Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron rendezvous in Paris. The US president is reportedly keen on seeing tomorrow’s Bastille Day parade, but Macron may want to discuss climate change and US protectionism. It will be the first such conference for Trump since news broke of Donald Jr. meeting with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Rex Tillerson heads back to Qatar. The US secretary of state has been mediating between Qatar and the Arab countries, led by Saudi Arabia, that have severed relations with it. Tillerson had talks with the King of Saudi Arabia and will return to Qatar today, but his influence so far has not ended the standoff.
Delta Air Lines releases second-quarter earnings. The No. 2 US airline by passenger traffic is expected to report a rise in quarterly profit and revenue thanks to improving average fares. Its stock recently hit a record high.
While you were sleeping
The maker of Havaianas flip-flops was sold for $1.1 billion. Alpargatas, the Brazilian firm behind the brand, was owned by the J&F group. The latter is selling businesses after becoming involved in corruption scandals. Three prominent Brazilian banking families teamed up for the purchase. Some 200 million pairs of the flip-flops are produced every year.
New York micro-investing startup Stash raised $40 million. Stash’s mobile app aims to make it easier for low-income consumers to save and invest. The company services around 850,000 accounts and has raised $78 million in the last two years; Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel has invested in both rounds so far.
Sales skyrocketed at Asos. The British online fashion retailer and millennial favorite posted a 30% surge in sales in the four months ending June 30. Cost-savvy customers in the EU and Europe (paywall) were responsible for the bulk of Asos’s revenue growth. Asos has a hub in Germany and is in the process of setting up a US logistics hub.
Daimler’s emission-cheating probe dismayed investors. The Stuttgart-based carmaker’s shares dipped (paywall) at the start of trading, after the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported Wednesday that it was under investigation for selling more than 1 million cars installed with illicit emission-control devices between 2008 and 2016.
China released robust June trade figures. Beating expectations, exports from the world’s second-largest economy rose 11.3% from a year earlier, while imports were up 17.2%. The performance came amid strong global demand.
Quartz obsession interlude
Siyi Chen on how robots will help China take care of its elderly. “China needs robots to care for its large, and growing, elderly population—it’s home to a quarter of the world’s seniors. As fewer Chinese are able to care for their aging parents, the number of retirement homes nationwide is mushrooming. And yet fewer than 20% of retirement homes in China are making a profit. High labor costs are a big reason why.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Android’s “panic button” should be a part of every user interface. Panic detection modes protect users—and bring operating systems closer to understanding us.
A brown lead won’t make Aladdin any less racist. The best of casting intentions for the Disney film’s live-action remake won’t fix the film’s troubling stereotypes.
We don’t need to ban kids from using smartphones. Panicking over new technology won’t protect them from its negative effects.
Neil Armstrong’s moon dust could fetch up to $4 million. Sotheby’s is putting the little bag of dust and rocks on the block on July 20, the 48th anniversary of the first lunar landing.
The Calibri typeface is at the center of a Pakistani corruption case. The authenticity of a deed is in doubt because it’s dated a year before the font it’s typed in was released.
Eastern and western cultures have opposite views of success. Americans want to be big fish in a small pond, while the Chinese are more impressed with small fish in bigger ponds.
Ants make tiny Eiffel Towers to tackle tall obstacles. The structure gets wider as it grows taller, allowing ants to better distribute their weight while climbing.
The first object has been teleported into space. Chinese researchers sent a photon from a station in Tibet to a satellite built for quantum experimentation.
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