Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The EU and Japan may sign a free-trade deal. Prime minister Shinzo Abe will meet with EU leaders ahead of the G20 economic summit, and hammer out an agreement to counter the recent US turn toward protectionism.
Germany braces for unrest… Thousands of protesters are expected in Hamburg for the G20 meeting. Police have already seized weapons, made arrests, and turned water cannons on crowds partying near the venue.
…And Warsaw prepares a warm welcome for Donald Trump. Poland’s Law and Justice party, which holds populist, right-wing views that are similar to those of the US president, is bussing in people to guarantee him an enthusiastic welcome. Critics warn the visit could deepen divisions in the already partisan nation (paywall).
While you were sleeping
The US told China to rein in North Korea. US ambassador Nikki Haley said in an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council that Beijing risks endangering its trade relationship with the US if it does not take sterner steps against Pyongyang. North Korea’s test-launch of an ICBM also prompted Haley to warn the US is prepared to use force, but would “prefer not to have to go in that direction.”
Violence broke out in Venezuela’s congress. Supporters of president Nicolas Maduro, wielding weapons, stormed the opposition-controlled National Assembly, on the country’s Independence Day. Five lawmakers, legislative employees, and journalists were among those injured.
Benghazi was “liberated” from Islamic militants. The self-styled Libyan National Army said after years of fighting the country’s second city will now enter a period of “security, peace and reconciliation.” The LNA, which controls the eastern part of Libya, is not recognized by the UN-backed government in the capital Tripoli.
Hobby Lobby paid a $3 million fine for smuggling artifacts from Iraq. The arts-and-crafts chain brought over 5,500 pieces of antiquities to the US without proper labels, including clay tablets with cuneiform writing, according to the Department of Justice. Some of the items were simply labeled as “ceramic tiles.”
Fed officials are divided on future rate hikes. According to minutes from the Federal Reserve’s June meeting, some members of the monetary policy committee are prepared to begin shrinking the Fed’s balance sheet in a few months, while others are pushing deferring the decision until later in the year.
Quartz obsession interlude
Anne Quito on how Donald Trump has reawakened American “craftivism.” “In the 1760s, women revolted against British taxation on textiles by spinning their own yarn and sewing their family’s clothes. Famous spy Molly ‘Old Mom’ Rinker smuggled messages to George Washington’s troops through balls of yarn.” Read more here.
Volvo plugs in and / goes all-electric. Did it / check Tesla’s share price?
Matters of debate
ISIL’s defeat won’t bring peace to Syria and Iraq. The fight to save both countries can only be won by addressing political turmoil.
The only thing to do about North Korea is wait. The US has a series of strategic options, all of them bad.
The American revolution was a mistake. Slavery would have ended more quickly and Native Americans would’ve fared better had the US stuck with Britain.
Amelia Earhart may have survived her 1937 plane crash. A newly uncovered photograph appears to show the lost aviator, her navigator, and perhaps the wreckage of her plane.
Kim Jong-un is a big-time landlord in Europe. North Korean embassies lease out property in cities like Berlin and Sofia, providing much-needed cash for the Pyongyang regime.
An Indian court ruled that a guru’s body can stay in the freezer. Ashutosh Maharaj, founder of the sect Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan, died in 2014, but his followers believe he is only meditating deeply and will one day come back to life.
A fierce ancestor to the crocodile ruled prehistoric Madagascar. Razanandrongobe sakalavae was so fearsome that it preyed on dinosaurs.
Inhalable chocolate is now a thing. Coco Loko bills itself as a pick-me-up, but scientists doubt the powder will do anything but plug your nostrils.
Chinese deities fly business class. A statue of the sea goddess Mazu journeyed from a sacred Fujian temple to Malaysia, accompanied by two bodyguards.
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