Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—All eyes on Greece, China’s bear market, Puerto Rico’s debt, rat dreams

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What to watch for today

Everyone is watching Greece. Stock markets are falling and the euro is tumbling (paywall) after prime minister Alexis Tsipras announced a week-long closure of the country’s banks, the closing of the Athens Stock Exchange, and restrictions on money transfers and withdrawals. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest developments.

An extension looms on Iran’s nuclear talks. A June 30 deadline for the six countries looking to broker an agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program will likely be extended a few days, a US official told NBC News. Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif returned to Tehran to “consult with the leadership” on the state of negotiations, after meetings in Vienna.

A big healthcare deal is in the works. Following last week’s Supreme Court decision keeping the Affordable Care Act intact, investors predict consolidation in the healthcare market. The first big deal: Aetna, the second-biggest US health insurer, is expected to buy Humana in a deal that would be worth more than $29 billion. Unless UnitedHealthcare buys Aetna first.

Home sales in the US are expected to drop. The National Association of Realtors releases May’s US home sales data. The figures are expected to show a 1.2% drop, after a 3.4% climb in April.

Burundi votes. The African Union will not observe the general elections as previously planned and the UN has called for a delay, citing political insecurity after the head of parliament fled the country on Sunday following weeks of violence.

Over the weekend

China cut its interest rate and entered a bear market. The People’s Bank of China reduced its base rate by 25 basis points after the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 7.4% on Friday. But that failed to reassure investors; by mid-day Monday, the Shanghai Composite was down 3.3% for the day and is now in “bear” territory.

Puerto Rico said it cannot repay its debts. Governor Alejandro García Padilla told the New York Times the island is unable to repay its $72 billion in debt (paywall), and that it will likely seek concessions from creditors. Calls for concessions from Puerto Rico (a US territory) could have a negative impact on borrowing for US states.

A fire injured hundreds at a party in Taiwan. Colored powder thrown into the crowd at a water park caught fire during the show, injuring almost 500. Authorities arrested the party organizers and launched an investigation.

A SpaceX rocket exploded on its way to the International Space Station. The unmanned rocket, carrying four tons of supplies and scientific cargo, blew up only minutes after launching. The cause of the explosion is still unknown.

An Argentine judge stirred up more Falklands controversy. The federal judge ordered the seizure of boats and other assets worth $156 million from five companies drilling for oil, though it is unclear how the order will be implemented. Argentina claims sovereignty over the islands, but they are controlled by Britain.

Quartz obsession interlude

Jason Karaian on the unfolding Greek tragedy. “Although the logic of the Greek government’s referendum gambit is understandable—in essence, let the people pick their poison—its execution is clumsy, to say the least. There is the surreal possibility that, on July 5, Greeks will vote on a proposal that is no longer on offer.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The productivity paradox is back. Productivity is falling globally, especially in the US and China.

We need a Plan C for Greece. The priority must be to help the Greeks—whether in or out of the euro zone (paywall).

You’re probably recycling all wrong. Small bits of paper, condiment packets, and plastic bags are all unwelcome items.

Europe is letting itself down over immigration. Countries are abandoning the concept of human rights in the face of a few migrants (paywall).

Sex is about to get legislated in the US. It’s only a matter of time before ”yes means yes” becomes law.

Surprising discoveries

Sikhs are a crucial part of Italy’s parmesan cheese industry. Immigrants from the Punjab have kept the tradition alive since the 1980s.

Nearly half of Americans don’t know what their spouses earn. One in 10 was off by more than $25,000.

A Malaysian company is selling childbirth trousers. They keep a woman’s legs covered during labor.

The first rainbow flag was raised in 1978. Now an international icon, it was first flown at the United Nations Plaza in San Francisco.

Rats dream, too. Scientists found they dream of ways to get what they want.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, childbirth trousers, and how to get our money out of Greece to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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