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WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
Singapore tries a new tack in the fight against money-laundering. Newly established departments of the Monetary Authority of Singapore begin their efforts to monitor money-laundering risks, investigate misconduct, and centralize enforcement functions. The reforms, which were announced in June, are meant to keep pace with the increasing complexity of transnational money flows and illicit financing schemes.
Russia hosts the International Army Games. More than 3,000 military personnel from 20 countries will compete Olympics-style in military drills that will be broadcast on Russian television. The games run through Aug. 15, when a closing ceremony will be held after the conclusion of the “tank biathlon” final. Greece is reportedly the only NATO member participating, and will compete in the sniper competition.
A new head for OPEC. Mohammed Barkindo, who formerly ran the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., begins his term as secretary-general of OPEC. Representatives from his fellow oil-producing states appointed him to replace Abdullah al-Badri of Libya, who put off plans to leave in 2012 until the cartel could agree on his replacement.
Don’t mess with Texas university students today. The state’scontroversial new Campus Carry law goes into effect, allowing for the carrying of concealed handguns at public universities. Today also marks the 50th anniversary of America’s first mass murder on a university campus, carried out by a gunman from a tower at the University of Texas at Austin; meanwhile, a mass shooting occurred near the campus yesterday (July 31), killing one and injuring four.
OVER THE WEEKEND
Uber is in talks to merge its China business with its rival. The ride-sharing giant will team up with Didi Chuxing, the nation’s dominant ride-hailing service. The combined company would have a market valuation of $35 billion. Didi is reportedly making a $1 billion investment in Uber at a $68 billion valuation.
Saatchi & Saatchi chairman Kevin Roberts was asked to take a leave of absence. His bosses at Publicis Groupe, which owns the advertising firm, disavowed comments he made about gender diversity in the advertising industry during an interview with Business Insider and said it will be up to the parent company’s supervisory board “to further evaluate his standing.”
Tokyo elected its first female governor. Former defense ministerYuriko Koike will lead the city’s preparation for the 2020 Olympic games.
Goldman Sachs was subpoenaed in the 1MDB case. US authorities want to interview current and former Goldman employees about the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund and are seeking documents related to the firm’s dealings with it. The fund is at the center of a massive, multinational corruption probe that has reached the inner circle of Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened to rave reviews in London. Daily Telegraph critic Dominic Cavendish wrote: “British theatre hasn’t known anything like it for decades and I haven’t seen anything directly comparable in all my reviewing days.” The stage play coincided with the worldwide release of the play script, theallegedly final installment of the Harry Potter book series.
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QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
John Dennehy on how Nepalese villagers store wealth. “The nearest bank is a three-hour hike away; while most villagers have a drawer or plastic bag filled with badly worn rupees, few bother making routine deposits or withdrawals. So when a family finds themselves with a little extra money, or in need of some, they look to their rooftops, where the Kagbeni version of a savings account is neatly stacked.” Read more here.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Pokemon Go’s success is great news for Apple, Google, and Facebook. The viral game validates the tech giants’ long-term technology strategy.
Russia will keep getting away with hacking America. There’slittle consensus on how to respond.
Men should embrace shorts. It’s time to shed puritanical policing of male bodies too.
Thousands of neuroscience studies have a deep flaw. So why aren’t neuroscientists freaking out?
In Argentina, psychoanalysis is the go-to mental health treatment for kids. The country has the highest number of psychologists per capita in the world.
In Ghana, local artists were hired to hand-paint movie posters for kung fu classics. They were painted on flour sacks that could be rolled up and transported from screening to screening.
Police raided a Brazilian drug lord’s jail cell and found a three-room luxury suite. They came across a library, conference room, and plasma TV.
There’s no Pokemon Go in Rio. And Olympic-village dwellersaren’t happy about it.
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