Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Italy’s prime minister comes to the White House. Matteo Renzi will sit down with US president Barack Obama to discuss how Europe is dealing with Russia, what needs to be done about ISIL in the Middle East, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, among other topics.
Germany mourns. Chancellor Angela Merkel will attend a memorial service at the Cologne cathedral for the 150 people who lost their lives when Germanwings flight 4U9525 crashed into the French Alps last month. The flight was apparently intentionally sabotaged by a 27-year-old co-pilot suffering from depression.
A family split in France’s far right. Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front, has publicly broken with her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the political party. After years of toning down the party’s rhetoric, she condemned her father over his remarks downplaying the impact of the Holocaust, and announced an urgent meeting (paywall) where she may call for him to be kicked out.
Thailand gets a first draft of a new constitution. The ruling military Junta, which overthrew the government in 2014, recently lifted its martial law—without loosening its grip on power. Today it is expected to unveil the first draft of a constitution that will limit the power of politicians. A final version is expected in September (paywall).
Astronauts get their espresso machine. After poor weather delayed a rocket launch, SpaceX finally launched a re-supply package that’s destined to arrive at the International Space Station today. In it, there will be an espresso machine from Italy, along with 1,800 kilos of food and scientific equipment.
While you were sleeping
In Yemen, al-Qaida captured an airport, an oil terminal, and a seaport. Military officials in Yemen told the Associated Press that al-Qaida fighters took control of an area in the south of the country near the coast of Mukalla. Once the local airport was taken over, a nearby oil terminal and seaport also fell.
Etsy’s share price more than doubled. After its IPO at $16 per share earlier this week, the online artisanal goods marketplace saw its stock hit the NASDAQ stock exchange at $31 a share, valuing the firm at close to $3.7 billion. By mid-morning, shares were trading at $35 a share, making Etsy worth nearly $4 billion. The company had nearly $200 million in revenue last year, up from $125 million in 2013.
Vladimir Putin defended his decision to sell Iran missiles. During his annual call-in show, Russia’s president says the move—which angered Israel and the US—was appropriate given the recent agreement on a framework Iran nuclear deal. The $900 million (paywall) S-300 missile defense system is purely “defensive,” Putin said.
More dispiriting news about MH370. It has been nearly 14 months since the Malaysian Airlines flight plunged into the sea with 239 passengers and crew, and yet search crews still haven’t found a scrap of debris. The search zone will be doubled in size to 46,000 square miles, but officials say the hunt for answers may take another year.
WikiLeaks released the Sony hack emails. The controversial transparency advocacy group’s editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, claims that the trove of over 170,000 emails and 30,000 documents stolen in a hack that the White House attributed to North Korea “belongs in the public domain” because Sony Pictures Entertainment is “a large, secretive multinational corporation” that’s “at the centre of a geo-political conflict.”
Quartz obsession interlude
Marc Bain on the high price of cheap clothes. “Fashion is a dirty business, and the process of dyeing and finishing textiles is a particularly filthy part of it. It uses a lot of energy and water, as well as toxic chemicals with disturbing side effects such as causing hormone imbalances in wildlife. These chemicals can easily end up in a mill’s wastewater, contaminating nearby lakes and rivers.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Gay people on TV are “toxic caricatures.” It’s nice that more films and TV shows now feature gay characters, but they are too often portrayed as “uber-camp clowns or potential sexual menaces.”
ISIL isn’t Iraq’s only problem. The country is tearing itself apart, and a national reconciliation process is necessary.
Hillary’s to-do list is long. For America to have a middle class again, she’s going to have to pass numerous corporate regulations, as well as substantially raise taxes on short-term investors.
Everyone hates the euro. At this point, kicking Greece out of the monetary union is probably a good idea to restore stability to the rest of the continent.
Europe’s case against Google misses the point. Technology moves so fast these days that markets regulate companies better than governments can ever do (paywall).
The Pope’s old iPad, unlike yours, is worth quite a bit of money. It sold at auction for over $30,000 and the proceeds will go to a school in Uruguay.
Cameras may soon power themselves. Researchers created an image sensor that alternates between capturing light for an image and charging the camera’s power supply.
There’s a perfect amount of exercise. How much activity do you need to reap the most health benefits? It’s 450 minutes a week—roughly 64 minutes a day.
Boeing has listened to your complaints. Seats are probably going to continue shrinking, but at least overhead bins are going to become more spacious.
Ben & Jerry’s is taking its puns to the next level. The ice cream maker is latching onto the popularity of burritos by launching a crepe-encased treat it’s calling “BRRR-ito.”
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