D-Day commemorations, trade tensions bite, battle bots

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Donald Trump marks D-Day with the Queen. The US president wraps up his three-day UK visit with a ceremony in Portsmouth marking 75 years since the June 6 Normandy landings, together with 14 leaders of nations that fought alongside the UK in World War II. He then heads to Ireland to meet with prime minister Leo Varadkar, before visiting his golf resort in Doonbeg. Protests are planned.

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. Fed chief Jerome Powell signaled an openness to cuts yesterday (paywall) over trade tensions, causing stocks to jump.

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.

Bernie Sanders addresses Walmart. The Vermont senator and presidential hopeful will speak at the retail giant’s annual shareholders meeting the day after slamming its resistance to raising the minimum wage as “grotesque.”

Take a deep breath for World Environment Day. The UN’s theme for 2019 is “air pollution,” which impacts a majority of the world’s 1.8 billion children.

While you were sleeping

The US-China trade dispute took a bite out of the global economy. After Australia’s central bank cut interest rates on Tuesday to keep the economy growing after 28 years of expansion, data today showed GDP growth slowed to the lowest rate in a decade in the first quarter. Data also showed services activity in both Japan and China slowed last month.

China’s space program took another leap forward. China successfully launched the Long March 11 rocket from a ship at sea. It was carrying seven satellites. The nation’s ambitious space program looks to be recovering from a setback two weeks after a rocket launch failure.

Cardinal George Pell returned to court in Melbourne. The former Vatican treasurer, who is the most senior member of the Catholic clergy so far to be found guilty of child sexual abuse, is appealing his conviction. The hearing will run over two days.

Thailand’s parliament convened to vote for a new prime minister. Meeting for the first time since the 2014 coup, the legislature is expected to vote into office retired army general and interim prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, more than two months after elections.

The death toll in Sudan climbed. A medical group close to Sudan’s democracy protesters said that at least 60 people have died and over 300 were injured following a raid by the Transitional Military Council on demonstrators in Khartoum.


Where your sneakers are made says a lot about the world. Continuing our week-long look at how sneakers took over fashion, reporter Marc Bain examines how the source of sports footwear has changed in recent years. While China still makes far more of the total footwear imported into the US than any other country, companies are increasingly experimenting with “nearshoring,” where brands make their products near their biggest markets.

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 were 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

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The US is to blame for the global erosion of human rights. A top UN official said its “afactual, illegal, and ascientific policy” is spreading.

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

Traffic jams aren’t what’s killing climbers on Everest. Cheap expeditions—meaning inexperienced sherpas—are.

Surprising discoveries

The world’s largest Nutella factory is on strike. Production has slowed 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 US state to outlaw cat declawing. The state senate approved a ban on what critics say is a cruel and barbaric practice.

The Queen’s gift to Trump is a set of history books with a pointed message. Winston Churchill’s The Second World War detailed the difficulties of getting the US to side with its allies in the conflict.

Boston Dynamics’ dog robot could be used for gaming. The first consumer use of SpotMini could be a network game where the robots compete against each other.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Nutella jars, and passive aggressive gifts 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 Eshe Nelson and edited by Jackie Bischof.