Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Iran nuclear deal agreed, Greek revolt, Apple Pay goes global, 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 platform by tomorrow, in return for a bailout. In parliament today, he’ll start cajoling pro-Europe opposition parties to get those laws passed, weakening his position as head of the government.

Pluto gets a close-up. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will zip past the dwarf planet at 31,000 mph (50,000 kph) just before 8am ET, 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 consecutive 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, Johnson & Johnson, and Yum! Brands all report quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

An Iranian nuclear deal was signed. Iran and six world powers came together on an agreement that will lift sanctions on the country in return for Iran curbing its nuclear development. That ends two years of talks, and allows Western companies to begin striking long-awaited deals in Iran. The prospect of more Iranian oil hitting the market pushed the price of crude down further.

Europe scrambled for short-term Greek bailout funds. Euro-zone officials discussed six options (paywall) for getting cash quickly to Greece ahead of a bond repayment due to the European Central Bank next week. British finance minister George Osborne argued against tapping an EU-wide rescue fund, which has been used to bail out Greece once already.

A Chinese investment company offered $23 billion for Micron. Tsinghua Unigroup, the investment arm of China’s Tsinghua University, offered a 19% premium to yesterday’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.

Apple Pay went international. The contactless payment system launched in 250,000 venues across the UK this morning. The country will be harder to crack than the US: the UK already has high penetration of contactless payment systems that are less fiddly to use than Apple Pay.

FedEx considered more than $5 billion in Boeing orders. The logistics company is mulling the purchase of 25 Boeing 767 cargo jets, according to Bloomberg. An order of that size would be a boost for Boeing in a slow market for wide-bodied jets.

Singapore’s GDP missed expectations. Second-quarter economic growth was just 1.7% versus a year earlier, lower than the government’s target of between 2% and 4%. The deceleration came after slower global demand hit the city-state’s manufacturing industry.

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

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 trick of picking a restaurant is to avoid 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. What happens when their home erupts?

Dressing like a punk rocker can get you arrested in Boston. Bus passengers called 911 after seeing a man wearing the classic “ammo belt.”

The foundations of a planned ”world’s tallest building” are now a fish farm. Construction was stopped before it began, over safety issues.

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 Big Macs, and sharkcano survival tips to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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