Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Germany’s Greek vote, Eid begins, Samsung’s merger, stoner driving

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What to watch for today

Germany votes on a Greek bailout (redux). The lower house of parliament votes on whether to approve chancellor Angela Merkel’s stance that Greece needs a third bailout. Merkel’s party holds a majority in the house, but dissent against her is increasing. The International Monetary Fund says a bailout is “categorically” not viable without debt restructuring (paywall).

Tropical storm Nangka batters Japan. The powerful storm—downgraded from its earlier typhoon status—has already killed two, and led authorities to advise 350,000 to leave their homes.

Ramadan ends. Eid al-Fitr, the feast that celebrates the end of the holy fasting month, begins in many Muslim countries.

What’s up with the US economy? Encouraging signs are expected when the Labor Department releases data on consumer prices and the Commerce Department reports on housing. But expect surprises—a boost to retail sales failed to materialize earlier this week.

The earnings season is in full swing. General Electric, Honeywell, and Synchrony Financial are among those reporting their results.

While you were sleeping

Samsung gets shareholder approval for a merger. Shareholders of the South Korean conglomerate voted in favor of a $7.7 billion all-stock merger between its holding company and its construction and trading arm. The tie-up was contested by Elliott Associates, a US hedge fund, which argued the deal didn’t represent good value for shareholders; the two businesses had an at-times ugly battle for influence, and Elliott may still take Samsung to court.

The IMF withdrew Greek bailout support. The US-based body will not be a part of the first tranche of Greece’s third bailout, according to a letter from German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. The institution was expected to be involved, and could still take part in later tranches. Greece has missed two payments to the IMF.

Ericsson beat expectations. The Swedish mobile telecom giant’s second-quarter operating profit was €3.6 billion krona ($420 million), lower than last year’s 4 billion krona but still better than expected. Earnings were boosted by higher margins and mobile-broadband sales stabilizing.

China steadied its stock market. Shanghai’s benchmark index rose 3.5% on Friday, erasing losses made earlier in the week. That signals heavy government intervention, such as forcing companies to buy shares, is working—for now.

Australia held a memorial for flight MH17. A plaque with the names of 39 Australians on board the flight, which was shot down over Ukraine one year ago today, was unveiled in Canberra. Calls for an international tribunal over the shooting of the plane were rejected by Russian president Vladimir Putin, who complained about “politicized” coverage of the incident.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford and Heather Timmons on a metal-trading scheme that bamboozled Chinese investors out of billions. “Why did hundreds of thousands of individual investors sink millions of yuan into a derivative product linked to indium, bismuth, and other metals few have ever heard of? The answer highlights how Chinese government regulations make it hard for middle-class households to safely grow their savings.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Bailouts might not be the best option for struggling economies. Greece should take a cue from Asia.

There were other options in the Iran negotiations. Coercive diplomacy would have yielded a better deal (paywall).

Trolls are winning the internet war. But humans can still prevail—take it from former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao.

The mindfulness craze is another money-making scheme. Don’t expect it to change our mental well-being.

Atticus Fitch’s racism in “Go Set a Watchman”is necessary. The novel reveals more about the complicated history of the US South.

Surprising discoveries

Prehistoric humans also had to suffer through dentist visits. There’s evidence from a 14,000-year-old tooth with cavities.

A plague of hanging dildos has hit Portland. The weirdest city in the US just got even weirder.

A Georgia artist wants to add Outkast to a Confederate version of Mount Rushmore. The rappers would be driving a Cadillac alongside Robert E. Lee.

Canadian researchers are working on a breathalyzer for weed. It would provide a test for stoned driving.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, prehistoric dental tools, and rappers who should be on flags to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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