Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
The Chinese go on the move. The annual “golden week” holiday is underway. Retailers from London to Seoul to Sydney expect to cash in on a bonanza of globetrotting Chinese shoppers. Meanwhile more than 100 million Chinese are expected to travel home to their families.
The Nobel Committee awards its first prize of the year. The accolade in physiology or medicine will be announced at 11.30am CET in Stockholm. The awards for physics, chemistry, peace, and economics will follow later this week.
Hurricane Matthew hits Haiti and Cuba. It’s the most powerful hurricane to form over the Atlantic in nearly a decade. Haiti issued a red alert warning, Cuba started evacuations from threatened areas, and the US airlifted hundreds of spouses and children from its Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba to Florida.
SPONSOR CONTENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN
What do continuity, openness, and work style changes have in common? According to Prime Minister Abe, they are each crucial to Japan’s economic progress. During a recent speech in New York, Abe argued that strengthening corporate governance, promoting free trade, and increasing wages for non-traditional employees contribute to growth.
OVER THE WEEKEND
Britain got a Brexit date. Prime minister Theresa May said at the Conservative Party’s annual conference that the UK will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of next March, meaning it must leave the EU by March 2019. Her announcement promises tounleash bitter debate about the terms of Brexit during the rest of the conference, which ends Wednesday.
Another Donald Trump scandal broke. The Republican nominee declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 tax return, which he could have used to avoid up to 18 years of federal taxes, the New York Times reported (paywall). Meanwhile, in a speech that was ranting and incoherent even for him, Trump suggested Hillary Clinton had been unfaithful to her husband.
Colombians said no to peace. In a surprise upset, voters rejected a peace deal with FARC rebels that would have ended a 52-year civil war, by a margin of less than 0.5%. The deal was the product of four years of talks; many voters were unhappy with the idea of FARC getting political representation and amnesty. It may take years to strike any new deal.
Another Indian army post was attacked. It was the second assault in two weeks on a base in the disputed Kashmir region. The Indian army didn’t identify the attackers. One border guard was killedand another wounded. India had launched “surgical strikes” a few days earlier against militants on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control.
Spain stumbled out of its political crisis. Pedro Sánchez, leader of the Socialist Party (PSOE), stepped down after a bitter internal power struggle. The PSOE will likely now let the right-wing Popular Party of Mariano Rajoy form a government after nine months of deadlock.
Hungary’s anti-migrant referendum fizzled. A referendum against an EU quota requiring Hungary to accept 1,300 resettled refugees was deemed invalid after fewer than 50% of voters turned out. Some contend it was worded in a manipulative way.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Katherine Ellen Foley on the problem with “clean” hydropower. “Globally, the reservoirs created by dams may actually contribute almost a gigaton of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions—about 25% more than they had previously thought. This means that we’ve almost certainly been underestimating how much greenhouse gas we’ve been shooting into the atmosphere.” Read more here.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Deaths from driverless cars are only to be expected. We’ve accepted far higher death tolls as the price of technological advancement before.
India’s “surgical strikes” against Pakistan were a bad idea.They do nothing to deter cross-border attacks and just risk inflaming tensions.
There is still something the world can do about Syria. To curb the savage bombings of Aleppo, the West could be more assertivewithout getting dragged into war.
The meaning of “bedlam.” It refers to the Bethlehem Royal Hospital in London, the first asylum in England, founded in 1247 and still functioning today.
Alt-right trolls have developed a new language for racial slurs.Innocuous words such as “googles,” “skypes,” or “yahoos” are now being used as code words for racial insults.
A sculpture in New York honors an attack that never happened. It shows a ferry being dragged underwater by a giant octopus and is part of a “multimedia art project and social experience” about how gullible people are.
The world’s deepest underwater cave. It’s in the eastern Czech Republic, is around 404 meters (1,325 feet) deep, and beats the previous record-holder, a flooded sinkhole in Italy, by 12 meters.
Women in Thailand are staging a novel form of protest at bad roads. They’ve taken to sitting and taking baths in vast potholes.
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