Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
A Taiwan court rules on same-sex marriage. A Taiwan courtrules on whether same-sex couples can marry. Judges will consider a lawsuit filed by gay rights activist Chi Chia-wei. If the answer is yes, Taiwan would become the first country in Asia to have marriage equality.
A senior Japanese banking executive steps down. Takashi Oyamada, the head of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, is expected to announce his resignation for health reasons after less than a year on the job. The move may upset succession planning at parent company Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, one of the world’s largest banks.
Marks & Spencer reports earnings. Analysts expect the high-street apparel maker to report a drop in profit as clothing sales decline. Investors are more optimistic about results for Tiffany, since the jeweler has proven largely immune to online competition.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Moody’s downgraded China for the first time since 1989 on debt risk. The ratings agency warned that the nation’s financial strength would erode, “with economy-wide debt continuing to rise as potential growth slows.” Though the downgrade will likely increase the cost of borrowing for the government and state-owned enterprises, it keeps China within investment-grade status.
The UK raised the terror threat level to “critical.” Further attacksmight be imminent, said prime minister Theresa May, and military personnel will be deployed to protect key sites. The move comes after a suicide bomber killed over 20 people at a concert by US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester.
A video-game toolmaker scored a $400 million investment.Unity Technologies, based in San Francisco, is now valued at $2.6 billion following the hefty investment by private equity firm Silver Lake. The startup offers not games but the software used to make them, meaning its success depends more on the overall industry than individual titles. Its software underpins Pokémon Go.
Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law on the southern island of Mindanao. The Philippines president made the move as security forces fought to capture Isnilon Hapilon, the leader of an ISIL affiliate in Southeast Asia. Duterte had to cut short his official visit to Moscow, but he still managed to squeeze in a meeting with his “favorite hero” president Vladimir Putin.
The US sued Fiat-Chrysler for emissions cheating. More than 100,000 diesel vehicles—Ram 1500s and Jeep Grand Cherokees from 2014, 2015, and 2016—were allegedly sold with “defeat-device” software. Now, the US Department of Justice is suing the company for violating the Clean Air Act.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Ana Campoy on the surprising demographics of illegal immigration in the US: “By the end of fiscal year 2016, some 630,000 visitors had failed to leave the US, far exceeding the 415,000 people who were intercepted crossing the US-Mexico boundary during the same time period. According to Homeland Security, Canadians, not northbound Latin Americans, were the biggest group of violators.” Read more here.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
…And what about asteroid mining? Goldman Sachs sees a trillion-dollar opportunity for investors.
India is ready and eager to welcome Tesla. CEO Elon Musk was “misinformed” about the country’s “Made in India” trade restrictions.
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The rice industry is furious at “cauliflower rice.” The faux grain—made by finely chopping cauliflower florets into tiny granules—may end up in court.
More than half of Americans are getting the recommended amount of exercise. For the first time ever.
India’s horrific rush hour is primetime for Netflix. Peak streaming occurs at 5pm, the earliest of any market, as users cope with lengthy commutes.
Some mango maniacs take their obsession to another level.Under the patronage of the Sheherwali Jains, Murshidabadi mangoes are an icon of flamboyant sophistication.
Conservative Americans are furious that their favorite sitcom has been canceled. Last Man Standing is standing no longer.
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