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Quartz Daily Brief—CGI America edition—Tech and people of color, cities and climate change, US competitiveness

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By Quartz

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This article is more than 2 years old.

This year’s meeting will look at how we can bring new ideas to underserved markets and make long-term investments to address global challenges.

While most of the action is happening today and tomorrow, a few related events were held over the weekend: a community service “Day of Action” led by Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed; the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s discussion on what cities can do to nurture entrepreneurs and innovation; and Kresge Foundation president Rip Rapson’s panel on raising healthy kids in urban America.

Today’s highlights at CGI America

Opening the tech and startup scenes to people of color. Jessie Martinez, co-founder of the Latino Startup Alliance, and Leslie Miley, director of engineering at Slack, talk about hiring men of color in the technology sector. Another breakout session focuses on the support and continued success of female entrepreneurs.

What it will take for the US to stay competitive. Ian Bremmer, Jewel Burks, Sandy Douglas, and Shirley Ann Jackson join Bill Clinton to discuss American investments in education, economic mobility, and infrastructure—areas in which the US is falling behind other nations.

The opioid epidemic in America’s communities. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia speaks with Clinton about strategies for addressing the human and economic cost of prescription opioid abuse.

How cities can adapt to climate change. Quartz’s Kevin J. Delaney moderates a lunchtime discussion with Georgia Power’s W. Paul Bowers, BlocPower’s Donnel Baird, and Adrianna Quintero of Voces Verdes on the ways communities can transition to more environmentally sustainable practices, businesses, and jobs.

You can review the full event agenda here. Today’s forecast is for a high of 96 degrees, with drizzle tonight.

What everyone is talking about at CGI America

Much of the nation’s attention has been focused on the horrific mass shooting in Orlando this weekend, reviving debates on gun control, terrorism, and religion. As CGI America attendees arrive in Atlanta, where the formal agenda centers around education and the economy, those issues will surely influence conversations on- and off-stage.

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What’s happening in the rest of the world

Angela Merkel meets with China’s leaders. The German chancellor aims to push Beijing on trade, cyber security, and human rights during a joint cabinet meeting. Yesterday, she accused China of hurting Europe’s steel industry by overproducing the commodity.

Apple’s big conference for developers begins. The tech giant’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco launches with an expected focus on opening up its digital assistant Siri to outside coders.

Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince visits the US.  Mohammed bin Salman—in charge of overhauling his country’s economy—will meet with president Barack Obama, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, and other senior officials. He also plans to meet with Silicon Valley executives in California.

Matters of debate

America is wrongly blocking gay men from donating blood to Orlando shooting victims. The government’s guidance against gay male donations is scientifically unjustified, and a reminder of lingering battles facing the LGBT community.

We’ve been eating genetically modified food for 10,000 years. Why stop now? Not all genetically modified food is bad, and plenty of ”cloned” produce is considered ”organic.”

What the modern “Right to Die” debate can learn from an ancient Indian religion. Choosing to fast to death at the end of one’s life is seen as a spiritual celebration in Jainism

Surprising discoveries

Vast underground cities were uncovered in Cambodia. Some as large as capital Phnom Penh, they would have comprised the world’s largest empire in the 12th century.

You can train your brain to cope with stress. There are neuroscience-based techniques that alter brain chemistry ”as much as any antidepressant,” according to experts.

Dr. Robot will see you now. Experiments on pigs found autonomous robots made as good or better stitches than experienced human surgeons.

Japanese messaging app Line made $268 million from digital stickers last year. The “larger and more expressive version of emoticons,” as the company describes them, accounted for a quarter of total sales.

The Milky Way is disappearing. One-third of the global population can’t see the galaxy because of widespread light pollution.

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