Xi and Putin, Trump and May, Xbox deodorant

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Xi Jinping goes to Moscow. China’s president is spending three days with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The leaders are expected to signal that their countries are improving relations and are standing together on their issues with the US, like its trade war with China and its sanctions on Russia.

The Thai parliament will (finally) choose a new prime minister. Retired army general and interim prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to be voted into office with help from the military-controlled upper house, two months after the nation’s disputed elections and just over a month since king Maha Vajiralongkorn, or Rama X, was officially coronated.

Brussels rules on Italy’s debt. The European Commission will likely decide whether to trigger a disciplinary procedure against Italy over its budget and ballooning debt, which could result in a €3.5 billion fine.

The Federal Reserve publishes its newest beige book. The US central bank’s report on economic conditions may contain hints on the future of interest rates. Further clues may be found in chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks just after the start of trading in the US.

Sephora holds diversity training for all US stores. The hour-long inclusion workshops were announced after singer SZA complained about being racially profiled by a shop employee in California. Locations will re-open for business after the sessions.

While you were sleeping

Donald Trump met with Theresa May. During a joint press conference, Trump alarmed Brits by suggesting that their healthcare system could be a negotiating chip (paywall) in US-UK trade talks, and dismissed reports of protests against him as “fake news.” Tomorrow he’ll commemorate D-Day with Queen Elizabeth and hit the links in Ireland.

A British Museum delegation arrived in Easter Island. The museum officials were sent to discuss calls to return one of the island’s famous statues (paywall), known as Hakananai’a (literally, “lost or stolen friend”). The statue has sat in London since British explorers absconded with it in 1868.

US stocks had their second best day of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 500 points after Fed chairman Powell signalled his openness to ease monetary policy. Meanwhile, Chinese and Mexican officials released statements that eased tariff anxieties.

Renault delayed its decision on a Fiat-Chrysler merger. The French automaker’s board ended a three-hour meeting on Tuesday without deciding whether to go through with a deal that would create the world’s third-biggest automaker (paywall). The companies will continue their talks on Wednesday.

The world commemorated Tiananmen Square, while China stayed silent. Crowds gathered from Washington, D.C. to Hong Kong to mark the 30th anniversary of the Chinese regime’s bloody crackdown on protesters. But at home, foreign media was blocked and discussion was heavily censored.


We continue our stroll into the world of sneakers with a look at how luxury brands have sought to cash in by introducing sneaker styles that are as much signature products as handbags and other fancy accessories. “Instead of the ‘It’ bag, it is all about the ‘It’ shoe,” says market analyst Kayla Marci. And over at Private Key, Matt De Silva explains why it’s unlikely that crypto backers will get the special regulatory treatment they want.

Quartz Obsession

Humans have been fishing for tuna for 42,000 years. But before they became the most commercially valuable creatures in the sea, tuna was considered a low-quality catch, fit only for cans of cat food. Now, threatened by overfishing and climate change, the once ubiquitous fish are on the brink of extinction.

Matters of debate

Join the conversation with the new Quartz app!

Stop feeling bad about not recycling. Saving the environment demands corporate and government accountability, not individual action.

Don’t throw out your checks yet. Venmo, Zelle, and the Cash App are more convenient, but that just makes it easier to go over budget.

Chinese censorship isn’t all-powerful. Free-speech activists can use private messaging, open-source coding, and encrypted software to circumvent cyberpolice.

Surprising discoveries

Octopuses could be the next lab rats. Biologists have much to learn from studying the intelligent, but utterly alien invertebrates.

The world’s largest Nutella factory is on strike. Workers have slowed production to a crawl, but the global supply of the precious spread is safe, for now.

Xbox and Axe created a personal grooming line. The shower gel, deodorant, and body spray are the latest in a long line of gaming-branded content.

New York could be the first state to outlaw cat declawing. The state senate approved a ban on what critics say is a cruel and barbaric practice.

A dinosaur fossil made entirely of opal belongs to a new species. A miner stumbled upon the opalized bones in the ‘80s while digging for gems.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Nutella reserves, and gem-encrusted fossils to hi@qz.com. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written and edited by Nicolás Rivero and Holly Ojalvo.