EU summit, Trump-Putin meeting, reindeer crisis

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Leaders of the European Union meet in Brussels. They’ll address a host of divisive issues during a two-day EU summit, including migration, Brexit, and a euro-zone budget. Germany’s Angela Merkel fears disunity over migration could become an existential threat to the bloc (paywall), as Italy demands greater burden-sharing for migrant arrivals.

Details of the Trump-Putin summit are announced. A time and place were agreed upon yesterday in Moscow, where US national security adviser John Bolton met with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Helsinki and Vienna are possible meeting points, with mid-July making sense since Trump will be in Europe for a NATO meeting and visit to the UK.

Australia passes new foreign interference laws. Similar to the US, Canberra will now require foreign lobbyists to register as such. The legislation, which restricts interference from foreign governments, will further strain the nation’s already fraught relationship with China.

An update on the US economy. The commerce department will release its third and final version of first-quarter GDP, which in late May was last revised to 2.2% from an initial estimate of 2.3%. Economists expect it to hold steady at 2.2%.

While you were sleeping

The German parliament’s budget committee approved a balanced budget for 2018. Settled after a marathon session lasting nearly 14 hours, the plan boosts spending by nearly 4% from last year without incurring new debt. It funds over 3,000 new federal police positions and will be presented to the lower house of parliament for a vote next week.

Apple and Samsung settled a longstanding patent dispute. After a seven-year legal fight, the tech giants reached a settlement over how much Samsung should pay Apple, which accused it of copying its smartphone designs. Terms were not disclosed, but the amount is presumably less than the $539 million determined by a California jury last month.

US Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. His departure will give Trump a chance to push the court further to the right. The 81-year-old’s past votes supported gay marriage and abortion rights, but more recently he backed Trump’s travel ban, undercut public-sector unions, and overturned a California pro-choice law (paywall).

Lyft doubled in value from a year ago. The Uber rival said it raised $600 million primarily from existing investors, putting its value at $15.1 billion. Last year the California ride-hailing firm moved into its first international market, Canada, and it’s eyeing expansion in Europe and Latin America.

Quartz Obsession interlude

Corinne Purtill and Dan Kopf on how happiness doesn’t change much in long-term marriages. “After a dip in the first decades when work and family obligations consume a couple’s time, the frequency of shared activities increased. By the fourth decade of marriage, couples reported spending as much time dining, socializing, and having fun together as they did when they were newlyweds.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Amazon Prime isn’t worth it anymore. The program is getting pricier, and its “free” shipping encourages you to spend more.

Full-time work shouldn’t start until 40. Delaying employment and retirement would free up time for education and family early in life.

Philosophy is pointless. It doesn’t work toward a specific goal and always gives inconclusive answers.

Surprising discoveries

Norway and Sweden are locked in a spat over border-crossing reindeer. Norway has threatened to cull Swedish reindeer that make their way across the border.

A Gmail plugin wants you to stop apologizing. It highlights phrases like “I might be wrong” and gives you tips for writing stronger messages.

The world’s fattest hedgehog is slimming down. Arbuckle, who is four times heavier than his peers, is being put on a diet and exercise program.

Underground growers are leading the global cocaine resurgence. Crackdowns on coca farming prompted Colombian farmers to try more modern, less obvious methods.

Antarctic ice sheets are testing the Earth’s limits. A reading of -98º C (-144º F) is about as low as temperatures can go.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, apology advice, and hedgehog workouts 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 Steve Mollman and edited by Isabella Steger.