What to watch for today
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin finally meet face-to-face… The G20’s most anticipated meeting has no set agenda, but the two leaders could discuss anything from North Korea to the thornier topic of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Putin is famous for intimidating rivals, whereas the White House is nervous Trump may go off script.
…And Angela Merkel’s political skills are tested by macho strongmen. The German chancellor is hosting some notoriously aggressive world leaders, including Putin, Trump, and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
A crucial US jobs report. Hopes of a “Trump Bump” are fading, and economists project that the US economy will have added about 172,000 jobs in June—slightly above average for Donald Trump’s presidency thus far—and the unemployment rate will hold steady at 4.3%.
While you were sleeping
Tesla’s market value plunged. Elon Musk’s electric car company lost more than $10 billion in market value in the last two days, falling 5.6% on Thursday. Investors were spooked by Volvo’s upcoming shift to all hybrid and electric vehicles ahead of the debut production of the mass-market Model 3 on Friday.
Japan and the EU signed a free trade deal. With Trump’s protectionist policies looming over this week’s G20 meeting, two of the world’s biggest economies agreed to eliminate tariffs on food, cars, and other goods. The deal has been in the works for four years, and many details have yet to be worked out.
QVC bought rival Home Shopping Network for $2.6 billion in stock. The shopping channel’s parent company, Liberty Interactive, already owned 38% of HSN’s stock. TV shopping channels, once a major moneymaker, have suffered as consumers migrated online. QVC’s shares fell 2% on the news.
A US ethics watchdog quit. Trump administration antagonist Walter Shaub resigned as head of the US Office of Government Ethics. He said he was not pressured to leave, but called for stricter ethics regulations at the White House.
Quartz obsession interlude
Katherine Foley on teaching AI to forget. “Machine learning today isn’t great at knowing when it should hold on to old information .. Programmers are experimenting with algorithms that teach machines to learn when to keep and connect old information to newer experiences, and when to let them go.” Read more here.
Necklines are plunging / at Victoria’s Secret. / So is the share price
Matters of debate
Cruise ships have a sexual assault problem. The absence of law enforcement on “floating cities” creates a dangerous culture of impunity.
Don’t congratulate powerful men who admit to hurting women. Mere displays of decency from Jay-Z and Dave McClure aren’t particularly brave.
To win, US Democrats must move to the center. Leftist identity politics, class warfare, and big government policies don’t provide a path back to power. [paywall]
One small Chinese town handles enormous amounts of illicit ivory. Smuggling has long been a lucrative family businesses in Shuidong.
A self-sacrificing English village stopped the spread of bubonic plague. Eyam, Derbyshire closed itself off in 1665 and paid a heavy toll.
Amazon wants to encourage drunk shopping. For its next trick, the online retail giant is developing an in-house winery.
Japan is on high alert for fire ants. The remains of a queen of the invasive species, probably transported by a Chinese cargo ship, was recently spotted in Osaka’s port.
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