Trump-Kim summit halved, Tesla tease, Trudeau eyebrow-gate

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un meet in Singapore. High-stake landmark talks between the US and North Korea are set to start at 9:15 am local time, with “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula at the top of the agenda. But Trump and Kim will have to talk quickly: The summit was scaled back from a full day to just a few hours.

The US unveils a de facto embassy in Taiwan. The American Institute of Taiwan will serve as Washington’s unofficial link to Taipei, since Beijing does not allow countries to diplomatically recognize both the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (commonly known as Taiwan). Walking a fine line to avoid conflict, the US will send only junior diplomatic staff (paywall) to the event.

A major Brexit backer answers questions about Russian influence. Arron Banks, who gave $16 million to the EU campaign, will be grilled by a parliamentary committee about reports that he had multiple meetings with Russian embassy staff in the run-up to the Brexit vote.

While you were sleeping

The US supreme court upheld a controversial voter purge. The 5-4 decision overturned a lower court’s ruling claiming that Ohio’s policy—which removes infrequent voters from registration rolls—violated federal policy. Liberal justice Sonia Sotomayor denounced the ruling by a five-judge conservative majority as a blatant attempt to disenfranchise poor and minority voters.

Tesla shares rose on Elon Musk’s self-driving teaser. The CEO said his company’s cars would achieve “full self-driving capability” as early as August. Tesla’s Autopilot program has suffered a series of setbacks, including a revolving cast of executives and the high-profile death of one Autopilot-using Tesla driver.

The US hit Russia with new sanctions over cyber attacks. The Treasury department imposed penalties against three Moscow-based individuals and five companies, claiming that they had conspired with Russia’s military and intelligence services to wage cyber attacks on the US.

Spain accepted a rescue ship carrying 629 refugees. The Aquarius, which includes 123 unaccompanied minors and seven pregnant women, was rejected by both Malta and Italy. Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez ultimately granted it safe harbor in Valencia.

Germany ordered Daimler to recall more than 200,000 vehicles. Three different Mercedes-Benz models had prohibited software that shut off diesel emissions controls. Meanwhile, German prosecutors raided the home of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler over suspicion of fraud related to diesel emissions cheating.

Quartz Obsession interlude

Five Quartz journalists on what an official end to the Korean War would mean to those who fought it: “At a summit in April, South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to work with the US to bring an end to the ‘current unnatural state of armistice,’ calling it a ‘historical mission that must not be delayed any further.’ … For Korean War veterans, the high-stakes—and highly dramatic—diplomacy that is now unfolding could be their last chance to witness a formal end to the war.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Schools need better teachers, not smaller classes. Higher school funding also has a vanishingly small effect.  

Denuclearization shouldn’t stop with North Korea. There is only one long-term solution to potential annihilation: global nuclear disarmament.

If you want to make the world a better place, don’t travel. Bali is proof that well-intentioned tourism can raze ecosystems and drive out locals.

Surprising discoveries

Does Justin Trudeau wear fake eyebrows? An unusual video from the G7 summit is spawning follicular conspiracy theories.

Rat bones reveal how humans change the environment. Their chemical compositions can tell us what people were eating over 2,000 years ago.

US bureaucrats have to tape Trump’s papers back together. The president enjoys tearing documents into shreds, even when they must be preserved.

The Pope has a space suit. Astronauts from the International Space Station gave the pope his very own blue jumpsuit, outfitted with a white cape.

You should be spending more time in bed. In order to get a healthy eight hours of sleep—the amount many people need—you need to lie down for 8.5 hours.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, papal space suits, and fake eyebrows to 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 Preeti Varathan, David Wexler, and Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz, and edited by Adam Pasick.