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 Tory party now faces a Monday deadline for nominations for Britain’s next prime minister. After multiple rounds of party voting, her replacement—whom many expect to be Boris Johnson—will be announced the week of July 22.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off. The highly anticipated soccer tournament (paywall) begins today in Paris with France pitted against South Korea. The US team, the defending champion, is involved in a gender discrimination suit against its employer, while Australian players are calling for parity with men on prize money.

The US announces its May jobs figure. In the midst of trade-war turmoil, employment has chugged along steadily and economists expect that to be the case for last month too, predicting an addition of 185,000 jobs.

Britain will push G20 finance ministers for a digital sales tax. When finance ministers gather in Japan tomorrow to prep for the G20 summit at the end of June, US-China tensions and how to tackle tech giants will be on their minds. UK finance minister Philip Hammond is expected to argue strongly for a global tech tax.

Kazakhstan chooses a new president. A handpicked successor to longtime Soviet-era leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, who resigned in March, is expected to win Sunday’s election. But some young Kazakhs are protesting the preordained choice.

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 on Sunday to show opposition to a bill that could put suspects at risk of being tried in China’s opaque legal system.

While you were sleeping

A date was set for Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearing. A Canadian court will begin hearings in January 2020 on whether the Huawei CFO, currently out on bail in Vancouver, should be sent over the border to face charges related to violating US sanctions on Iran. An actual ruling might not come before the following year.

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.

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 it will buy data analytics company Looker for $2.6 billion, a deal that will strengthen Google Cloud’s data-management services.

Mexico made more moves to avert US tariffs next week. Mexico offered to deploy its National Guard (paywall) to reduce the number of migrants entering from Guatemala en route to America, arrested two organizers of the migrant caravan that traveled to the US border earlier this year, and appears to be considering broader changes to asylum processes for Central Americans.

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. Other endangered pollinators are less glamorous but more valuable.

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—making for a powerful forensic tool.

A humanoid robot is opening her first solo exhibition in the UK. Ai-Da, named for the Victorian-era mathematician 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 real 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 by Tripti Lahiri and edited by Harish C. Menon.