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What to watch for today
Campaigning for the upper house of Japan’s Diet begins. Prime minister Shinzo Abe has long wanted to revise the constitution’s “peace clause” and boost the military. That will be a key issue ahead of the July 21 election, as will growing fears that the elderly won’t be able to live off pensions alone.
Floods and mudslides threaten Japan. Yesterday authorities in the nation’s southwest ordered over a million residents to evacuate as torrential rains looked set to continue, adding upwards of 13 inches to the total on the island of Kyushu.
Trump holds a military parade for US Independence Day. The US president wants to show off the “most advanced Military anywhere,” as he tweeted July 2, and will look on as planes and armored vehicles show off in Washington, DC. Critics says he’s making the traditionally nonpartisan holiday anything but.
US markets will be closed for Independence Day.
While you were sleeping
Boeing pledged $100 million to families of 737 Max crash victims. The plane maker could face legal costs far in excess of that, possibly over $3 billion in settlements with plaintiffs. Some critics called the move a publicity stunt; others said it was a step in the right direction.
Canada sought to reassure China about its meat. Ottawa said it had proposed a way of tightening the export system. Last week China banned all Canadian meat over bogus certificates, as the tit-for-tat between the nations continues following the arrest of a Huawei executive last year.
Resumed US-China trade talks came more into focus. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the negotiations would continue “soon,” after first saying “this coming week.” Last week Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, meeting at the G20 summit, agreed to restart the stalled talks.
Trump exchanged threats with Iran. The US president warned the Islamic Republic to “be careful with threats” after his counterpart said his nation would boost uranium enrichment further beyond the cap laid out in the Obama-era nuclear deal.
The Netherlands shut out Sweden. The Dutch team scored the game’s only goal in extra time, and will go on to play the US in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final on Sunday in Lyon.
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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.”
One cord to rule them all. That drawer full of knotted cords from digital cameras you haven’t powered on in a decade, old iPods, and printers that mysteriously stopped working? The USB was designed to eliminate it, and to a large degree it’s succeeded. Untangle the history of the little port that could with the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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Nike undermined its own progressive efforts. Pulling a shoe featuring a historic iteration of the US flag only succeeded in further galvanizing Trump supporters.
Saving for college is outdated. Investing in the tech industry, which could conceivably download book-learning straight into our brains, is a better bet.
Don’t listen to barbecue purists. If you’re generously inviting friends to eat grilled food, you’ve earned the right to call the cooking method whatever you want.
A medieval chess set is closer to completion. One of its five lost figures, originally bought for £5 ($6) in 1964, just fetched £735,000 ($924,262) at auction.
A NASA intern was sitting on rare tapes. Clear, undoctored footage of the first moon landing sat in a box for decades.
An Arctic fox took the long route. The GPS-equipped animal walked over ice from Norway to Canada—3,506 km (2,176 miles) in 76 days—before her tracker stopped working.
Nicki Minaj will perform in Saudi Arabia. Skimpy costumes and a strong pro-gay stance go against the grain in the ultraconservative country.
Just a few more followers. If you can boast a fanbase of 30,000 or more on social media, you’re officially a celebrity, at least to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, fleet foxes, and barbecue (or cookout) invites 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 and edited by Susan Howson and Steve Mollman.