Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Greece’s missed deadline, Vodafone deal talks, Yangtze ship righted, Canadian mermaid ban

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What to watch for today

OPEC meets in Vienna. The cartel of oil-exporting nations would normally increase or lower the price of oil by deciding to ramp up or slow down supply, but with US shale oil now on the market, its grip on prices is weakening. Expect OPEC to maintain a production target of 30 million barrels a day.

The US releases its jobs report. Hiring has fallen since last year, and the Labor Department’s data dump could offer clues as to whether this is a long-term slowdown, or a mere blip. The indicators to watch for are pace of hiring, wages, and the overall unemployment rate.

Greece’s prime minister briefs parliament on debt negotiations. Alexis Tsipras will face angry lawmakers after Greece delayed its IMF payment due today (see below).

A much-needed monsoon nears Kerala. Amid an Indian heatwave that has killed over 2,500 people, the rains are already five days late. Forecasters fear that the annual rainfall may be much smaller than usual.

While you were sleeping

Vodafone discussed a merger. The British telecom company is in early talks with Liberty Global, a London-based telecom and TV business, about a range of options in light of consolidation in the sector, Bloomberg reports. The two businesses have a combined value of $230 billion; asset swaps and a Europe-only merger are alternative options.

Nestle recalled its Maggi noodles across India. Testing discovered up to seven times the permitted amount of lead in the company’s popular instant noodle packs. Maggi noodles are so popular in India they are considered a third staple after rice and lentils; some consumers are finding black market Maggi sellers.

The capsized Yangtze cruise ship was righted. Only 14 of the 456 people on board the Eastern Star were known to have survived before the the ship was brought upright, signaling an end to the search for survivors and the beginning of a search for bodies. It is likely the accident is the deadliest boat disaster in modern Chinese history.

Greece delayed a debt repayment. The Greek government announced it would bundle payments it owes the International Monetary Fund this month into a single €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) payment at the end of June. Prime minister Alexis Tsipras had previously said Greece wouldn’t miss today’s payment deadline, but talks between Tsipras and Greece’s creditors failed to advance this week.

US regulators approved a pill to increase female sex drive. The Food and Drug Administration’s advisory panel backed Sprout Pharmaceuticals’ flibanserin, despite concerns about potential side effects. An advocacy group, backed in part by Sprout, had argued that gender bias had delayed the approval of sexual dysfunction drugs for women, while male drugs like Viagra are widely available.

The US government’s HR department was hacked. The Office of Personnel Management suffered from a “massive data breach“ that could potentially affect every federal agency and millions of employees. Officials said the hackers were based in China.

At least 150 people died in a blast in Ghana. A fire at a truck terminal in the country’s capital, Accra, caused an explosion after spreading to a nearby gas station, where local residents were seeking shelter from torrential rains that have hit the city.

Quartz obsession interlude

Marc Bain on how the NBA finals are not just about basketball—but also about sneakers. “Just as they do for LeBron James and Stephen Curry—the king and the upstart—the finals offer a head-to-head matchup of sorts for their sponsors, another king and another upstart: Nike and Under Armour.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

It’s scary to be a professor these days. The fear of offending a liberal student is overwhelming.

Don’t be fooled by Jeb Bush’s friendly face. He is more ruthless and conservative than he seems.

I would pay for Facebook if it didn’t track me online. A proposition worth considering (paywall).

We shouldn’t allow Qatar and Russia to host the World Cup. Let’s take another look at those corrupt FIFA decisions.

The West has given China the upper hand. Reliance on Chinese goods lets Beijing to pursue aggressive territorial claims.

Surprising discoveries

The middle-aged and elderly are committing more crimes. Some theories blame loneliness, others poverty.

“Hellboy” roamed the world 68 million years ago. Scientists discovered an incredible new dinosaur fossil.

Sony makes a light bulb that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker. Let there be light… and sound!

Mermaids are banned from Canadian swimming pools. And they are not happy about it.

Octopuses are the comedians of the sea. A scientist almost drowned laughing at one that hid in a coconut shell.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, octopus comedy, and Hellboy fossils to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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