What to watch for today (and this weekend)
The United States celebrates Independence Day. Financial markets and many businesses are closed as the country observes the July 4 anniversary of the Declaration of Independence a day early.
Greece’s pivotal vote. Sunday’s somewhat confusing referendum hinges on whether Greeks are willing to accept an extended bailout from Europe and the IMF in exchange for more austerity measures. A “no” vote, as urged by prime minister Alexis Tsipras, raises the likelihood that Greece will leave the euro.
Iran nuclear talks continue. Negotiators are expected to debate well into the weekend, and US secretary of state John Kerry sits down with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
While you were sleeping
The IMF unloaded on Greece. The International Monetary Fund said that Greece will need another €50 billion ($55 billion) in bailout funds over the next three years because of a deteriorating economy under the country’s current political leadership. It also cut its economic growth forecast for Greece from 2.5% to zero.
BP agreed to an $18.7 billion settlement for Deepwater Horizon. The oil giant will pay a record civil settlement with federal, state, and local governments for an oil spill that is considered to be the largest environmental disaster to ever occur in the United States.
Officials in Nigeria confirmed a Boko Haram mosque massacre. As many as 97 people were killed on July 1, when Boko Haram fighters attacked Muslims and clerics they believed to be overly moderate. The attack on the town of Kukawa in northeastern Nigeria came as residents prayed before breaking fast for the holy month of Ramadan.
Whole Foods apologized for ripping off customers in New York City. “Straight up, we made some mistakes,” the company’s co-CEOS admitted. City investigators accused the grocery store of systematically mislabeling bulk food items, and could still levy millions of dollars in fines.
Brazil suspects big banks of rigging its currency. Antitrust regulators are investigating 15 global banks for colluding to manipulate the price of the real between 2007 and 2013. According to Reuters, traders calling themselves “The Cartel” or “The Mafia” used online chatrooms to collude on prices.
Quartz obsession interlude
Marc Bain on how to get a great-looking outfit made completely from garbage: “Nike already makes jerseys out of it, and the popular Dutch denim brand G-Star Raw has a clothing line with musician Pharrell made from reclaimed ocean plastic. Soon you’ll be able to add sneakers to that list.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Donald Trump is sabotaging the GOP. His fellow candidates should have ostracized him when they had the chance.
Don’t worry about getting murdered by robots. Robot-related deaths are actually on the decline.
Polygamy is not at all like gay marriage. Group marriage represents the past, not the future, of matrimony.
Guacamole isn’t worth arguing about. Americans should really be arguing about barbecue.
A Chinese man’s two pet dogs were actually bears. He kept them for two years before realizing his mistake.
Russian teens are kicking a cardboard cutout of Barack Obama. A civic exercise in “hitting back against sanctions.”
The world’s tallest cow has died. Blosom was 6’2 (190 cm) and certified by Guinness.
Bubble wrap is losing its pop. The manufacturer is trying to save space, but the old stuff will still be available.
Thomas Jefferson was obsessed with mammoths. Something for Americans to ponder about the founding father this 4th of July.