Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Mexico awaits a US response. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo this weekend praised the country’s efforts to cut US-bound migration ahead of a deadline to do so today, but the White House has yet to confirm if the actions were enough to avoid further talks on dealing with asylum seekers.
Donald Trump meets Imran Khan… The Pakistani prime minister’s visit will focus on rebuilding relations in the wake of the US accusing the country of not doing enough to protect religious minorities, and combat extremism and money laundering.
…while US tech giants gather at the White House. Trump’s top economic advisor Larry Kudlow and Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin will meet with executives from Intel, Qualcomm, and other companies to discuss the US ban on sales to Chinese telecom giant Huawei.
Puerto Rico takes more action. A national strike will aim to block major highways and increase pressure on governor Ricardo Rosselló to resign. The US territory has been struck by days of demonstrations following leaked chats in which Rosselló made misogynistic and homophobic comments.
Over the weekend
A new snapshot of the impact of US-China tensions. Chinese investment in the US has fallen 90% since Trump took office, the New York Times reported, in an environment of deteriorating relations and increased regulatory scrutiny. The dramatic drop in foreign direct investment is starting to impact industries and state governments.
Equifax came close to settling. The credit-reporting agency will reportedly announce a deal today to pay $700 million to the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Protection Bureau, and state officials for a 2017 data breach which leaked the sensitive information of about 150 million Americans.
Audio recordings of Iran seizing a British tanker were released. They show that a British naval vessel in the Strait of Hormuz was too far away to stop the tanker from being seized, and that officers failed to persuade Iran to stand down. Tehran called the incident a “reciprocal” move, after the UK impounded an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar earlier this month.
A vicious mob attack broke out in Hong Kong. Hundreds of masked men beat protesters, journalists, and residents at and around a train station last night, with police conspicuously absent. In downtown Hong Kong, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets as they clashed with protesters following another major protest.
“China’s Nasdaq” started trading. The Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Science and Technology Innovation Board was designed to persuade Chinese tech-industry champions to list at home. Most of the 25 listed companies surged on the first day of trade.
Marvel smashed a global box office record. Avengers: Endgame became the highest-grossing film of all time, raking in more than $2.789 billion worldwide. There are four sequels planned between 2021 and 2027 for the previous decade-long record-holder, James Cameron’s Avatar.
Rebooting the Hollywood franchise. Summertime has long been when movie studios release their biggest, most-expensive, most crowd-pleasing films. This week, our in-house Hollywood expert, reporter Adam Epstein, takes a look at the film industry’s reliance on these kinds of movies and charts what we can expect, both creatively and financially, in the months and years ahead, starting with today’s state-of-play memo.
Bad banks aren’t so bad. Deutsche Bank is creating one to dump its icky assets away in, which it calls, with Orwellian flair, a “Capital Release Unit.” But there’s often a silver lining, as not only do they help stabilize the good bank, the bad one can turn a profit. It’s also a good place for bankers to cut their teeth, like Citi’s current CEO, who once led its bad bank. Get fiscal at the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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Trashy TV makes us dumber. It numbs our brain and boosts support for populist politicians.
Online dating is an existential nightmare. The problem is that sites inject modern romance with radical individualism.
We need to ban facial recognition. Regulation alone won’t be enough to prevent a nightmare era of mass surveillance.
“Corn sweat” makes hot weather even muggier. The millions of acres of the crop heat up other fields and even cities by adding moisture into the air.
People are stapling bread to trees in England. The global phenomenon began with the Reddit forum “BreadStapledToTrees.”
Massachusetts cops want a siesta. They’ve asked criminals to hit pause during a “straight up hot as soccer balls” heat wave.
A Nigerian flight was delayed by a hitchhiker. The pilot noticed a man running from the bushes and jumping onto the wings of the moving aircraft.
Pig fat may have helped build Stonehenge. Archaeologists think the ancient builders greased sledges with lard to transport the giant stones.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, summer movie recommendations, and trashy TV tips 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 Adam Rasmi and edited by Jackie Bischof.