Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
China and the EU beef up their education cooperation. European and Chinese education ministers will meet in Beijing to discuss recognizing credits from each other’s universities. More than 120,000 Chinese students started studies in the EU last year, while 45,000 EU students went to China.
Apple v. Samsung heads to the US Supreme Court. Justices will hear arguments in a years-long dispute to determine whether Samsung must pay Apple $400 million for copying the iPhone’s round edges and icon grid. The last time the court heard a design patent case was more than 100 years ago.
The US earnings season kicks off. It unofficially starts with Alcoa, the US aluminum giant. This will be the 128-year-old company’s last earnings call before it splits in two, sending a newly-formed parts business into the fumbling aerospace industry on its own.
While you were sleeping
Syrian refugees captured a suspected terrorist. In Germany, a suspected terrorist from Syria was captured by several Syrian refugees during a national manhunt. They recognized him from police photos and seized him until law enforcement arrived.
The Nobel prize for economics went to experts in deal-making. Economists Bengt Homström and Oliver Hart won the 2016 Nobel Prize for research into how contracts overcome issues of trust and risk. Their work has applications everywhere, from how corporate executives are paid to which public assets should be privatized.
Oil jumped on Putin’s pledge. European oil prices hit an annual high of more than $53 (47 euros) per barrel, after Russian president Vladimir Putin expressed willingness to take part in an OPEC production slowdown.
The UN called for help in Haiti. A week after Hurricane Matthew swept over Haiti, the UN requested $120 million in “life-saving assistance and protection” for the island’s 750,000 people. The storm killed about 1,000 people, and aid workers now fear a spike in cholera deaths.
Republicans abandoned Donald Trump. Top Republican lawmaker Paul Ryan told fellow members of Congress that he is done defending Trump. Republicans should focus on winning local elections, he said, rather than hope for a Trump presidency.
Quartz obsession interlude
Gwynn Guilford on how Donald Trump is breaking US democracy. “The debate format simply isn’t designed for the level of deceit and ugliness Trump brings to the US presidential race. And neither, we’re seeing, is American democracy. The system presumes that though candidates differ in their views, they ultimately respect the electoral process and the voters they aim to represent.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
To stop climate change, take three-day weekends. Working fewer hours cuts commutes, electricity and air conditioning use, causing energy usage to drop.
China is paying for Britain’s nuclear deterrent. The controversial, partially Chinese-funded Hinkley Point project allows the UK government to “mask” investment in its nuclear submarines.
Nature deserves legal rights of its own. If businesses and organizations enjoy certain rights, then sacred natural landscapes should too.
The blockchain can make nuclear weapons safer. US military researchers are investigating whether blockchain technology could secure military secrets.
South Asian slang has officially entered the English lexicon. But the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition for “aiyo” doesn’t begin to cover its myriad meanings in India and Sri Lanka.
There’s an Olympic medal for making breakfast. (If you do it with a bionic arm.) The inaugural “bionic Olympics” in Switzerland also involved a race to climb stairs with bionic legs.
African elephants walk on their tiptoes. The massive mammals put pressure on the outside toes of their front feet, and as little as possible on their heels.
Londoners are paying their rent with used underwear. In a dark corner of the city’s sky-high rental market, predatory landlords offer reduced rent in exchange for sexual favors.
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