Apple goes to court, Israel votes, odorless weed

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What to watch for today

Apple begins its tax battle in Europe. The smartphone maker will tell the bloc’s second-highest court why it shouldn’t pay €13 billion ($14.4 billion) in Irish back taxes, as ordered by the EU in 2016. The landmark case will be watched closely by Amazon and Alphabet, as Europe cracks down on tax avoidance by tech giants.

Joshua Wong testifies in Washington. The Hong Kong pro-democracy activist takes the stand before the  Congressional-Executive Commission on China. He wants “bipartisan support” for the semi-autonomous territory’s protest movement, now in its third month.

FedEx tries to deliver. The transportation giant—long considered a bellwether of the US economy—posts quarterly results. Analysts expect earnings well below last year’s, mainly because of the global economic slowdown.

While you were sleeping

The White House ordered two former aides to defy House subpoenas. The administration said Rick Dearborn and Rob Porter are ”absolutely immune” and don’t need to testify before today’s Judiciary Committee hearing on possible obstruction of justice.

Israel began to vote. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in a close race against former military chief Benny Gantz in the country’s second general election in six months. In April, he failed to cobble together a viable coalition.

WeWork’s IPO was put on pause. The shared workplace giant shelved the plan after executives acknowledged the $47 billion valuation was too high. Investors seemed worried about the company’s operating losses and management.

Donald Trump said he had a deal with Japan. The US president notified lawmakers of an initial agreement on reciprocal tariff reductions and digital trade that do not need congressional approval.

American swimmer Sarah Thomas made a splash. The recent breast cancer survivor from Colorado became the first person to swim the English Channel four times non-stop, an epic feat in one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

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If you’ve heard of the Indian ride-sharing giant Ola, you probably know it as a scrappy challenger to Uber. But that narrative misses one of Ola’s most distinctive features: It has some valuable lessons on how to attract Angel investors on blind faith—thanks to the grit of its founders. Read our complete guide to Ola and the startup scene it spawned as part of this week’s field guide.

Quartz Obsession

Inbox zero: the information worker’s ultimate goal. But is it worth it? Its creator, Merlin Mann, came up with the concept in 2006, shortly after Gmail put a practically infinite amount of storage in everyone’s reach. Now he’s worried he’s created a monster of workflow that overshadows actual work—but some Silicon Valley stars still swear by it. Take a priority read at the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of debate

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Statistical literacy helps to be a good citizen. That’s because numbers are often used to persuade rather than inform.

5G will reinvent work. Faster connection speeds will allow real-time virtual working, as if one is physically in the room.

Cities are great for raising kids. They’re full of child-friendly fun, and parks are better than lawns.

Surprising discoveries

Auction activism is a trend. Banksy’s 2009 satirical painting on the UK’s political establishment goes on sale just before Brexit and really speaks to the moment.

A neutron star is stretching the laws of physics. It’s more than twice as big as the sun.

Weed might soon be odorless. A startup wants to remove the plant’s terpenes, but some say dank is the whole point.

Astronomers caught an interstellar object on camera. The comet is just the second we’ve seen from another star.

Milton’s copy of Shakespeare is in Philadelphia. The annotated text is one of the biggest recent literary discoveries.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, undank pot, and literary finds to 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 and Rashmee Roshan Lall.