Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Brexit negotiators get down to business in Brussels. A second round of formal talks between the UK and EU to determine how Britain will leave the union begins today. Main topics will include what happens to EU citizens in the UK after the split, how much the UK will pay the EU for leaving, and whether the UK will remain a member of the bloc’s nuclear agency.
India elects its next president. The main contenders are frontrunner Ram Nath Kovind—from prime minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party—and Meira Kumar, the former speaker of India’s lower house in parliament. While it’s the prime minister who wields executive power in India, the president’s not just a figurehead.
It’s a big day for second-quarter earnings reports. Netflix, asset manager BlackRock, and Altaba (the investment firm resulting from Yahoo’s sale to Verizon) are among the companies slated to announce earnings. Analysts expect strong numbers from Netflix and BlackRock, and a marginal report from Altaba.
Don’t forget it’s world emoji day. “We use emojis every day, so why not celebrate them?” So says the website for Monday’s celebration of the digital hieroglyphs that now so often replace words. Make sure to 📝 all your 📧 today with a 😊 and perhaps a 💃.
Over the weekend
China reported on its economy… Second-quarter GDP grew 6.9% from a year ago, compared to expectations of 6.8%. Awkwardly one big driver was steel production, which hit a record-high last month amid strong construction demand. Beijing is trying to cut excessive capacity in the steel and coal industries. Coal output in May jumped 12% from a year earlier.
…and put a possible successor to president Xi Jinping under investigation. The ruling party didn’t give much reason for the probe of Sun Zhengcai, its top official in the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing. But it did replace him with Chen Min’er, a Xi ally. Many believe the move is part of Xi’s effort to consolidate power ahead a key party congress later this year.
The US health-care bill got delayed. Again. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said consideration will wait until senator John McCain recovers from surgery for a blood clot near his eye. A procedural vote could have come on Tuesday. The controversial legislation is opposed by Democrats and some Republicans; McCain’s support is critical.
Israel reopened a holy site after deadly attacks. The site—known as the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims and Temple Mount to the Jews—reopened after an attack on Friday where three assailants killed two guards. Police are now allowing worshippers to enter through two gates to the site, which includes the Dome of the Rock, after passing through new metal detectors.
Roger Federer won the men’s final at Wimbledon. That makes him the oldest man to ever win, at just shy of 36 years old. Venezuelan-born Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza, 23, crushed American Venus Williams in the women’s final match, denying Williams, 37, the crown of oldest single women’s Wimbledon champion.
Quartz obsession interlude
Gwynn Guilford on the hogs of New York: “In this seemingly obscure history of New York’s pig woes lies the beginnings of conflicts America still grapples with today, such as gentrification, the extent of the government’s responsibility to its citizens, and the tenuous economic security of poor and working-class Americans.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Amazon, Google, and Facebook aren’t innovators, just monopolies. The ever-expanding reach of tech companies has upended the creative industries and seems set to do the same (paywall) to transportation, medicine, and retail.
Ugly fashion has gone too far. What appears to look just kind of dumb to the lay person conveys a winking insider knowledge to the fashion maven—but behold the $800 Birkenstocks.
Artificial intelligence is the “greatest risk we face as a civilization.” It could be used to harm humanity, create disinformation, and pump up military spending, Elon Musk told US governors over the weekend.
China blacklisted Winnie the Pooh. One possible reason: a viral image in 2013 comparing a photo of president Xi Jinping walking alongside Barack Obama to an illustration of Winnie strolling with Tigger.
Twenty million mosquitos are a good thing. Alphabet’s life sciences unit plans to release bacteria-infected males in Fresno, California, in a bid to trick wild females into mating with males that can’t reproduce. Good news for us: The boys don’t bite.
You’ll soon be able to live in the world of Star Wars. At an upcoming Star Wars-themed hotel in Disney World in Orlando, Florida, employees will stay in costume and in character at all times.
June is no longer peak wedding season in the US. Most weddings now take place in September and October (paywall).
A 1967 film about the future got a lot right about today’s world. 1999 A.D. was released by the Philco-Ford Corporation, a consumer products manufacturer, to mark its 75th anniversary.
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