Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Greek banks reopen, Xaomi’s sales boost, Facebook eyes YouTube, junk food ratings

What to watch for today

The US jobs report leads into a holiday weekend. Analysts expect that the Labor Department’s monthly figures, out a day early due to the country’s Independence Day holiday, will show a 0.1% drop in the unemployment rate in June to 5.4%, and the addition of 230,000 jobs (paywall).

Greek banks reopen for pensioners. 850 of the country’s bank branches will reopen to pay out pensions after they all closed due to panic sparked by the country’s deepening debt crisis.

Libya toils over its protracted conflict. Abdullah al-Thinni, the internationally-recognized Libyan prime minister, meets with his opponents in Malta during UN-sponsored peace talks. He says he hopes to reach a power-sharing agreement with the armed alliance that took over the western part of the country last year.

The Iran nuclear talks drag on. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, will meet with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani to help reach an accord between Iran and six global powers, after negotiators extended their June 30 deadline by one week.

While you were sleeping

Xiaomi announced a major sales boost. The Chinese smartphone maker sold 34.7 million handsets in the first half of 2015, up 33% from a year earlier. The high-spec, low-cost handsets have faced a challenge from Apple at home, but its recent international expansion is expected to help Xiaomi maintain growth.

Facebook followed in YouTube’s footsteps. The social network said it will share revenue from ads sold alongside videos posted to its website, and offered companies including the NBA and Fox Sports initial deals. The offer replicates the model that made YouTube so successful, by offering 55% of revenue to the content owner, and keeping 45%.

The US investigated airlines for potential collusion. The Department of Justice is investigating whether airlines shared information about expansion to maintain higher prices. From 2010 to 2014, domestic flight capacity remained flat, despite healthy economic growth.

Ukraine made progress in bailout talks. Finance minister Natalie Jaresko agreed to private discussions with the country’s creditors, following two months of public quarreling. Ukraine has $19 billion of debt, which it threatened to stop servicing unless creditors agreed to a write down.

US authorities stepped in on an appliance merger. The Department of Justice sued to block Sweden-based Electrolux’s proposed $3.3 billion buyout of General Electric’s appliance business, citing antitrust issues. The deal would give Electrolux a 40% share of the US appliance market.

The US and Cuba restored diplomatic ties after 54 years. US president Barack Obama announced that the US and Cuba will open embassies in their respective countries later this month. Some issues remain though; Cuba wants the port of Guantanamo Bay back, and a US trade embargo lifted.

Quartz obsession interlude

Dan Frommer on Apple’s new music streaming service. “What makes Apple Music interesting is the ‘humanities’ aspect. And the best, most memorable example so far is Apple’s experiment with radio. In the age of sterile, algorithmic automation, Apple has launched a high-profile, global radio station—Beats 1—powered by humans with personalities, led by former BBC jock Zane Lowe.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

We should use a single global currency. Taking away the power of countries to devalue their currency could make them more responsible.

Removing the Confederate flag is meaningless if black churches are burning. Taking away a symbol doesn’t protect people from violence.

Addiction is not a disease. And maintaining that it is could be harmful.

Airheads and Lunchables are the worst-tasting foods in the world. An Italian tastes and promptly rejects American junk food.

Greece is a “demerging economy.” With its entry into the EU, the country emerged from a poor dictatorship but it’s been downhill since then.

Surprising discoveries

Mark Zuckerberg’s dream is for Facebook to read and send your thoughts. Facebook’s mysterious algorithms are laying the groundwork.

A robot killed a Volkswagen worker in Germany. The company said the incident was not due to a technical defect.

Donald Trump is going strong in presidential polls. Thanks to old and conservative Americans.

There are shockingly few impact craters on the surface of the Earth. The planet has 126 of them, which pales in comparison to other bodies in our solar system.

Eye color could be linked to alcohol dependence. People with blue eyes may be particularly vulnerable.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, crater sightings, and Facebook-transmitted thoughts to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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