Trump talks drones, healthcare bill reveal, orca gangs

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

It’s a big day in Brussels. Over the next two days, EU leaders will discuss defense and global trade, extend sanctions against Russia, and reiterate their support of the Paris climate accord. It’s Emmanuel Macron’s first EU summit as president, and Theresa May’s first appearance since she lost her parliamentary majority in the UK election and the Brexit talks kicked off earlier this week.

Senate Republicans finally unveil their healthcare 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 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 tests measure the ability of banks to continue lending even in a serious economic recession.

Trump talks drones. The president will meet with drone manufacturers, wireless companies, and other emerging tech firms to discuss how the government can support investment in these cutting-edge sectors. FCC chairman Ajit Pai will brainstorm with Sprint and AT&T chiefs about federal regulation in an increasingly connected world.

While you were sleeping

Imagination Tech didn’t survive its Apple divorce. The British chip company lost 70% of its value after Apple, its biggest client, decided it would develop its own graphics chips—a move that unnerved many of the iPhone maker’s suppliers. Imagination has put itself up for sale and said it has a number of interested buyers. invested heavily in Farfetch. China’s second-largest e-commerce company (it trails Alibaba) ploughed $397 million into the British online fashion retailer in an alliance that will help Farfetch reach wealthier Asian customers and boost JD’s international clout. Farfetch’s COO Andrew Robb said the luxury fashion platform is getting ready for a $5 billion IPO in the US, but didn’t say when.

Things are looking up in the euro zone. The economic bloc enjoyed solid growth in the second quarter thanks to low interest rates and a rebound in global growth, the bank said. It also announced it would set up an instant payment system (paywall) that will allow EU consumers and businesses to send money anywhere in the bloc “within a matter of seconds”—currently it takes a full business day for money transfers.

Donald Trump explained why he chose rich people for his cabinet. The president told a rally in Iowa that he had chosen “very rich person” Wilbur Ross to be commerce secretary as he had the kind of thinking that was right for the economy—and that he didn’t want a “poor person” in such a role. Trump also returned to the topic of putting solar panels along the planned US-Mexican border wall.

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. 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.

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 of media, music, and movies 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.

Surprising discoveries

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 vaporizes 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.”

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Ken doll alternatives, and photos of Kim Jong-un’s ears to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.