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What to watch for today
China releases inflation data… Economists project that the consumer-price index has likely risen 2.7% in June from the prior year, as the Chinese government attempts to soothe fears of an inflation spike in the world’s second-largest economy.
…While the US takes stock of its own economy… Chairman Jerome Powell will take the congressional stage for the next two days to deliver his semiannual testimony. He’s likely to signal a coming rate cut as an attempt to buffer the US economy from the effects of trade disputes and a global economy slowdown.
…And the UK shows GDP growth. Following an unnerving April of stockpiling in the face of a possible no-deal Brexit, Britain’s gross domestic product data should tick up, which could in turn help the pound gain in value. But analysts say any rebound is likely to correct itself as Brexit looms.
The best and brightest robots gather in Shanghai. The 8th annual China International Robot Show boots up in Shanghai, featuring the latest in robotics and AI through July 13.
While you were sleeping
A court said Trump can’t use the “block” button. A federal appeals court ruled that the US president’s tendency to prevent Twitter users from unfavorably responding to tweets by @realDonaldTrump—a personal account Trump uses to discuss government business—violates First Amendment free speech protections.
France announced an eco-tax on flights. The nation’s transport minister, Elisabeth Borne, said the measure would raise $180 million in 2020 alone, money that will be used to fund public transit. Shares in major European airlines lost altitude at the news.
A Saudi princess was tried in absentia over a brutal beating. Hassa bint Salman, known for her activism and charity work, allegedly ordered her bodyguard to tie up and beat a repairman for taking pictures in her Paris apartment. France issued a warrant for her arrest in November 2017, but started the trial without her after she refused to appear.
MPs voted to okay gay marriage and abortion in Northern Ireland. The House of Commons bill—which would legalize same-sex marriage and decriminalize abortion—will only take effect if politicians in Northern Ireland fail to form a devolved government.
Ross Perot died. The billionaire founder of Electronics Data Corp. was well-known in the US for running twice as an independent candidate for president, effectively securing Bill Clinton’s win over incumbent George H.W. Bush in 1992. A philanthropist in his later life, Perot passed away at age 89 in his Dallas home.
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Continuing this week’s deep dive into data brokers, Olivia Goldhill examines how propaganda spread by data “bombs” pushed Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro to power, and what this means for elections around the world. Plus, we continue our members-only video interview with Brandless CEO Tina Sharkey, who describes the one thing employers should look for in prospective hires that isn’t on their resume.
If an eco-tax doesn’t keep you from flying, maybe Flugscham will. It’s the sinking feeling you get when you realize your trip to Miami or Lisbon is a mighty contributor to climate change. Globetrotters are turning to trains, buses, and boats in increasing numbers in an attempt to limit the carbon footprints of their travels. Take a look from 30,000 feet with the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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It pays for young people to move abroad. Workers under 35 get big raises and new skills as expats.
Robots are the new space adventurers. While humans languish on the space station, drones zoom across the solar system.
It’s time to leave Facebook forever. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak says its benefits don’t justify the loss of privacy.
Juggalo makeup blocks facial recognition. The Insane Clown Posse fan aesthetic confuses software searching for areas of contrast.
Kids shouldn’t play with sporks. A plush doll based on the Toy Story 4 character Forky has been recalled over safety issues.
Hackers can peep through Zoom users’ webcams. You’re at risk if you’ve ever installed the videoconferencing software on a Mac.
Hand dryers harm children’s hearing. A 13-year-old scientist measured bathroom decibel levels dangerous to kids’ sensitive ears.
A plan to shame plastic bag users backfired. A Canadian grocery store printed embarrassing logos on its bags, but customers wanted them even more.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, plush utensils, and tasteful tote bags 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 Nicolás Rivero.