“Plan B” for Iran, Russia’s “dirty money,” mayochup

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

The US unveils its “Plan B” for countering Iran… Secretary of state Mike Pompeo will lay out a strategy for applying maximum pressure on the country, addressing not just nuclear but also terrorist threats.

… Meanwhile, Iran meets with five world powers this week. The UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia will meet with Iran on Friday in Vienna to discuss next steps after the US pulled out of the deal earlier in May. The EU is still miffed about the US exit, but there are hopes that a new agreement can be formed.

Donald Trump hunts for impropriety in the counterintelligence investigation of his presidential campaign. He tweeted on Sunday that he would instruct the justice department today to investigate whether the FBI “infiltrated or surveilled” his campaign for political purposes, and whether Obama’s administration was responsible for the probe.

Over the weekend

The US and China called a trade ceasefire. Officials reached an agreement with their Chinese counterparts on a framework for fair competition and protecting intellectual property, which they say will reduce the US’s $335 billion annual trade deficit with China. “We’re putting the trade war on hold,” Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

A report claimed that London is awash with Russian “dirty money.” Britain’s Foreign Affairs Committee said that corrupt money has poured into the UK since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Politicians say the money has been hidden in British assets and laundered through London’s financial institutions.

Nicolás Maduro was reelected in Venezuela. Opposition parties boycotted the election, which they said was rigged, a view backed by much of the international community. The government claimed a 46% voter turnout, but the opposition said it was more like 30%, with near-empty polling stations seen across the country.

Starbucks opened its bathrooms in the US for everyone. The decision comes after a Philadelphia store manager summoned police when two black men asked to use a bathroom. The company told employees that anyone who enters Starbucks—whether or not they buy something—is seen as a customer.

Millions watched two people get married. Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle were wed in Windsor, England in a ceremony that celebrated black culture and featured a dress created by the British artistic director of French couture house Givenchy. Here’s everything you need to know to pretend you watched it.

Quartz Obsession Interlude

Ephrat Livni on a controversial study that suggests octopuses are from outer space.

“But the paper is not just about the provenance of cephalopods. Its proposal that octopuses could be extraterrestrials is just a small part of a much more extensive discussion of a theory called ‘panspermia,’ which has its roots in the ideas of ancient Greece.”

Read more here


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Matters of debate

France is one of the best investments out there. The Fifth Republic is undergoing reform (paywall) at the fastest rate ever.

Writing in a journal is good for you—and so is throwing it out. Very little writing withstands the test of time.

You should never trust an on-stage tech demo. Pretty much of all them are faked in some way.

Surprising discoveries

Kerry James Marshall is the most expensive living African-American artist. Sean “Diddy” Combs bought one of his paintings for $21.1 million.

Prepare for “mayochup.” This is a mayonnaise-ketchup combination that Heinz is rolling out (paywall) to win the condiment wars.

Venezuela has its own version of The Onion. It has been satirizing Maduro’s reign to its millions of readers.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is having UK visa problems. The Chelsea FC owner’s paperwork hassle comes amid increased diplomatic tensions between London and Moscow.

A US island has an average wage of $2.5 million a year. Along with places like Palo Alto, it is one of the country’s richest zip codes.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, funky sauces, and discarded journals to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Rosie Spinks and edited by Lianna Brinded.