Good morning, Q-MHI readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAYThe US Supreme Court rules on Donald Trump’s travel ban… Justices are expected to weigh in on the US president’s attempt to restore his travel ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority countries. Several lower courts rejected the measure, citing Trump’s own tweets as evidence that it is biased against Muslims.
Look forward to welcoming India’s PM Modi to
@WhiteHouse on Monday. Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend!
…and Trump meets Narendra Modi. This is the Indian prime minister’s first face-to-face meeting with Trump, and diplomatic expectations are low. Despite a recent Trump tweet calling Modi a “true friend,” they hold different views on trade, immigration, and the Paris climate agreement.
The EU and Mexico talk trade. The two sides will meet in Mexico to finalize a trade agreement first signed in 2000. Spurred by Trump’s attacks on NAFTA, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: “We want to send a clear signal to the world about the importance of strengthening—not weakening—the rules that govern international trade.”
“Pharma bro” Martin Shkreli goes on trial. A year and a half after Shkreli became a pariah for ramping up the price of an AIDS and cancer drug by 5,000%, the former pharmaceutical CEO will be tried in Brooklyn for fraud (paywall)—prosecutors allege he ran his hedge fund like a Ponzi scheme.
OVER THE WEEKEND
Takata finally filed for bankruptcy. The troubled Japanese airbag maker filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and the US, and said most of its assets will be acquired by Detroit-based Key Safety Systems for $1.6 billion. Takata is still trying to recall tens of millions of defective airbags, used by 19 different automakers.
Activist investor Dan Loeb took aim at Nestlé. Third Point, Loeb’s hedge fund, took a $3.5 billion stake in the Swiss food giant and is pressuring it to boost profits and sell its 23% stake in L’Oréal. European consumer-goods companies have been under pressure to restructure recently: Unilever fought off a takeover from Kraft Heinz, and Reckitt Benckiser is selling off its food business after its acquisition of Mead Johnson.
Italy set aside $19 billion to shore up two sick banks. In the country’s biggest bank bailout ever, the government will rescue Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca by separating out their bad assets from their good ones, which will be sold to Intesa Sanpaolo. Prime minister Paolo Gentiloni said it was a necessary move to protect depositors and savers.
A oil tanker inferno in Pakistan killed at least 150 people. After the truck veered off the road in the eastern city of Bahawalpur, people rushed to collect leaking fuel in pots, only to perish in a massive explosion. Reports say a stray cigarette or static electricity from a mobile phone may have triggered the blast.
More than 90 people are missing after a landslide in China. At least 10 bodies have been recovered after a landslide buried about 40 homes in Maoxian county in Sichuan province. Rescuers say they don’t expect to find any more people alive.
London apartment buildings were evacuated due to fire risks. Thousands of residents at a council-owned block in Camden were asked to leave in the dead of night (paywall). The buildings, along with dozens of others across the UK, used materials similar to those linked to the deadly Grenfell Tower fire that killed at least 79 people.
Q-MHI OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Activist Joshua Wong on Hong Kong’s thirst for democracy 20 years after returning to Chinese rule. “Young people, free from financial burdens and family demands, have the least to lose should they be arrested or convicted and therefore should take a more prominent role.”
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Future jobs for humans will rely on emotional labor… Robots will have trouble replacing workers who are currently underpaid and underappreciated.
…and being smart will be redefined. In the age of AI, critical and creative thinking will be more important than ever.
Anxiety can be beneficial. It’s one of the most agonizing feelings, but you cannot be a creative, imaginative human being without it.
Canada is running low on marijuana. A supply shortfall will be the biggest hurdle for the government’s legalization plans.
North Korea ️ WordPress. The country’s new foreign ministry website was built with the open-source blogging platform, based on a custom “DPRK” theme.
Mexicans are threatening to sue Heineken for its tequila-flavored beer. Desperados, which has trace amounts of the spirit, runs contrary to tequila’s upmarket aspirations.
Millennials are keeping public libraries alive. More than half said they recently used one, more than any other generation in America.
Amazon wants to build a giant beehive for drones. It’s seeking a patent for “multi-level fulfillment centers for unmanned aerial vehicles” that could serve urban areas.