Farewell to May, Women’s World Cup, Operation Meltdown

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today and over the weekend

Theresa May steps down. The UK prime minister will resign from her position on Friday, as the Tory party faces next week’s deadline for nominations for her replacement. The new PM is scheduled to be announced July 22.

China celebrates the Dragon Boat Festival. The 2,000-year-old tradition centers around food, family, and dragon boat races. Last month, Lego unveiled an elaborate dragon boat set as part of its push to expand into the Chinese market.

The Women’s World Cup kicks off. The highly anticipated global soccer tournament (paywall) begins Friday in Paris with France pitted against South Korea. The members of the American team, the defending champions, are currently involved in a gender discrimination lawsuit with their employer, while Australian players are calling for a winning pot closer to the one awarded male teams.

The world demonstrates against Hong Kong’s extradition plans. Protests in major cities around the world—including London, New York, Berlin, and Sydney—will coincide with a massive march in Hong Kong to show opposition to a bill that could put fugitives at risk of being tried in China, where there are concerns over human rights.

While you were sleeping

World leaders commemorated D-Day. Theresa May, US president Donald Trump, and French president Emmanuel Macron honored veterans who were part of the historic landing on Normandy shores 75 years ago.

Google revealed Stadia details. The streaming game service will launch in November with at least 31 games at an initial cost of $130 for hardware plus a monthly fee. Google also announced a $2.6 billion deal to buy data analytics company Looker, an acquisition seen as a way to augment Google Cloud’s data and analytics capacities, especially for businesses.

Donald Trump signed a $19 billion disaster relief package. The measure, which will send aid to Americans recovering from hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters, was passed in the House on Monday after being stalled for a month.

The African Union suspended Sudan’s membership. After the worst spike in violence since Omar al-Bashir was ousted two months ago and replaced by military rule. the continental union added to activist pressure to return power to a civilian authority. More than 100 people have reportedly been killed this week.

The Obamas signed a deal to produce podcasts for Spotify. With the multi-year agreement, the former US first couple adds audio to the wheelhouse of their media company, which is also developing original series for Netflix.


You could say 1985 is the year that modern sneaker culture really started. It’s when Nike publicly released its first signature shoe for a rookie basketball player named Michael Jordan. When did they became so valuable, how did they become an asset class, and are we at risk of the sneaker bubble bursting? At Private Key, we have the rationalist’s argument for buying bitcoin.

Quartz Obsession

In the digital era, mathematicians still cling to chalk. It’s cheaper and more practical than dry-erase markers, and easier to write in than PowerPoint. But what about the dust and noise? A good chalk, like a good pen, is smooth and clean: And one brand is the Rolls Royce of chalk. Read our notes at the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of debate

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Honeybees are hogging the spotlight. Most of the endangered pollinators are less glamorous but more valuable insects.

GPS is making us stupid. Studies suggest that the area of our brain responsible for navigation shrinks with disuse.

YouTube only acts when it’s criticized. The platform’s rules are inconsistent, unclear, and unenforced unless there’s an uproar.

Surprising discoveries

The US is using pollen to track illegal drugs. Each of the 380,000 distinct plant species in the world has a unique and very sticky pollen—which makes it a powerful forensic tool.

A humanoid robot is opening her first solo exhibition in the UK. Ai-Da, named for Ada Lovelace, is able to draw from sight using cameras and AI algorithms.

A Canadian tourist unlocked a mystery safe with a lucky guess. It had been sitting in a museum befuddling locksmiths for decades.

New York City seized 46 ice cream trucks in “Operation Meltdown.” The operators violated traffic laws and racked up nearly $4.5 million in fines over a decade.

In the 1970s, the FBI analyzed samples thought to be evidence of Bigfoot. They turned out to be deer hair.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, safe combinations, and evidence of Bigfoot 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 Jessanne Collins and Susan Howson.