Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The European Parliament votes on a top EU job. The body will decide whether to approve the appointment of German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen as the president of the European Commission. Her name was put forward last week by EU leaders, despite not having campaigned in May’s European elections.
The 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Various events in the US will celebrate NASA’s successful Apollo 11 mission that launched half a century ago today. These include a concert by Duran Duran at Cape Canaveral, Florida, while a record-setting 5,000 model rockets will be launched from the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Facebook defends Libra to the US Congress. David Marcus, head of the social media giant’s blockchain subsidiary, Calibra, released his prepared testimony before his Senate appearance. The planned cryptocurrency will be regulated by the Swiss government, but will comply with US tax laws, his testimony said.
While you were sleeping
Donald Trump doubled down on his racist attacks. Congressional Democrats indicated they’d make a move to formally censure the president for suggesting that four of their members “go back” to the countries they “originally came from.” Trump defiantly responded by saying that “if you hate our country” then “you can leave.”
The EU urged Iran to reverse its nuclear gains. The bloc’s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said that Tehran’s recent breaches of acceptable levels of uranium enrichment as set out in a 2015 deal were not irreversible, and that they were not significant enough to trigger a dispute mechanism that could lead to more sanctions.
Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez hit a fundraising high. The 29-year-old New York congresswoman raised $1.2 million in the second quarter, an unusually large amount for a rookie lawmaker, despite growing controversy over her relationship with the Democratic leadership.
A US judge reduced Bayer’s payout… A federal judge ruled that the German chemicals giant should pay a California man $20 million in damages rather than $75 million, after he said he developed cancer after being exposed to Roundup, made by Bayer unit Monsanto. The man is one of 13,400 people who have sued over the weed killer.
…While Vale said it would compensate workers for a dam disaster. The Brazilian mining giant will pay 400 million reais ($107 million) to employees affected by the deadly rupture of a dam in Minas Gerais that killed nearly 250 people.
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The new philanthropy. Amid growing inequality and skepticism about the motives of billionaires, a new philanthropy is taking shape. Evidence-based and results-driven, donors are rethinking where and how they give. This week, Quartz reporter Natasha Frost will dive into the “lives saved per dollar” approach of large and small foundations, starting with her state-of-play memo today. We’ve also published a new episode in our popular Because China video series, focused on China’s efforts to rebuild Greece’s economy and establish a toehold in Europe.
Is the end truly nigh? Climate collapsers have united in communities preoccupied with climate eschatology—the idea that a warming Earth will radically change life as we know it. They’re different from apocalyptic groups or doomsday cults. Their concerns are based on scientific evidence (even if their predictions are speculative), and they’re working to avoid the end, not reveling in its approach. Get to know them (before it’s too late) with the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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Cloudflare is a model for corporate transparency in tech. The internet services provider openly admitted fault after a global outage across its network earlier this month.
Leave Florida Man alone. The state’s weirdest crime stories often punch down at the homeless and mentally ill.
You can cow your enemies with a head tilt. Angling your head down makes you seem more intimidating and in command.
NASA will grow chile peppers in space. The hardy plants will be the first fruit the space agency has ever grown on the International Space Station.
New Zealand penguins are on a sushi roll. Little blue penguins returned to a sushi store in Wellington, despite being released back into the harbor after their first break-in.
Alan Turing will feature on the new £50 banknote. The British mathematician and codebreaker, now widely revered, suffered during his lifetime for being gay.
A Welsh street is the world’s steepest. Ffordd Pen Llech in the town of Harlech is officially steeper than Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Foam could be the key to life on Mars. Nicknamed “solid smoke,” silica aerogel could help warm the planet’s frozen soil enough to grow plants.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, space peppers, and sushi for penguins to email@example.com. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Isabella Steger and edited by Tripti Lahiri.