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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Brexit decision day, Twilio IPO, “Mac’n’Cheetos”

  • Quartz
By Quartz

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This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

To Brexit, or not to Brexit? That is the question. Voters in the UK go to the polls in a referendum on whether to stay a member of the European Union, following a contentious and divisive campaign. The “remain” camp edged ahead in two recent surveys. Polls close at 10pm local time (5pm ET) and the final result is expected to be announced “around breakfast time” on Friday, according to the Electoral Commission.

Aung San Suu Kyi meets with the Thai junta. The de facto leader of Myanmar, who faced down military leaders at home, will meet the generals who are now running Thailand. Her three-day visit could result in, among other things, improved rights for the millions of Burmese migrant workers in Thailand.

India and Pakistan join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The Eurasian security alliance, created as a counterweight to NATO, is holding a two-day summit in Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent. Dominated by Moscow and Beijing, the group also includes Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

While you were sleeping

Twilio’s IPO beat expectations. The offering priced at $15 a share, above the company’s initial indicated range of $12-$14, raising $150 million. At that price, the startup has a $1.2 billion valuation—a good sign for other “unicorns” (private companies valued at over $1 billion). Twilio sends text messages on behalf of other services.

Kim Jong-un claimed North Korean missiles can hit US targets in the Pacific. Yesterday, the North Korean military conducted an apparently successful test of its Musudan missile. Theoretically, the medium-range Musudan could reach Japan and Guam, where the US has strategically important bases.

Google Fiber said it will buy high-speed internet provider Webpass. It would be the first acquisition by Alphabet’s broadband unit, and another sign that it aims to become a national player in the US.

Indonesia’s president toured the South China Sea in a warship. Joko Widodo’s visit to the Natuna Islands sends a message to Beijing that there are no overlapping claims in nearby waters. In light of China’s increasingly assertive maritime activities, Indonesia aims to make the islands akin to Pearl Harbor militarily.

Solar Impulse completed a flight across the Atlantic. The zero-fuel plane landed in Seville, Spain, 70 hours after leaving New York. The project organizers are making an historic bid to circumnavigate the globe, flying next to Abu Dhabi, where the venture began in March 2015. The plane is covered in 17,000 photovoltaic cells.

Quartz obsession interlude

Jenny Anderson and Nushmia Khan on what Donald Trump and Brexit have in common. “Each camp is making its case within the cultural confines of its country. Trump is bombastic, brazenly self-promotional, and loves to talk about how rich he is… But the Brexit campaign is equally nasty, in its own particular British way.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Removing the headphone jack from phones is hostile to users. No one wants this, Apple.

The tech economy raises wages for everyone—except the truly poor. Extreme wealth doesn’t trickle down.

There’s a better way to watch TV. Play the video at twice the normal speed.

Surprising discoveries

The US government is preparing a crackdown on frequent-flyer programs. They’ve become too complicated for people to understand.

The Philippines held an apocalyptic earthquake drill. Children and government workers played dead to develop a “culture of preparedness.”

Living in a city makes birds age faster. The stress of urban life outweighs the benefits.

Burger King is selling an unholy junk food-fast food combination. Mac’n’Cheetos will follow in the footsteps of Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Tacos.

C-SPAN is now airing Periscope and Facebook Live streams. The stodgy public broadcaster stretched a little to cover the Democratic gun control sit-in.

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