Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
EU leaders convene for a two-day quarterly summit. They’re expected to issue a joint statement on defense and global trade, and reiterate their support of the Paris climate accord. Ahead of the Brussels meeting, Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni called Brexit a tough wake-up call.
Republicans in the US Senate finally unveil their health-care bill. President Donald Trump wants the Senate to pass a more “generous” bill than the one approved by the House, which he reportedly called “mean.” Majority leader Mitch McConnell has announced there will be just 10 hours of debate on the Obamacare repeal legislation.
The US Fed releases results from its big-bank stress tests. Investors hope it will let large US banks use some of their $150 billion in idle capital for dividends, stock buybacks, and other things. The Fed will release a second set of results on June 28. The tests measure the ability of banks to continue lending even in a serious economic recession.
While you were sleeping
George Clooney sold his tequila business. London-based Diageo will pay $700 million for Casamigos, with a potential for $300 million more depending on future performance. The interest from Diageo—owner of Smirnoff, Guinness, and Johnnie Walker—coincides with rising tequila consumption in the US.
ISIL reportedly destroyed one of Iraq’s most iconic monuments. The centuries-old Al-Nuri Mosque, which dates to the 12th century, was where the extremist group declared a caliphate in 2014. ISIL claimed an American airstrike destroyed the mosque and minaret, but the Iraqi military placed the blame on ISIL’s own explosives.
Nike will start selling some items on Amazon. Previously it refused to engage with the e-commerce giant, fearing it would “undermine its brand.” But with traffic at traditional outlets declining, Nike had little alternative. Shares of Foot Locker and other retailers fell on the news.
Top US and Chinese diplomats met to discuss North Korea. The US urged China to use more economic and diplomatic pressure to get Pyongyang to rein in its nuclear missile program. US secretary of state Rex Tillerson said Donald Trump would visit China later this year.
Quartz obsession interlude
Lina Zeldovich on how waterless toilets will change the world. “The waste is sealed into a biodegradable bag underneath the toilet with not a drop of water being spilled. Once full, the bag is replaced by a service team, and the waste is brought (yes, hand-delivered) to Loowatt’s pilot waste-processing facility, where it’s converted to fertilizer and biogas.” Read more here.
Perhaps it’s time for / an Uber for CEOs / the meter’s running
Matters of debate
Amazon is a monopoly in need of regulation. The Whole Foods acquisition puts it on a fast track to dominate yet another platform.
“Woke pop culture writing” isn’t enough. Let’s not confuse artistic critiques with political engagement.
Travis Kalanick could have learned a lot from Jean Liu. The president of China’s Didi Chuxing is known for her collaborative approach to competition.
Orcas are the pirates of the Bering Strait. Gangs of up to 40 killer whales are shaking down Alaskan fishermen and stealing their catch.
NASA’s Mars rover is great at vaporizing rocks with a laser. Without any human involvement, it is analyzing hundreds of samples a day.
Brits born in the 1980s would be twice as wealthy if born just five years earlier. The generational wealth gap has trickled into politics.
Barbie’s friend Ken got a cornrow makeover. Bye-bye blue eyes: Mattel’s latest reboot features several ethnically and physically diverse looks.
North Korea has been Photoshopping Kim Jong-un’s ears. Forensic software reveals tweaks to make the dictator seem “a bit more handsome.”
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