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What to watch for today
The G7 summit wraps up. Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron will hold a joint press conference this afternoon, after the closing session. Rifts had emerged during the gathering, especially over Trump’s insistence that Russia be readmitted to the group. In an eye-catching development, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif arrived in Biarritz for talks as France tries to reduce tensions in the Middle East.
A landmark ruling in the US opioid crisis. An Oklahoma judge is expected to rule on whether Johnson & Johnson will be held responsible for the state’s deadly opioid epidemic. A decision against the company, which owns a pharma business that sold two prescription opioids, could mean large payouts in similar civil cases across the US.
A health check for the US economy. July durable goods orders will provide a gauge of business investment, a crucial cyclical factor in GDP. A weaker-than-expected result would bolster the case for another rate cut when the Fed meets next month.
Over the weekend
Trump got a 2020 Republican challenger. Radio talk show host and former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh announced his bid for the GOP nomination, calling the US president “erratic” and unfit for office. He joins former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld in challenging Trump, who remains popular among party voters.
The US and Japan drew closer to a trade deal. The two sides agreed to the core elements of an agreement on agriculture, industrial tariffs, and digital trade, to be signed by Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe next month. Meanwhile, Trump said China wants to kickstart negotiations, after sending mixed signals on the US-China spat.
Brazil’s military began fighting the Amazon wildfires. After coming under global criticism for his response to the fires raging in the world’s largest rainforest, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro mobilized some 44,000 troops, and dispatched warplanes to dump water from above.
Israel confirmed it bombed Iranian forces inside Syria. Though the country rarely comments on military strikes, it confirmed (paywall) it targeted Quds forces southeast of Damascus late Saturday. US officials said last week that Israel was behind several recent strikes against Iranian proxy groups in Iraq, signs it’s looking to roll back Tehran’s influence.
Violent clashes broke out again in Hong Kong. Police officers drew guns and one fired a warning shot on Sunday, after some protesters used petrol bombs, which also prompted the first use of a water cannon in the city. That capped a turbulent weekend that saw a return to more confrontational tactics after 10 days of relative calm, including a 60-kilometer (37-mile) human chain on Friday.
South Korea irked Tokyo some more. Its forces began two days of expanded drills Sunday around the Dokdo (or Takeshima, in Japan) islands, which both nations claim. Days earlier it scrapped an intelligence-sharing agreement with its neighbor amid a deepening trade row. Meanwhile, North Korea fired yet more test missiles.
The one with all the in-jokes. The final Friends episode wrapped up more than 15 years ago, but the sitcom has never been more popular. Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, and Joey are favorites with a new generation of viewers who weren’t even born when the show debuted in 1993. The Quartz Obsession Netflix and chills.
Matters of debate
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Art institutions are getting too ideological. Museums do not need to promote social justice.
Being nice can hurt your career. Prioritizing it over honesty has serious downsides.
Human-led curation has a place amid algorithms. Even Netflix is now offering movie collections made by people.
City crows have higher cholesterol. Unlike their rural kin, they have more opportunity to scavenge human leftovers—especially fast food.
A pumice raft bigger than Manhattan is bobbing around the Pacific. The volcanic rock is so porous it floats.
Curdled milk can explain online hate. A researcher has found a way to use complex physics to analyze the spread of online extremism.
PlayStation’s first movie lost its director—for the fifth time. Maybe it’s a sign the action-adventure game Uncharted doesn’t belong on the big screen.
NASA is investigating what may be the first space crime. The long arm of the law reaches beyond Earth’s bounds.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, chunks of pumice, and healthy bird food to email@example.com. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Adam Rasmi, Rashmee Roshan Lall, and Jason Karaian.