Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
European finance ministers address bad loans and tax plans. Bad loans are plaguing bank balance sheets (paywall) and stifling economic recovery. The ministers will also discuss forcing intermediaries like tax lawyers, consultants, and banks to disclose plans that help companies and the wealthy cut tax bills.
PepsiCo releases its second-quarter earnings. After two years of declining revenue, the company has reported steady growth for the past two quarters, though its full-year target may still prove difficult to reach. Pepsi execs credit its growth to a pivot to healthy products like probiotics and organic Gatorade.
The US shares data on job openings for May. In April, the number passed 6 million, the highest since 2000. The figure is expected to come in just below that mark for May.
While you were sleeping
Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK won’t happen until next year. The BBC reports that Downing Street and the White House are looking at possible dates. Trump reportedly didn’t want to visit Britain if confronted with protestors—nearly two million people signed a petition in May saying he shouldn’t be invited to meet the Queen.
The embattled CEO of Mt. Gox appeared in court in Tokyo. Mark Karpeles faces embezzlement charges stemming from the stunning 2014 failure of his bitcoin exchange, which left hundreds of millions of dollars unaccounted for. He has pleaded not guilty.
Donald Trump Jr. got into more hot water. Ahead of a June 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer, the US president’s son was informed in an email that material being offered was damaging to Hillary Clinton and “part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy,” reported the New York Times (paywall). Yesterday, he hired a lawyer to represent him in connection with Russia-related investigations.
Pearson raised $1 billion from its stake in Penguin Random House. The British publisher, struggling against a downturn in its main education unit in the US, sold a 22% stake to the German majority owner Bertelsmann. Pearson will retain a 25% stake in Penguin; the German media titan says it has no plans to buy the rest of the book publisher.
Eid and balmy weather sent Brits to the shops. Like-for-like retail sales in the UK were up 1.2% in June after declining in May, as people bought summer clothes (paywall), outdoor equipment, and many of Britain’s 2.8 million Muslims bought gifts for the festival of Eid.
Quartz obsession interlude
Zoë Schlanger on how a lesbian seagull discovery shook up conservatives in the 1970s. “Complaints came in from all over the country. One group out of New York (the LA Times called it an ‘unscientific citizens task force’) published a statement proclaiming that ‘100% of the sea gulls in the five boroughs of New York City were heterosexual.’” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Jawbone is the poster child for Silicon Valley self-sabotage. The wearable-electronics company raised massive amounts of funding—and that became its biggest problem.
Starting questions with “how might we…” is the secret to a successful brainstorm. IDEO, Facebook, and Google use the phrase to inspire open-minded, unintimidating ideation.
The real fight in TV streaming wars is over kids. Traditional networks are scrambling to keep up with the kid-friendly offerings of Netflix and HBO.
“Robot psychologist” might be a job in the future. Applying cognitive science to neural networks can help us understand how AI thinks (paywall).
A New Jersey museum found a cache of wine almost as old as America. The 1796 Madeira was intended to toast John Adams’s presidency.
Archaeologists found a 200,000-year-old baby tooth. It belonged to a young girl from a mysterious extinct human lineage, which may have mated with the Neanderthals.
Union workers in Michigan are blaming goats—not robots—for taking away their jobs. A local university gave the animals groundskeeping positions.
Losing your sense of smell may help you lose weight. Mice that can’t smell seem to burn more of a specific kind of fat.
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