Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Greece extends closures, London’s tube strike, China’s stocks, celebrities on Tinder

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What to watch for today

Chinese stocks take another ride. Another drastic measure from Beijing—this time a rule barring large shareholders from selling—has given the stock markets some bounce. In the morning so far, Shanghai’s stock market has risen 1%, but that could all change in the afternoon.

London deals with a hellish commute. The Tube’s worst strike in decades began last night, when some 20,000 transit union members walked out. The strike is due to run throughout the day, adding strain to alternative means of transport.

Elementia SAB goes public. The Mexican cement company, co-owned by Carlos Slim and Antonio del Valle Ruiz, plans to raise roughly 4.5 billion pesos ($290 million) in its initial public offering. It’s Mexico’s first cement IPO in more than 15 years.

Pepsi and Walgreens Boots report earnings. The global beverage and snack food giant is expected to report lower revenue and profit figures as US soda consumption declines. Walgreens Boots, still adjusting post-merger, is expected to post a 4% decline in quarterly earnings per share.

While you were sleeping

Greece extended its bank closures. Bank branches will remain closed and customers will continue to face a €60 ($66) daily withdrawal limit until Monday. Before then, if all goes to plan, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras will have provided EU creditors with a new proposal as promised, and an emergency summit with all EU members will have discussed Greece’s future.

Alcoa missed expectations due to lower aluminum prices. The metals company reported a second-quarter net income of $140 million, up 1% from a year earlier, but a lower-than-expected profit per share. Revenue increased slightly on organic growth in Alcoa’s aerospace, automotive, and alumina businesses, and on acquisitions.

Japanese machine orders had a surprise bump. The proxy measure of business spending rose 0.6% in May (paywall), compared to an expected 4.9% decline. That brings machine orders 19.3% higher than a year earlier, the highest annual increase since before Japan raised its sales tax.

A technical glitch shut down the New York Stock Exchange. The NYSE abruptly halted trading shortly before noon local time due to an “internal technical issue.” Officials said the outage, which ended after about four hours, was not due to a cyber attack.

Boko Haram offered to return its kidnapped girls. The Nigerian extremist group is again offering to trade 219 kidnapped school girls for 16 group members detained by government forces, according to the Associated Press. The recent increase in bloody attacks by the group may also be a tactic in strengthening their negotiating hand.

Quartz obsession interlude

Anne Quito on how South Sudan, the world’s newest country, designed its coins. “The chosen motif on the obverse (or ‘heads’) of the copper-plated steel 10-piaster coin has been particularly controversial… The desert oil drilling rig motif chosen to represent the Greater Upper Nile region, adapted from the Unity State emblem, has raised issues.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Work-life balance is overrated. Astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson argues that imbalance leads to innovation.

Germany should stop playing nice with the US. There’s no good reason to tolerate surveillance and espionage from an ally.

George Osborne is bringing back Thatcherism. His real test will be improving productivity.

Using Adderall leads to an inauthentic life. The stimulant enhances activities we would otherwise find meaningless.

Deal or no deal, Iran will continue dealing with terrorists. Western attempts to break “old habits” are doomed to failure.

Surprising discoveries

Celebrities are getting verified on Tinder. Now you can be left-swiped by your favorite movie star.

Pluto is red. New up-close photos from a NASA probe show that the dwarf planet looks a bit like Mars.

Tortillas can be played like LPs. You can etch the notes onto them with a laser cutter.

Sub-par concerts in Finland can now be refunded. Its consumer board will make organizers pay back ticket fees.

We are made of “nanomachines.” Our cells have trillions of sophisticated little engines that carry out vital functions.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, South Sudanese coinage, and concert complaints to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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