#US threatens #Syria, #Brazil’s beleaguered president, #Hufflepuff pride

Good morning, Quartz readers!


“Davos in Dalian” begins. The World Economic Forum’s annual summer meeting in China kicks off, with discussions focused on innovation and technology. In his opening remarks, premier Li Keqiang echoed president Xi Jinping’s January speech by praising globalization.

Janet Yellen speaks in London. Investors hope the US Fed chair will maintain an upbeat tone despite weak US economic data.

Google faces a record-breaking EU fine. Its parent company, Alphabet, will be charged with infringing on antitrust regulations for anticompetitive behavior and manipulating its search results.


The US warned Syria against another chemical weapons attack. In a statement, the White House said it has observed “potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack” from the Assad regime and told Syria it would “pay a heavy price” if the government proceeds with it. It’s not clear how the US detected the plans.

The president of Brazil was charged with corruption. The nation’s federal prosecutor accused Michel Temer of accepting $11 million (paywall) in promised bribes from the Batista family conglomerate, in exchange for assistance with its business dealings. The case will proceed to trial if the lower house of Brazil votes with a two-thirds majority in favor of one.

Three CNN journalists resigned after retracting a piece about Russia. Thomas Frank, Eric Lichtblau, and Lex Haris each left their posts after publishing a story linking entrepreneur and Trump transition team member Anthony Scaramucci to Russia-related investigations, which CNN later retracted. Scaramucci later tweeted that he accepted CNN’s apology.

Narendra Modi visited the White House. In his first face-to-face meeting with India’s prime minister, Trump laid the groundwork to boost military relations despite differences over trade, climate, and immigration. He also encouraged Modi to reduce trade barriers, stressing a relationship that is “fair and reciprocal.”

A Republican senator blocked weapons sales to the Middle East. Bob Corker, chairman of the foreign relations committee, said he would halt arms deals until disputes between Qatar and its Arab neighbors are resolved. He warned the conflict was undermining efforts to combat the Islamic State.


Leah Fessler on what conference rooms reveal about a company’s culture. “Two weeks ago, in an act of somewhat desperate symbolism, Uber board member Arianna Huffingtonannounced that the ride-sharing service was renaming its ‘War Room’ the ‘Peace Room’ as part of a broader effort to reform its tarnished image.” Read more here.


The back-pain industry is a $100 billion hoax. Massages, chiropractors, painkillers, and injections obscure a simple solution: moving.

Vladimir Putin is the greatest Russian in history. Polls show thepublic’s esteem for their president is rising.

Hufflepuffs are the best. It’s time to rethink the humble, hardworking heroes of the Harry Potter novels.


Salvador Dali’s body is being exhumed. DNA is needed to settle a paternity suit filed by a Spanish tarot card reader who claims she’s the artist’s daughter.

Facebook’s AI created its own language. Chatbots accidentally veered from their human-coded scripts while talking among themselves—and it turns out they’re great negotiators.

Climate change is spreading Lyme disease. Ticks carrying the disease are traveling farther and reproducing faster due to warm winters.

Eternal sunshine of the spotless snail mind. Scientists found a way to delete snails’ associative memories, which may have implications for humans with PTSD.

Even ancient Greeks thought society’s best days were behind them. Athenian plays were plagued by comic nostalgia.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, friendly chatbots, and fond snail memories to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.



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