US jobs, Theresa May’s farewell, Operation Meltdown

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today and over the weekend

The US announces its May jobs numbers. In the midst of trade-war turmoil, employment has chugged along steadily: economists expect an increase of 185,000 jobs.

Theresa May steps down. The Conservative party now faces a Monday deadline for nominations for Britain’s next prime minister. After multiple rounds of voting among MPs and party members, her replacement—the bookies are backing Boris Johnson—will be announced the week of July 22.

Talk of a global tech tax. UK finance minister Philip Hammond is expected to argue strongly for a worldwide digital services levy as finance ministers gather in Japan tomorrow to prep for the G20 summit at the end of June.

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

The biggest night on Broadway. The 73rd annual Tony Awards will air on Sunday at 8pm US eastern time, with James Corden of The Late Late Show hosting. The ceremony will feature a star-studded cast, and live performances from several nominees.

While you were sleeping

Mexico tried to avert US tariffs. Mexico began deploying 6,000 troops at the border with Guatemala to curb the flow of migrants en route to the US. Authorities also arrested two organizers of the large migrant caravan earlier this year, and appear to be considering broader changes to asylum processes for Central Americans.

Joe Biden walked back a controversial stance on abortion funding. The Democratic presidential candidate said he no longer backs a ban on federal money to pay for abortions, following two days of criticism. His earlier support of the decades-old Hyde Amendment renewed concerns among critics about whether he is out-of-step with 2020 Democratic voters.

The Fed began to mull a rate cut. The Wall Street Journal reports that officials are prepping for a reduction in interest rates as early as this month. Even if the Fed doesn’t cut in June, traders forecast a 70% chance of a cut in July.

The German economy sputtered. Industrial output dipped 1.9% in April, the largest drop in four years. Europe’s largest economy has been hit by Brexit uncertainty and trade tensions, with the effects of the manufacturing slowdown starting to squeeze the labor market.

A date was set for Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearing. A Canadian court will open proceedings 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. A ruling may not come before 2021.


In today’s member exclusive, we have a toolkit of vital sneaker resources. Fashion reporter Marc Bain dug deep this week on how sneakers have taken over fashion, become the new “it bag,” and why they are now such a highly valued object. Over in Private Key, Matthew De Silva looks at crypto backers wanting special regulatory treatment, and lays out the rationalist’s case 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 pollen signature—making for a powerful forensic tool.

A humanoid robot is opening its 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.

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.

Consultants are loving Brexit. Though it’s slowed the UK economy and paralyzed politics, consultants have received £97 million ($121 million) in government contracts to help prep for the divorce.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Brexit advice, and Bigfoot sightings to Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Adam Rasmi and edited by Jason Karaian.