Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Boris Johnson chairs his first cabinet. After UK’s new prime minister carried out a major cull, replacing over half of Theresa May’s cabinet with Brexit hardliners, he will meet with his new ministers this morning, followed by a statement to the House of Commons.
Nissan reports results from a difficult quarter. The troubled Japanese carmaker confirmed yesterday that its quarterly profit dropped 90% year-on-year. It’s also expected to announce more than 10,000 job cuts.
An ECB decision on interest rates. Investors are evenly split on whether the European Central Bank will cut its key interest rate today or wait until Sept. 12. They’ll also be looking for hints (paywall) that president Mario Draghi intends to revive the bank’s large bond-buying program.
A crucial parliamentary vote in Spain. Acting prime minister Pedro Sánchez, of the Socialist party, lost a parliamentary vote of confidence on Tuesday. If he can’t strike a deal to win the support of rival Podemos before a second, decisive vote today, Spain will inch closer to fresh elections.
While you were sleeping
Puerto Rico’s governor resigned. Ricardo Rosselló, who had resisted calls to step down for nearly two weeks despite mass protests over controversial leaked chat messages, announced he will step down as the US territory’s leader on Aug. 2.
North Korea fired two missiles into the sea, according to South Korea. The provocation from Pyongyang is seen as a signal of its anger over planned US-South Korea war games next month. The move also complicates efforts to resume stalled denuclearization talks with the US.
A US Navy warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait. It was the latest routine transit through the contested waterway, which China sees as a priority area. The passage came the same day that Beijing released a white paper warning it would not rule out using force to reunite with Taiwan.
A US judge blocked Donald Trump’s new asylum rules. The ruling was a blow to the president’s latest anti-immigration move, which prevented most migrants at the US-Mexico border from seeking asylum in the US if they passed through another country first. Separately, Trump vetoed a ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, passed by Congress as a rebuke over the killing of columnist Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen.
US regulators gave Facebook a sweetheart deal over alleged user privacy violations. Critics blasted the $5 billion settlement, noting it amounted to a mere slap on the wrist. While the fines didn’t dent the tech giant’s latest earnings report, costly privacy changes required by the settlement could slow revenue growth. The company also confirmed it’s under a new antitrust investigation.
GOP lawmakers grilled Robert Mueller. Republicans questioned the special prosecutor’s competence, motives, and patriotism at a hearing purportedly about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
The Jell-O market is unstable. First a savory treat, then a dessert, the wiggly centerpiece of 20th-century meals has been on a slide for years. But gelatin has found new favor with high-end chefs, who have returned it to its old use of sealing up meat in dishes like artisan head cheese. Dig in at the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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The word “racist” is hard to define. It’s become part of common parlance but its meaning has shifted over time.
Fake house plants are superior to real ones. They’re low maintenance, and you won’t have to deal with them dying.
The next 18 months will be do-or-die for the planet. We can stop rising temperatures, but we have to do it before the end of 2020.
Donald Trump spoke in front of a doctored presidential seal. The image almost resembles the official version, except the eagle is two-headed and is clutching golf clubs.
A British MP’s communications chief resigned using his boss’s Twitter. Jared O’Mara’s feelings notwithstanding, the very public tweetstorm is the best quitting story in recent memory.
The man who found the Titanic is coming for Amelia Earhart. Robert Ballard will use the E/V Nautilus in his underwater search for the aviator’s downed plane.
We waste a dangerous amount of seafood. The world might be overfishing, but we’re still throwing away 50 million tons annually.
Birds need hot wings. Dark feathers heat up the air around them to increase flow and make flying more efficient.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, quitting stories, and sketchy presidential seals 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 Mary Hui and edited by Tripti Lahiri.