Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Tsipras risks revolt, China eyes Micron, Singapore’s GDP miss, Pluto pics

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What to watch for today

Alexis Tsipras risks revolt. The Greek prime minister must pass new austerity laws that go against his party’s political stance by Wednesday, in return for a bailout. In parliament today, he’ll need to rely on pro-Europe opposition parties to get those laws passed, and that may threaten his position within his own government.

Will there be an Iranian nuclear deal today? Diplomats told the Associated Press that both sides are struggling to resolve a dispute about a UN conventional weapons embargo, but added that a deal could be reached today nevertheless.

Pluto gets a close-up. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will zip past the dwarf planet at 31,000 mph (50,000 kph) around 1pm London time, snapping detailed images and studying its geological features. The ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930 and died in 1997, are aboard.

US retail sales show an improving economy. Economists expect US retailers will report increased sales for a fourth straight month in June, due to stable gas prices and low unemployment. Higher outlays on cars and home improvement may suggest rising consumer confidence.

Banks, railroads, and snacks: Earnings season arrives again. JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, CSX, and Yum! Brands all report quarterly results, along with drugmaker Johnson & Johnson.

While you were sleeping

A Chinese investment company offered $23 billion for Micron. Tsinghua Unigroup, the investment arm of China’s Tsinghua University, offered a 19% premium on Monday’s closing share price for the US chipmaker, according to various media reports. That could result in the biggest Chinese acquisition of a US company to date; Micron says it has yet to receive any offer.

Singapore’s GDP missed expectations. Second-quarter economic growth was just 1.7% compared with a year earlier, lower than the government’s target of between 2% and 4%. That drop comes on slower global demand, which has hit the city-state’s manufacturing industry.

David Cameron announced a move on gender pay gaps. The UK prime minister wrote in a newspaper article that every British company with more than 250 employees will have to publish the gap between average male and female salaries. That looks like another move toward the center for the Conservatives, who promise a “living wage.”

Barack Obama granted clemency to 46 non-violent drug offenders. The US president made the move as part of the administration’s larger push to reduce the prison population and alleviate the effects of harsh sentencing laws. Nearly half of federal US prisoners are serving time for drug offenses.

Authors took aim at Amazon. Groups representing writers, booksellers, and literary agents called on the US government to investigate whether Amazon violated antitrust laws, according to the New York Times (paywall). The online retailer’s critics want the Justice Department to look at Amazon’s allegedly predatory practices and market dominance.

Quartz obsession interlude

Sibusiso Tshabalala on the rise of the smartphone in Africa. “Google’s Android is spurring the growth of Africa’s smartphone market by offering cheap smartphones. The IDC report notes that 89% of all smartphones shipped during the first quarter of 2015 were powered by Android. 45.1% of those were priced below $100.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The Greeks should blame Alexis Tsipras for their woes. The prime minister has gambled away their futures.

Urban residents shouldn’t buy cars. It’s both shockingly expensive and completely unnecessary.

The secret sauce of restaurant eating is avoiding the middle. Enjoy high dining or go low-brow.

The Apple watch is flopping because of its design failures. It is neither fashionable nor particularly useful.

Mexico’s tax on sugary beverages is working. And the United States should take the hint.

Surprising discoveries

Some sharks live in active undersea volcanoes. But what happens when their home erupts?

A French woman was fined for driving in flip-flops. Safety, rather than fashion, was the primary concern.

Fast food dates back to ancient Rome. “Thermopolia” were the McDonald’s of Pompeii.

Two fugitives were tracked down by their Spotify and Netflix usage. Don’t stream media when you’re on the run.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, ancient Happy Meals, and sharkcano sightings to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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