What to watch for today
Greece is the word for the ECB. European Central Bank president Mario Draghi is expected to call for a new deal with the country’s creditors today as Greece runs critically short of cash. The eurozone’s outlook is otherwise pretty good.
China searches for ferry survivors. More than 400 people remain missing after a passenger ferry capsized on the Yangtze river. It was carrying 458 mainly elderly tourists, and could prove to be the country’s worst maritime disaster.
Egypt’s president visits Berlin. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will sit down for talks with chancellor Angela Merkel despite the objections of human rights organizations, who want the German leader to address alleged government abuses, including the country’s liberal use of the death penalty.
NASA launches its flying saucer. The agency will test a disc-like spacecraft, which will be carried aloft by a weather balloon before blasting off from 120,000 feet. The “Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator” could eventually be used on human missions to Mars.
US and Canada release their trade deficit data. Both countries are expected to have reduced their deficits in April, the US by $7 billion, and Canada by less than $1 billion.
While you were sleeping
Sepp Blatter resigned as FIFA president. The most powerful man in sports announced plans to step down in the face of a US-led corruption investigation that cast a dark shadow on the global football organizing body. Blatter himself is the focus of an ongoing US corruption investigation, according to media reports.
The US Senate voted to curtail NSA surveillance. Lawmakers sent a bill to president Barack Obama that would curtail the bulk collection of US citizens’ phone records, although it would also reinstate several other surveillance measures from the post-9/11 Patriot Act that had expired. The NSA would still be able to inspect call records with a subpoena.
Australia’s GDP grew more than expected. Its economy expanded by 2.3% in the first quarter compared to a year earlier, beating expectations of 2.1% growth. That came largely from increased exports of natural resources; consumer spending remains soft.
US car sales returned to strength. Auto purchases rose 1.6% in May compared with a year earlier, beating expectations of a 1.1% decline. Fiat Chrysler and General Motors both reported strong sales increases, while Ford’s sales fell by less than expected on a stronger job market and low gas prices.
UK consumer prices failed to pick up. Shop prices fell 1.9% in May compared with a year earlier, matching the rate at which they fell in April, according to the British Retail Consortium. That’s a faster drop than has been recorded in the wider consumer price index.
United Airlines grounded all of its US flights. A company-wide computer glitch created massive delays. United’s problems came just a month after American Airlines experienced a similar service disruption, and during a period where US airlines are expanding their reliance on new technology in the cockpit.
Quartz obsession interlude
Omar Mohammed on what Sepp Blatter’s successor at FIFA should learn from his resignation. “For all his failings, Blatter was smart enough to understand that the game is global—and whoever replaces him in the leadership structure at the top of the most popular sport in the world would be wise to adopt the same philosophy.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Apple should steer away from the auto industry. It’s a tiresome, low-margin business.
Al Jazeera endangered its journalists in Egypt. A former bureau chief blames the news group’s owner, the state of Qatar, for their continued imprisonment (paywall).
The conflict in Iraq has descended into a farce. The US is effectively supplying ISIL with weapons.
The new ”War on Drugs” is being waged against sex workers. Lawmakers are repeating their mistakes.
US airport security is worse than you think. Pre-flight screeners failed 95% of tests for weapons and explosives.
Baby eels are incredibly expensive. Used as seed stock for Asian aquaculture, they go for $2,500 per pound.
An endangered antelope is dying in droves. More than 120,000 animals have died in Kazakhstan.
Sewer fish is off limits in New Jersey. Residents were warned not to eat seafood from the street after a storm.
Caitlyn Jenner beat Barack Obama’s Twitter record. She reached one million followers in just four hours.
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