Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Typhoon Prapiroon makes landfall in East Asia. The cyclone is expected to hit southern Japan and the Korean peninsula. Even after Prapiroon leaves, more rainfall and thunderstorms will bring a risk of flooding and mudslides.
Poland rolls out a controversial judicial overhaul. The European Commission has already lodged a protest against a new policy that would force out 40% of the country’s Supreme Court justices by lowering the mandatory retirement age from 70 to 65. Critics say the ruling Law and Justice party is seeking to undermine the independent judiciary.
Australia and Sweden’s central banks will release policy statements. Australia’s Reserve Bank is likely to maintain interest rates to preserve stability. The Swedish Riksbank, which will also announce potential changes to its benchmark, has faced criticism for its negative rate policy.
While you were sleeping
Donald Trump’s former lawyer signalled his willingness to cooperate. Michael Cohen, in his first interview since federal prosecutors raided his office, said that he would “put family and country first,” while refuting Trump’s criticism of the Russia probe and FBI. The former Trump fixer, under investigation for bank fraud and other crimes, could be privy to a host of damaging information.
Two world-famous athletes inked massive deals. Four-time MVP LeBron James signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, threatening to upend the established order of the NBA. Separately, tennis legend Roger Federer surprised fans by starting the Wimbledon tennis tournament wearing gear from Japan’s Uniqlo as part of a mammoth $300 million endorsement deal, forsaking his longtime sponsor Nike.
A Thai youth soccer team was discovered alive in a cave. Twelve boys and their soccer coach were found by naval special forces, nine days after they were stranded. Rising water, poor visibility, and mud have so far impeded the rescue.
Lyft bought a major US bike-share company. The $250 million acquisition of Motivate (paywall), which operates docked bikes in New York and other cities, adds to the increasingly fierce battle for alternative transportation startups. Uber recently acquired the electric bike-share firm Jump, as Lime and Bird raised hundreds of millions to expand their electric scooter fleets.
Prosecutors filed another sexual assault charge against Harvey Weinstein. The 66-year-old former film producer is accused of forcibly performing oral sex on a woman in 2006. He also faces two other charges, which altogether carry a potential sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
Quartz Obsession interlude
Ananya Bhattacharya on the film company trying beat Netflix and Amazon in India: “Mumbai-based Eros International has already amassed a library of over 11,000 film titles in India, the biggest such share of OTT (over-the-top) movie content. This year, Eros Now will spend at least $50 million on producing originals, from films to episodic content to short-film material.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
US lawmakers won’t block Trump’s tariffs or the ZTE deal. The president’s veto power and popularity with his base make him hard to stop.
Tech regulation must come from companies, not governments. Private third-party supervisors are more effective than slow bureaucracies.
Amazon’s prescription drug push will be hard to swallow. Buying PillPack was easy compared with competing against powerful and well-established incumbents.
A Chinese laser gun can supposedly incinerate targets from a half mile (0.8 km) away. Lofty claims and little proof surround the ZKZM-500.
“Pompeii’s Unluckiest Man” was no more unfortunate than his neighbors. The 79 AD meme sensation (paywall) was killed by suffocation, not a boulder.
Japan’s World Cup octopus barely outlasted the country’s soccer team. The creature was sold for food before it could forecast the heartbreaking outcome of the Belgium match.
Astronomers photographed a planet’s birth for the first time. The image of a gas giant forming is equally beautiful and enlightening.
The Mister Softee jingle is haunting New York streets. Hacked wifi kiosks are playing an unsettling version of the tune.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, haunted jingles, and psychic octopii 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 Aisha Hassan, Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz, and David Wexner, and edited by Adam Pasick.