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What to watch for today
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin meet. The leaders of China and Russia will meet in Moscow, where they’ll talk about containing North Korea and increasing military links. Also up for discussion: linking China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative to Russia’s “Eurasian Economic Union,” a proposed trade group with central Asian countries.
Increased India-China border tension. India has sent more troops to the border it shares with Bhutan and China in the northeastern state of Sikkim, after the Chinese bulldozed Indian-built bunkers on disputed territory there.
A lull in North American trading. Nasdaq and the NYSE close at 1pm EST, in honor of the US’s Independence Day holiday, and Canadian markets are closed completely for Canada Day.
Over the weekend
A US warship buzzed a disputed South China Sea island. The Navy destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island in a “freedom of navigation” operation. The island is part of the Paracels, which are claimed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, but occupied by China.
A Russian cyber-security firm gave in to the US. CEO Eugene Kaspersky said he would let the US government review Kaspersky Labs’s source code, after a Senate proposal to cut defense-department contracts with the company. This could do more to undermine US security than protect it, because US firms could be equally pressured to divulge code to Russia.
The G-20 protests began. Roughly 10,000 protesters marched in Hamburg, Germany ahead of the G-20 summit soon to be held there, demanding leaders fight poverty and protect the planet. The summit takes place July 7-8, and some 30 protests are planned.
US senators considered an even worse idea. They may not be able to pass a deeply unpopular health-care bill that would cut insurance for millions, so some senators are discussing another option: repealing “Obamacare” entirely, the Hill reports, and waiting to replace it when they can agree on what that replacement should be.
Quartz obsession interlude
David Bandurski on the American story at the heart of China’s national anthem. ”‘March of the Volunteers’ began its life as the musical score for Children of Troubled Times, a film with strongly leftist themes produced by Shanghai’s Diantong Film Company. The film advocated self-sacrifice and embroidered on the theme… of ‘the evils of the treaty-port people who were ruined by Western spiritual pollution.'” Read more here.
Markets close early / Celebrating July 4th / Trump’s Twitter should too
Matters of debate
Amelia Earhart was the first millennial hustler. She was known not only as a pilot but also as a feminist, a writer, a style icon, and a woman with a revolutionary approach to relationships.
Some things are worth forgetting. New research explains the phenomenon (paywall) of forgetting things you just learned—and why that could be a good thing.
In the future, we won’t have sex to procreate. Procreation will begin by selecting from a range of embryos created with the parents’ DNA in a lab.
David Bowie wanted to make 1984 into a musical. The dream fell apart when George Orwell’s widow didn’t like the idea.
Christmas has come early for religious Russians. More than a million Christians in Russia endured 10-hour lines (paywall) to see a fragment of Saint Nicholas’s rib.
The chills we get from listening to music are a biological reaction to surprise. About half of us feel a tingling when we hear certain songs.
There are no science experts left at the White House. The three remaining staffers in the Office of Science and Technology Policy left their posts Friday, and the office is empty.
We speak in higher-pitched voices when talking to people more important than us. Our voices are part of the arsenal of signals that affect perceptions of social status.
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