Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Google’s radical restructuring, Singapore lowers forecast, robot jazz

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What to watch for today

Extended hopes for a Greek bailout deal. Greece aims to conclude talks and reach an agreement on a bailout deal of up to €86 billion ($94 billion) in exchange for a package of new reforms. Greek officials were optimistic about the negotiations after meeting with the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund yesterday.

Australia announces its climate goals. The government will reveal just how much it will cut carbon pollution ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Paris later this year. Australia is reportedly leaning toward a 15% to 25% emissions reduction by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.

The maker of Norton Antivirus software reports earnings. Rising demand for cybersecurity services isn’t helping Symantec much because its software comes bundled with personal computers—which face declining sales. Analysts will want to know how the company plans to remain competitive.

Earnings of the day. Computer Sciences Corporation, Aercap, Tata Steel, Hindustan Petroleum, and Prudential report their quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

Google announced a corporate restructuring under a parent company called Alphabet. Co-founder Larry Page said the new structure will separate the revenue-generating Google business from R&D efforts like Google Ventures, Life Sciences, and Google X. Page will serve as CEO of Alphabet, while head of product Sundar Pichai will become CEO of Google. Shares of the company rose more than 5% on the news.

Japan reopened its nuclear power industry. The country has restarted its first nuclear reactor since the 2011 Fukushima disaster led to the closure of all nuclear power stations nationwide. New safety rules now apply to reactors, but the public remains critical of nuclear following the Fukushima meltdown.

Kraft Heinz reported a tough quarter. Kraft reported a 4.9% decline in second-quarter revenue to $4.5 billion, missing analyst expectations; sales at Heinz dipped 4.1% to $2.6 billion. That will maintain pressure on Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and 3G, which own the recently merged business, to keep cutting costs.

Nigeria established an anti-corruption committee. President Muhammadu Buhari appointed a team to investigate how best to root out government corruption and to reform the legal system. Buhari was elected in May on a promise to rid Nigeria of corruption that he estimates has cost $150 million over the past decade.

Singapore lowered its GDP growth forecast. The city-state’s government suggested economic growth of 2% to 2.5% this year, lowering its upper limit from 4% previously. That change came after its second-quarter annual GDP growth rate came in at just 1.8%, compared with 2.3% growth a year earlier.

Missouri announced a state of emergency. St. Louis County took the measure after police shot and critically injured an 18-year-old man. Tyrone Harris allegedly fired a gun at a police car during a demonstration commemorating the police killing of Michael Brown one year ago.

Quartz obsession interlude

Tim Fernholz on how the US rocket program has veered off track, again.  “The US government just had to re-up its embarrassing contract with Russia to take astronauts to the ISS—a $66 million extension through 2017, for a total cost to US taxpayers of $490 million. Yes, that’s almost half a billion dollars the US government is paying the Russian government, even as their geo-political relationship has gotten increasingly testy.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Real-life “Star Wars” could be nigh. China, Russia, and the US are all developing space war capabilities.

Norway is facing a potential financial crisis. The culprit is $50 oil.

Your salary should not be your only income. Everyone needs a side hustle.

Serena Williams may be the best athlete of her generation. She still has tennis history to make.

Surprising discoveries

A rare white whale was spotted off the Australian coast. Paging Captain Ahab.

Syrian refugees celebrated their arrival in Greece with a selfie. The selfie stick is not just for first-world tourists.

Robots may soon be able to play jazz. The Darpa-backed improvisational system “will be able to jam.”

Container ships are for tourists, too. Many ships take on passengers: A container for two with a view, please?

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, robot jam sessions, and container ship recommendations to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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