Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The US releases crucial economic data. The latest numbers on employment, factory orders, non-manufacturing activity, and trade balance will provide a snapshot of the economy and help investors assess whether the Fed may cut interest rates later this month.
The European Parliament chooses its president. The vote comes after EU leaders finally broke a deadlock over top jobs by nominating two women—the IMF’s Christine Lagarde and German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen—to head up the European Central Bank and the European Commission.
Sweden faces the Netherlands. Following last night’s riveting defeat by the US over England, the FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-finals continue with a match between two unlikely contenders. The game kicks off in Lyon at 3pm local time.
Wall Street takes a half day. US markets will close early ahead of Independence Day tomorrow, and return to a regular schedule on Friday.
While you were sleeping
The US census won’t ask about citizenship. The Trump administration retreated from a controversial effort to reinstate the question in the 2020 census following a Supreme Court ruling. Its addition would have had widespread implications for political representation and federal funding.
Trump confirmed his Federal Reserve nominees. Judy Shelton, an economic adviser on his 2016 election campaign, and Christopher Waller, the executive vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, will fill two vacancies on the board. Shelton supports Trump’s calls for lower interest rates.
Broadcom eyed Symantec. The chipmaker is reportedly in talks to purchase the cybersecurity firm in a $15 billion deal, furthering its push into software following its $18 billion takeover of CA Technologies last year. Symantec has struggled this year (paywall) with executive turnover and slow growth.
Legendary automaker Lee A. Iacocca died at 94. The former Ford and Chrysler boss passed away last night at his California home. He was best known for launching the Ford Mustang in 1964, and made history as the only auto executive in modern times to lead two of the three biggest US carmakers.
An airstrike killed dozens at a migrant center in Libya. The attack has been blamed on strongman Khalifa Haftar, whose Libyan National Army has waged a months-long campaign to seize Tripoli, the capital. Libya is a main departure point for African migrants trying to reach Europe by boat.
Japan was hit with dangerous amounts of rain. Nearly 600,000 people were evacuated as torrential downpours, predicted to continue into tomorrow, threatened landslides and other damage. Devastating flooding and mudslides caused more than 200 deaths last July.
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Will Slack change work before work changes Slack? To understand what’s ahead for the hugely popular workplace chat app, reporter Michael Coren profiles cofounder Stewart Butterfield, described by a colleague as having “an uncanny ability to predict what someone using a piece of software is going to think.”
Tape is a sticky mystery. For years, researchers have been trying to figure out how and why the seemingly simple substance unsticks. And if you peel a roll of tape quickly in a vacuum, the energy released is powerful enough to generate x-rays, for less-than-transparent reasons. Peel back the story at the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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An engaged employee is better than a star one. Big names are only helpful if they’re invested in their jobs.
Mission statements are over. Companies should instead define themselves through bold questions.
Europe should build its own social media news platform. It would take control back from the likes of Facebook.
Losing their shells made octopuses smart. Their soft, unprotected bodies forced them to evolve intelligence.
Malaysia arrested foreigners for cosplaying without a visa. Authorities say anime enthusiasts need government approval to participate in “arts performances.”
Birds caused a bombing mishap in Florida. A US Air Force jet accidentally dropped three harmless dummy bombs after colliding with a bird.
CRISPR cured HIV in mice. Scientists are now testing whether the gene editing technique can cure HIV-positive primates.
Music festivals are a bargain. They are an economic no-brainer compared to the skyrocketing costs of single-artist concerts.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, smart octopuses, and rogue birds to firstname.lastname@example.org. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Sam Rigby and edited by Jackie Bischof.