Tiananmen’s 30th anniversary, Eid Mubarak, rap billionaire

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

It’s 30 years since the massacre of Tiananmen Square’s young idealists. Student protests calling for a freer China, which began upon the death of a loved Communist leader in April 1989, ended in bloodshed on June 4 as the People’s Liberation Army fired upon China’s own people. Many of the former student protesters now live in the US; others emerged from prison into a China where many have accepted an all-powerful state in exchange for prosperity. A Chinese general in recent days defended the crackdown and a state tabloid called it “a vaccination” against political turmoil. Despite deeper online censorship around the anniversary, people find ways to signal that they remember—and Hong Kong will hold its annual vigil tonight.

Donald Trump warns the UK over Huawei. Getting Britain to back away from the controversial Chinese telecom company is top of the agenda for the US president as he meets with outgoing prime minister Theresa May. The US earlier this month blacklisted the firm from US supply chains over national security concerns. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of protesters are expected to take to the streets to mock Trump with the help of the diaper-wearing “Trump baby” blimp. His state visit began yesterday on a rather different note, with a banquet at Buckingham Palace.

Renault’s board mulls a tie-up with Fiat Chrysler. The proposed merger (paywall) with the Italian-American carmaker would reshape the European auto industry and create one of the world’s biggest car companies. Japan’s Nissan has said any deal would require a fresh look at its existing relationship with the French automaker to make sure its interests are protected.

The Muslim world gears up for Eid feasting. The holy month of Ramadan, which began in early May, ends with the fast-breaking festival of Eid al-Fitr once the new moon is sighted. While a few began celebrating yesterday, many more will mark Eid today, and yet others will celebrate Eid from tomorrow.

While you were sleeping

The shadow of regulators darkened over Big Tech. Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple stocks all slid on news that regulators are divvying up responsibility for potential probes. The US Department of Justice will be handling any investigations that arise into antitrust allegations against Google and Apple, while the Federal Trade Commission has oversight for Amazon and Facebook. Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee is looking at whether antitrust rules have kept up with the times.

Sudan’s army backtracked on pledges to protesters. After a deadly raid by the military on protesters in Khartoum yesterday, the transitional military council—set up in April after longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir was ousted—said it was scrapping all agreements with the demonstrators. It said it would hold elections in nine months.

Australia cut its interest rate to a record low of 1.25%. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s first rate cut in three years aims to counteract sluggish unemployment and wages.

Apple announced a redesigned Mac Pro. The company ditched its wastebasket-like 2013 design for a new look reminiscent of a giant cheese grater. Starting at $5,999, the machine promises to be more powerful and more flexible. In other news, the reign of iTunes is over—it will be replaced by three apps.

Italy’s prime minister threatened to quit over infighting. Giuseppe Conte said he’s fed up by bickering between the ruling League and its populist partner the Five Star Movement, as he tries to resolve a spat with the European Union over a budget that defies the bloc’s fiscal rules.


Fashion has historically been defined by its great houses and the gowns, suits, and handbags they crafted. These days, however, it’s all about sneakers. The transformation of what used to be gym equipment into a leading artifact of high fashion says a lot about how we’ve changed as a culture. Delving into sneakers’ rapid ascendance is Marc Bain, Quartz’s fashion reporter, starting with a state of play memo laying out the growth of the sneaker industry both financially and culturally.

Quartz Obsession

Rats: can’t live with ’em, can’t live without them. They can carry dozens of diseases, but their genetic similarity to man makes them critical for medical research. Reports of the pest are growing in quickly gentrifying cities—perhaps because new construction brings them out of old hiding places—but they can also be trained as friendly pets or to sniff for land mines. Get acquainted with our oldest frenemy.

Matters of debate

Join the conversation with the new Quartz app!

It’s OK to say someone is “disabled.” Using “identity-first” language makes disability a marker of pride.

The internet is splintered and broken. It’s beyond repair—but we can, and must, rebuild it.

Nice people are happy people. Praising others will make you feel better.

Surprising discoveries

Jay-Z is the first rapper billionaire. His fortune encompasses liquor, art, real estate, and investments in firms like Uber.

TV characters are finally acknowledging our phone obsession. Some are even showing GIFs on screen.

Humans have been impacting Earth’s climate for millennia. Ancient Romans burned so many fires they affected temperature levels.

Africa’s top phone-maker won out with better selfies. Transsion designed a front-facing camera calibrated to better capture darker skin.

Charmin made a toilet paper roll that lasts three months. Depending on how you use the stuff, of course.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, properly lit selfies, and giant toilet paper rolls to hi@qz.com. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Tripti Lahiri and edited by Isabella Steger.