Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
EU defense ministers gather in Bratislava, Slovakia. They’ll consider various proposals to change the European Union’s defense arrangements. One idea is to create a headquarters for commanding military forces. Britain used to veto that idea, saying such a center would duplicate NATO’s role, but after Brexit it’s more likely to become a reality.
Signs that big oil-producing nations plan to trim output. There’s speculation about a coordinated effort to address prices, which have fallen 60% since mid-2014 (paywall), as OPEC members meet on the sidelines of an energy conference in Algiers starting today. But tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia will likely stymie any agreement.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump finally share a stage. Over 100 million Americans are expected to watch the first of three presidential debates, which Clinton has been studiously preparing for and Trump reportedly plans to wing. Here’s how to watch the 9pm EDT debate, an analysis of Clinton’s special winning tactic in previous debates, and a look at one way Trump could walk away the winner.
OVER THE WEEKEND
The Swiss voted in favor of increased government surveillance. More than 65% of voters were in agreement with the law that gives the Federal Intelligence Service more power to tap phones, read emails, and use bugs and hidden cameras.
China sent 40-plus fighter jets and bombers past Okinawa into the Pacific. In an intimidating training exercise, the planes passed between between Okinawa (home to US bases) and the contested Senkaku Islands. Japan recently indicated it would join US joint training cruises in the South China Sea, ratcheting up tensions with Beijing.
Donald Trump told Benjamin Netanyahu he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The US presidential candidate met the Israeli prime minister in New York on Sunday. The move would mark a dramatic shift in US policy. Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of the state they aim to create.
China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, fired another shot across Disney’s bow. Wang opened his second Wanda City theme park in Hefei, the capital and largest city of the Anhui province in eastern China, at a cost of $5.1 billion. He plans to build 20 more just like it as he takes on Disneyland.
A writer was fatally shot in Jordan while heading to his trial for insulting Islam. Nahed Hattar faced charges (paywall) for sharing a cartoon on Facebook that mocked ISIL terrorists. His killing increases fears about the emergence of extremism within the kingdom.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Joon Ian Wong on the implications of an online attack directed at an independent security journalist. “If a botnet is indeed running off hundreds of thousands of connected cameras, it would highlight a major flaw in the internet of things, which experts have long warned of. The software these devices run on is usually not easily upgraded, meaning that security loopholes can remain open for years.” Read more here.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Fashion has lost its magic for millennials. UK spending on clothes and shoes has fallen markedly—partly because young people now find retail boring (paywall) compared to restaurants and travel.
Europe’s regulators are just getting rolling in their efforts to crimp US multinationals. Amazon, Google, Starbucks, and McDonald’s, watch out.
Nobody needs the latest iPhone. Apple’s serial release of new products is indicative of corporate America’s unhealthy obsessionwith growth.
MESSAGE FROM OUR PARTNER
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Germany’s World War II invasion of France was made possible by crystal meth. New research says tablets of the stimulant enabled German troops to stay awake for three days and three nights and push through the Ardennes mountains.
Australia isn’t where you think it is. Every year the continent shifts northward 2.7 inches (6.9 cm), enough to throw off GPS-operated systems.
The future of rollercoasters is maglev. What could be more intense than a coaster ride with no rails, wheels, or friction?
The first pop song ever written by artificial intelligence is pretty good. “Daddy’s Car” is a catchy, sunny tune reminiscent of the Beatles.
Just like birds, fish sing in chorus at dawn and dusk.Researchers say they repeat the same call again and again, and overlap with other fish to create a chorus, which helps them stay together during hunts or defend their territory.
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