Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Vladimir Putin holds a live Q&A. The Russian president will answer questions from citizens in his annual live television call-in show, Direct Line With Vladimir Putin (paywall). The event has been criticized for being entirely staged.
Shinzo Abe meets with Donald Trump in Washington… The Japanese prime minister is having his seventh one-on-one with Trump to reaffirm Tokyo’s close ties to the US ahead of its summit with North Korea.
…While Singapore’s foreign minister visits Pyongyang. Vivian Balakrishnan will meet with the president of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly and ceremonial president, Kim Yong Nam, as his country prepares to host next week’s Trump-Kim summit.
Canada is likely to legalize marijuana. The senate will vote on bill C-45, which would make Canada the first G20 nation to legalize the drug. All eyes will be on the short- and long-term effects legalization has on the country’s economy, crime levels, and health system.
While you were sleeping
More US consulate workers in China fell ill. At least two more Americans from the consulate in Guangzhou have been evacuated (paywall) for medical tests, as worries mount that staff there are being affected by the same “sonic attacks” that were allegedly targeted at staff in the US embassy in Havana in 2016.
Trump commuted Alice Johnson’s sentence. The 63-year-old was sentenced to life without parole for working in a mid-1990s drug trafficking operation. Trump’s decision followed a plea from reality TV star Kim Kardashian to release Johnson, and is also thought to be part of Jared Kushner’s push for prison reform.
The White House held an iftar dinner. Trump’s decision to host the dinner, which breaks the fast each day during the month of Ramadan, was a surprise as he didn’t host one last year. Trump struck a more conciliatory tone toward the Muslim community at the dinner, but some Muslim rights groups protested the event.
Kate Spade’s husband spoke about his wife’s suicide. Andy Spade said that the (paywall) fashion designer, who was found dead on Tuesday, had suffered from depression and anxiety for a long time, but that there was no indication she was considering suicide.
Quartz Obsession interlude
Heather Timmons on how Trump is driving away Republicans. “On May 31, in the name of national security, the president passed steel and aluminum tariffs that threaten trade with the US’s closest allies. The announcement drew furious criticism from members of his party, because it goes against their pro-business agenda. Now some of the biggest Republican donors have launched a war against Trump’s tariffs, and once-loyal senators are trying to curb Trump’s powers as the country’s 45th president.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Body positivity is just another advertising gimmick. Brands now point out that many women feel bad about themselves but offer no solutions.
India shouldn’t treat water as private property. Communities could be convinced to share access to groundwater if they’re presented with the facts.
Young AI algorithms need parenting. Corporations should nurture algorithms until it’s clear they’ve learned enough not to go rogue.
Meteorite fragments are in high demand. Treasure hunters are hoping to cash in on the latest space rock to hit China.
An impatient Hong Kong librarian was arrested. The woman forged reports of missing library cards to prevent people from renewing books she wanted to read.
Planes without windows could be the future. Emirates wants to use “virtual windows” on its planes instead to make them lighter and faster.
Spain’s new cabinet has more women than men.The new prime minister’s cabinet has a higher proportion of women than any other European country.
Microsoft sunk a data center into the ocean. The water’s cooler temperatures may reduce servers’ harmful and costly energy requirements.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, underwater data centers, and hot library books to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Isabella Steger and edited by Alice Truong.