robots dancing simultaneously.

Engineers use “Bond villain” tools to dismantle oil rigs in the North Sea. The task requires robot submarines, diamond saws, and underwater lasers.

The next big thing in the space business is actually quite small. The successful flight of 12-ft-long prototype rocket signals a new wave of space entrepreneurs.

The monitor you’re reading this on could be hacked.  For the latest in digital anxiety, researchers say hackers can take over computer monitors to steal information—or manipulate what you’re reading.

The Oregon State Fair will include a display of award-winning marijuana plants. But only ones without flowers will be allowed, and only fairgoers over the age of 21 can see them.

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