Mueller report hearings, Hong Kong protests, mandarin mascots

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

US House Democrats start hearings on the Mueller report. A procession of votes and hearings this week kicks off today with a House Judiciary Committee session on “presidential obstruction and other crimes.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi prefers a slow, methodical approach to investigating Donald Trump over impeachment proceedings. Separately, senators will take steps to force a vote on US arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

The UK leadership race officially begins. Eleven candidates are jockeying to succeed outgoing prime minister Theresa May, who stepped down as Conservative Party leader last Friday. They have until 5pm local time today to submit their nominations, which need to be backed by at least eight MPs. The first in a series of secret ballots begins Thursday.

Huawei answers questions from the UK parliament. An executive from the Chinese telecoms giant will be grilled over security risk concerns as a supplier to next-generation networks. Meanwhile, the White House’s budget office has asked Congress to give US government agencies more time to comply with last year’s ban on working with companies that deal with Huawei.

Over the weekend

The Trump administration struck a deal with Mexico over migrants. Mexican authorities pledged to deploy the National Guard throughout the country to curb illegal immigration and human smuggling, measures critics say were already in place before a deal was announced. Trump has cancelled proposed tariffs on all Mexican goods, which would have come into force today.

A massive protest in Hong Kong turned violent. Record-setting protest crowds thronged the streets yesterday calling for a proposed extradition law to be scrapped. Demonstrations turned violent shortly after midnight Sunday, with the standoff continuing into early Monday morning. Still, Hong Kong’s chief executive plans to press ahead with legislation that would for the first time let suspects be extradited to mainland China for trial.

G20 finance leaders worried about the US-China trade war. Convening in Japan, they agreed that the escalating spat could lead to a global crisis. A key meeting between Trump and president Xi Jinping takes place later this month. Data out today show China’s May exports unexpectedly grew, perhaps due to businesses trying to get ahead of any further US tariffs.

More people died as Sudan began a national strike against the military. Millions of people heeded a call from pro-reform groups to stay home Sunday, the first day of the work week, in an attempt to dislodge the interim military government. Four more people were killed over the weekend, following a military crackdown last week that killed more than 100.

United Technologies and Raytheon will combine forces. The new company would be the biggest aerospace and defense firm after Boeing, with $74 billion in annual sales of everything from Tomahawk missiles to the engines that power passenger planes.

The IAAF extended Russia’s track-and-field ban. The track world’s governing body reported on backsliding in the nation’s doping reforms. If Russia can’t convince regulators otherwise, its athletes will have to compete under a neutral flag during September’s IAAF World Championships in Qatar.

Quartz Obsession

A legendary psychological experiment about tyranny may have led us astray. The Stanford Prison Experiment pitted 24 students against each other as “prisoners” and “guards,” and spiraled into horrifying psychological abuse. Does authority turn people authoritarian? New criticisms of this foundational study say… well, it’s complicated. Roll call at the Quartz Obsession.


The future of food lies in Israel. Hundreds of tech startups are housed in Israel, a veritable Silicon Valley on the Mediterranean. But a fascinating subset of that industry is the panoply of food-tech startups calling the Holy Land their home. In this week’s field guide, starting with today’s state of play memo, Quartz’s science reporter Chase Purdy explains how Israel is already dealing with issues related to food and climate that the rest of the world is only starting to address.

Matters of debate

Join the conversation with the new Quartz app!

Specializing is overrated. The trick to excellence is being a bit of a dilettante.

Working around a huge problem beats trying to make it go away. Just ask the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Not washing your clothes is the next big thing. That’s what the startup Unbound Merino wants you to believe, anyway.

Surprising discoveries

China’s carmakers are sponsoring rocket launches. They claim the partnerships will pave the way for technological advances for their automobiles.

A Japanese prison has a mandarin orange as its mascot. The cuddly creature, Waka-Pi, represents Wakayama Women’s Prison.

Fungi savvily trade resources with plants. They’ve been observed hoarding phosphorus to inflate the amount of carbon they get in return.

Air New Zealand staff are free to get inked. The company dropped a ban on visible tattoos after complaints that it discriminated against Māori employees.

A Trump-Macron friendship tree has died. The symbol of ties between the two countries, planted last April, didn’t survive being uprooted and quarantined.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, ailing trees, and savvy fungi 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 Jackie Bischof.