Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
South Asia finance ministers meet in Islamabad. Country representatives will discuss trade promotion, as well as financial, banking, and investment opportunities in the region. Due to tensions with Pakistan, however, India’s finance minister will send a representative instead of attending the two-day conference.
Angela Merkel visits the Czech Republic. The German chancellor will discuss Turkey’s role in the refugee crisis with Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka as part of her post-Brexit European tour. A number of demonstrations are planned in the country, which has seen a rise in anti-immigrant sentiment.
Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment trial begins. Brazil’s suspended president has been charged with falsifying the national budget to make its deficit appear smaller. Her supporters and detractors have attempted to shape public opinion ahead of the trial.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
The American University of Afghanistan in Kabul was attacked.Eyewitnesses described a scene of terror, with students fleeing from an explosion, followed by gunshots. Twelve people died and dozens suffered injuries in the assault. Two assailants armed with guns and explosives were killed, but no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Turkey launched its biggest offensive yet against ISIL. Turkish troops and tanks encountered almost no resistance when they entered Jarablus, ISIL’s last foothold on the Turkish border. The effort is part of a US-backed initiative to fight the militant group.
The death toll in Italy’s earthquake rose reached 247. Towns in Umbria, Lazio, and Marche were destroyed in the recent quake, and authorities are still searching for survivors. An earthquake of similar magnitude struck Myanmar yesterday (Aug. 24), killing three and destroying scores of ancient temples.
Colombia reached a peace deal with FARC rebels. The historic agreement, which ends the country’s 52-year war, was reached afterfour years of negotiations. Now begins a feverish campaign to ratify the agreement, which includes a withdrawal of troops, rural development, and political participation for the rebels.
Iranian vessels harassed a US warship near the Strait of Hormuz. The incident took place on Tuesday, a US defense officialsaid yesterday (Aug. 24), adding it “could have led to further escalation.” Whether it was ordered by Tehran or undertaken by rogue commanders remains unclear.
SPONSOR CONTENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN
A huge contingent of Japanese businesses will visit Nairobi this August. Approximately 2,000 Japanese company representatives, including 80 c-suite, will be in Nairobi for the sixth TICAD, where they’ll share industry insights into tech, infrastructure, and energy trends with African development partners. Attendees’ collective expertise will be crucial to building sustainable development partnerships in the region.
QUARTZ MARKETS HAIKU
Drugmaker shares fall
Price control fears rise. One shock
EpiPen can’t cure
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Michael Tabb on humanity’s best shot at seeing life outside our solar system. “NASA knows there are billions of Earth-sized exoplanets out there, many of which could (for better or worse) host life. But until we can travel faster than the speed of light, we’ll never actually be able to reach most of them. With the discovery of Proxima b, an Earth-like planet just 4.2 light years away, that could change.”Read more here.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Let’s not eulogize office culture just yet. For many, working from home has blurred the distinction between a flexible work schedule and a life that’s mostly work.
Fat white men wearing speedos on the beach should be a crime. Never mind burkinis, outlaw that instead—”for the sake of our traumatized children.”
Don’t write off the movie remake. Producers desperately avoid describing films as “reboots,” but some of the greatest movies are reimagined classics.
Qatar’s oil boom created a booming art industry. Too bad it crashed when oil prices bottomed out at $28 dollars a barrel last year.
Magic has gone mainstream. More and more people are turning to mysticism and the occult to fill spiritual gaps in their lives, making ‘mysticore’ a new norm.
A Filipino fisherman hoarded the world’s largest pearl. He kept the precious 75-pound jewel for 10 years as a good luck charm.
Tattoos are being used to disguise hair loss. Tiny dots fromscalp micro-pigmentation can mimic hair follicles on bald heads.
To ward off terrorism the Italian government is giving teens a €500 cultural bonus. It hopes the money—which can be spent on theaters, museums, and concerts—will keep them from becoming radicalized.
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