Good morning, Q-MHI readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY AND OVER THE WEEKEND
US lawmakers vote on health-care legislation, probably. A vote by the House of Representatives to repeal and replace Obamacare, slated for yesterday, was delayed because not enough Republicans backed the replacement bill pushed by Trump. The US president then threatened that Obamacare would stay unless the vote was held today. House Speaker Paul Ryan said it would be.
Hong Kong selects a new leader. On Sunday, the 1,194 members of a Beijing-sanctioned “election committee” will choose the semi-autonomous territory’s new chief executive. Carrie Lam, until recently the city’s second-ranked official, is expected to win. Her strongest opponent, financial secretary John Tsang, is far more popular and supported by pro-democracy parties.
The EU’s bummer of a 60th birthday party… Leaders will meet on Saturday in Rome under the specter of Brexit. Disgruntled members Greece and Poland are threatening not to sign a declaration designed to promote unity and solidarity.
…And an anti-Brexit march in London. On Saturday thousands of demonstrators will march from Park Lane to Parliament Square in London, demanding that Britain remain in the European Union. They argue that Brexit is not inevitable and people have “the right to change their minds.”
SPONSOR CONTENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN
Germany and Japan are teaming up to create new tech standards. Before touring Germany’s largest technology trade fair, Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Abe signed the Hannover Declaration, which promises to establish common standards for IoT and artificial intelligence. The agreement will be an opportunity for both countries to play a key role in tech innovation moving forward.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
A group of nations called on Venezuela to return to democracy. In an unprecedented show of unity, the US, Canada, and 12 Latin American countries collectively urged the government of president Nicolás Maduro to release political prisoners, hold elections, and take other measures to bring back “democratic normality.” Maduro has led a broad crackdown against political opposition.
Twitter said it might offer a subscription-based premium service. It’s surveying some users to gauge interest in such an offering, which would be aimed at business and power users. Twitter has struggled to grow its user base and faces a decline in advertising revenue, currently its only significant source of income.
US authorities said a Trump hotel in Washington doesn’t violate conflict-of-interest rules. The luxury hotel is housed in the historic Old Post Office near the White House, but elected officials may not take part in a lease of federal property. The agency said there was no violation because Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, now controls the company that runs the property.
More than 250 migrants were feared to have drowned in the Mediterranean. Two dinghies sank off Libya’s coast, according to Italy’s coast guard and a Spanish aid organization. With the route between Turkey and Greece effectively shut down, more migrants are trying to reach Europe from Libya via Italy.
Q-MHI OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Ilaria Maria Sala and Isabella Steger on the “election” in Hong Kong: “Campaigning has become part of Hong Kong’s political culture now, there is an expectation that you have to win the hearts and minds of the people,” said one pro-democracy lawmaker. “But in the end, it cannot sway anything. The system is rubbish, the winner is predetermined.
The cracks are spreading In the Trump trade’s foundation Watch out for debris.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Monogamy is based on flawed science. Bias has been getting in the way of important research.
The next generation of feminists will feel even more frustrated. Governments worldwide should get rid of dated legislation that keeps women out of particular occupations.
The gig economy glorifies workers’ helplessness. Companies like Uber and Lyft are touting inspiration stories of contractors who work themselves to the bone.
The $5 male fertility test is coming. Users inject a tiny sperm sample into a 3D-printed smartphone case
The ultra-rich paint their jets in “Matterhorn White.” The understated tone “evokes a snowy morning,” at up to $350,000 per coat.
At least one Chinese shoe manufacturer is moving to the US. Fed up with skyrocketing wages, Dongguan Winwin is moving closer to its most lucrative customers (paywall).
Reality TV contestants emerged from a year’s seclusion to find their show canceled. The UK show Eden in the rugged Scottish Highlands was pulled from the airwaves months ago.
An eco-friendly brewery in San Diego made beer from purified sewage. Stone Brewing’s Full Circle pale ale uses the same water to which it will return.