Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—China’s rally, Greece’s compromise, Facebook’s music videos, foul-mouthed minions

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What to watch for today

Janet Yellen offers her views on the US economy. The chair of the Federal Reserve will speak in Cleveland on her outlook on the job market, inflation, and economic growth. The markets will parse her comments for clues on coming interest-rate hikes.

South Carolina takes down the Confederate flag. Governor Nikki Haley signed a law for the contentious flag to be relegated to the state capitol’s “relic room.”

A Canadian jobs update. The country is forecast to have lost 10,000 jobs in June, after a gain in May, with unemployment ticking up to 6.9%.

Re-assessing Harper Lee. The first chapter of the To Kill a Mockingbird author’s last book was just made available on The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, and critics are beginning to weigh in. Go Set a Watchman continues the story of Mockingbird’s Scout, 20 years later.

While you were sleeping

Greece showed signs of compromise. Prime minister Alexis Tsipras submitted a package of reform proposals that largely meets the demands of European creditors; in return, Athens has requested a €53.5 billion ($59.4 billion) bailout to last three years. The documents must now pass muster with the Greek parliament and key officials from creditor countries ahead of an EU summit this weekend, when a final decision on a new deal will be made.

Chinese stocks recorded their biggest two-day gain in seven years. Stock markets traded up for the second consecutive day on the back of monumental efforts by Beijing to prop up the faltering market; the Shanghai Composite Index closed up 4.5% following yesterday’s 5.8% rise. Around 90% of the stocks that are still tradable rose by their upper limit of 10%; here’s a guide to making the most of the volatility.

Facebook encroached further into YouTube’s territory. The social network is holding preliminary talks with record labels about licensing music videos for use on the site, according to the New York Times (paywall). That’s another sign that Facebook is serious about monetizing video; it recently announced a partnership with video content creators like ESPN.

British Airways got the green light to buy into Aer Lingus. Budget airline Ryanair agreed to accept an offer of €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) for its 29.8% stake in budget Irish carrier Aer Lingus. The deal will end Ryanair’s attempts to take over its larger rival, which had been blocked several times by antitrust regulators.

Global oil prices were predicted to fall further. The International Energy Agency predicted that a massive oversupply of oil will mean prices could fall in the second half of the year, before rising in 2016. The IEA suggested production growth outside of OPEC countries would halt next year.

Quartz obsession interlude

Dan Frommer on having your own personal cloud. ”I am now wearing several machines that are capable of talking to each other …This phenomenon—some are calling it the ‘personal cloud’ or ‘personal mesh’—is one of the most important changes that will come out of the rise of wearable devices, such as the Apple Watch.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Africa’s ticket to wealth is the garment industry. It should follow Asia’s development model.

Can François Hollande save the euro zone? France has played a key role in urging Greece and Germany to compromise.

Jeb Bush wants Americans to work more. The presidential hopeful has both a carrot and a stick to make it happen.

We should just give homes to the homeless. It actually saves money as well as improves lives.

Finland can teach America a lot about baseball. An obscure variant called “pesäpallo“ (paywall) offers near-constant action.

Surprising discoveries

Norwegian police rarely use their guns. They only fired twice last year. British cops are equally gun-shy, but are very fond of Tasers.

People with re-usable grocery bags buy more junk food. They may be rewarding themselves for being so eco-conscious.

Pope Francis prepared for a Bolivian mass at a Burger King. It was the only space available.

Four Colombians suffered an epic mix-up. Two sets of identical twins were separated at birth, and raised as each other’s fraternal twins.

A McDonald’s children’s toy may have a potty mouth. Some parents hear the phrase commonly abbreviated WTF. 

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, blessed burgers, and pesäpallo fantasy league invites to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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