Black Sea intercept, #Apple’s #AirPods, Loch Ness skeleton

Good morning, Quartz readers!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY

Obama and Modi meet in Laos. The US president and Indian prime minister will meet for the eighth time in two years, on the sidelines of the ASEAN conference. They are expected to discussIndia’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the US government’s hope that India will ratify the climate change agreement from Paris.

ECB policymakers meet in Frankfurt. Economists expect little action from central bank president Mario Draghi at the calmest moment for European markets since the European Central Bank started quantitative easing in 2015. Bond yields hit a record low on Wednesday, with central bank stimulus encouraging companies to sell their debt.

Barnes & Noble reports its first quarter results. Having suffered through seven quarters of sales declines, the US bookstore chainhas been trying (pdf) to lure shoppers by offering toys and craft brewing kits. One bright spot: strong pre-orders for the next Harry Potter book.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

Hewlett Packard Enterprise agreed to sell software assets to Micro Focus International for $8.8 billion. The move is part ofCEO Meg Whitman’s strategy to focus in on a few key areas, including networking, storage, and technology services. Micro Focus, based in Britain, also bought the US firm Serena Software for $540 million earlier this year.

Clinton and Trump squared off. The US presidential candidatesappeared on the same stage, though separated by 30 minutes, in a televised forum. Among the highlights: Trump lavished praise on Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and Clinton said Trump was temperamentally unfit for the White House.

Apple had a big unveiling. At a packed event in San Francisco, Apple announced a slew of new products, including two new iPhones, an updated Apple Watch, and a new set of wireless headphones called AirPods. The new iPhone, the subject of much conjecture, looks just like its predecessors but is entirely water-resistant.

Southeast Asian leaders delivered a cryptic message. A statement from the ASEAN summit “issued a mild rebuke” (paywall) to China over its expansionist moves in the South China Sea, saying only that they were “seriously concerned” over the developments. China and the ASEAN countries also agreed to set up a telephone hotline (paywall) to avoid further clashes in the contested region.

A Russian fighter jet made an unsafe intercept of a US aircraft over the Black Sea. The Su-27 came “extremely close” to the US P-8A Poseidon and spent about 20 minutes intercepting it. The incident had the potential to “unnecessarily escalate tensions,” a Pentagon spokesman warned, saying the US aircraft was performing “routine operations in international airspace.”

QUARTZ MARKETS HAIKU

Who cares about oil
jobs, taxes or the euro?
We want new earbuds!

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

Cassie Werber on the English grammar rule that only non-English speakers know about. “Adjectives, writes the author, professional stickler Mark Forsyth, ‘absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.’” Read more here.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

After-work drinks are harder on women. They don’t necessarily “want” to be home for the kids, but as long as men aren’t doing their bit, women will take up the task.

The “self” is grounded in awareness. Though versions of self are shaped by experiences throughout life, a sense of identity remains persistent through time.

How to raise geniuses. Gifted kids who are identified and nurtured from a young age succeed only if they are motivated, curious, andable to cope with stress.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

Your smartphone works better in your right hand. Especially if it’s an iPhone.

A real-life Loch Ness monster skeleton was found after 50 years. The fossil remains of a 13-foot-long reptile that ruled the Scottish seas 170 million years ago have been found.

India is making ink out of air pollution. Researchers at Graviky Labs are revamping toxic waste from car exhaust pipes to create pens, spray paints, and more.

“Braconoid” won the World Scrabble Championships. Thewinning word, a parasitic wasp, scored 181 points and didn’t include 10-point letters like Q and Z.

A Russian river turned red. Residents of Norilsk, one of the world’s most polluted cities, believe it has been contaminated by a smelting plant.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, child geniuses, and braconoid repellent to hi@qz.com. You can download our iPhone app or follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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