Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today and over the weekend
For its next trick, SpaceX will launch two rockets in 48 hours. Elon Musk’s rocket company will show off its ability to carry cargo into space more frequently than its competitors. Meanwhile, India will launch a rocket carrying its 712 kg (1,600 lb) satellite, the Cartostat-2, along with 30 nanosatellites from over a dozen countries.
BlackBerry shares its quarterly results. The Canadian company is morphing from a smartphone maker to a software vendor focused on cybersecurity. Analysts expect a revenue drop of nearly 13% from the previous quarter, but also rapidly rising software sales.
The US releases data on new-home sales. A sharp drop in April suggested possible weakness in the market amid limited inventory and rising prices. But economists expect a rebound for May, with sales increasing about 5.4% (pdf).
While you were sleeping
Republicans in the US Senate released their health-care bill, finally. The legislation would hit poor voters even harder than the House version that passed in early May, and is particularly harsh on women. Majority leader Mitch McConnell wants a vote next week, but it appears the bill has insufficient support to pass in its current form.
An advisor of South Korea’s ousted president was sentenced to jail. Choi Soon-sil will spend three years behind bars for soliciting university favors for her daughter, a court in Seoul ruled. More convictions will likely follow in the influence-peddling scandal that brought down president Park Geun-hye. Choi also faces charges of accepting bribes for Park, who is on trial.
North Korea tested another rocket engine. US officials said the engine might be intended for use in an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching American cities. Fielding such a missile is one of North Korea’s key goals, though experts believe it could still be years away from having reliable ICBM capability.
Donald Trump said there are no secret White House tapes. The US president ended weeks of speculation about possible tapes of his conversations with former FBI director James Comey by tweeting that he “did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.”
Quartz obsession interlude
Corinne Purtill and Dan Kopf on the person we spend the most time with across our lifetimes: “Time with friends, colleagues, siblings, and children diminishes over the course of a lifetime. The older we get, the person we spend the most time with is the one we see in the mirror.” Read more here.
All the banks have passed / their stress tests. Clearly, we’re not / grading on a curve.
Matters of debate
Robots are gaming human compassion. The push to humanize AI could dehumanize actual people.
Apple’s next big investment could reshape capitalism. Cashing in on Trump’s tax reform laws could fund the largest basic-income trial ever.
Millennials are the cheapest generation. Young people aren’t playing hard to get—they just don’t want your cars or houses.
An ancient Chinese dynasty had foreign slaves. A new study shows the Shang dynasty exploited non-locals’ labor before beheading them as human sacrifices.
Opioids killed as many Americans last year as the last three US wars combined. Only 10% of addicts get treatment (paywall).
One-third of Australian preschoolers own a smartphone or tablet. Parents distract their kids with screens to get their own work done.
No one in Britain’s royal family wants to rule. Nevertheless, Prince Harry says his family will ”carry out our duties at the right time.”
The successor to the fidget-spinner is seriously dangerous. Chinese parents are demanding a ban on the viral “toothpick crossbow.”
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