Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
A new round of Syria peace talks kick off. The UN-sponsored talks, held in Geneva, are aimed at forming a transitional government and crafting counterterrorism strategies. The previous six rounds have yielded little progress, and a ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia on Friday has shifted focus to their negotiations.
China’s inflation should look steady. Both consumer and producer price increases are expected to maintain the same pace they saw in May, showing stable demand across the economy. The same is expected next week when China releases its GDP numbers, but coming months may get bumpier as policies aimed at deflating asset bubbles take hold.
Amazon Prime Day is here. The e-commerce giant’s third annual sales bonanza starts at 9pm ET, promising hundreds of thousands of deals to members in 13 countries. Amazon has used the event to add Prime subscribers, who tend to be its most valuable customers. If you plan to shop, check out Quartz’s guide here.
Over the weekend
Protests against the G-20 meeting turned violent. Stores were looted, Molotov cocktails thrown, and more than 200 police officers injured during an hours-long riot a mile from the global summit. Hamburg has long been a hot spot for anarchist protests, and the G-20 meetings tend to draw anti-globalization protestors.
Donald Trump sided with Vladimir Putin. The US president chose Putin’s word over the CIA and FBI on whether Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election. Trump’s stance is likely to further divide the White House and the intelligence community. Meanwhile, three Republican senators slammed Trump’s proposal to have the US form a “cyber security unit” with Russia.
Iraq’s prime minister celebrated a victory over ISIS in Mosul. Haider al-Abadi congratulated the armed forces for bringing an end to jihadist rule in Mosul, the city the Islamic State declared its “caliphate” three years ago. Thousands of people have died and nearly 1 million have been displaced by the battle for the city.
Volkswagen knew cheating on emissions could cost it. A VW manager warned top executives that cheating on diesel emissions could cost up to $18.5 billion nearly a month before the company’s investors found out. VW admitted to having used a “defeat device” to trick regulators about diesel pollution in September 2015.
Elon Musk shared a glimpse of Tesla’s Model 3. Musk tweeted images of the Model 3, Tesla’s first mass-market electric car, after it came off the assembly line. The car will sell for as little as $35,000, nearly half the price of Tesla’s second-cheapest model.
Quartz obsession interlude
Ephrat Livni on dealing with information overload and “infobesity.” “Infobesity, a widespread problem, can be managed by balancing your diet. Try just reading an article without checking text messages or listening to music. Don’t multitask and don’t play a podcast while working. Think of your focus as a precious resource; protect it like a national forest.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The G-20 is the closest thing we have to a world government. It’s theatrical, undemocratic, and nonbinding, but in an increasingly globalized world it’s also our best stage for addressing universal human challenges.
We think about the future of technology wrong. Many world-changing inventions—like toilet paper (paywall)—are hiding in plain sight. We should pay more attention to them.
Men should worry about their biological clocks. Women have been the sole focus of declining fertility for too long, but old sperm can also be dangerous.
Gluten-free bread can’t be used for Holy Communion. The Vatican ruled that bread used in the Eucharist must have enough protein so additives aren’t needed. GMOs are OK, though.
Climate change may wipe out emperor penguins by 2100. A new model focused on migration and foraging behavior predicts all their habitats will be inhospitable by the end of the century.
Qatar’s crisis messed up the supply chain for helium. The nation produces 25% of the world’s supply, but Saudi Arabia and the UAE cut off a crucial delivery route.
Scientists made a battery-free cellphone. The prototype uses ambient power from radio signals and light to send its signal to a base station.
A $6.7-billion Silicon Valley real estate project may be built on landfill. The complex would sit on top of 5.5 million tons of municipal waste.
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