EU downgraded, Tesla autopilot death, cowardly Jackie Chan

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Puerto Rico’s biggest default yet. The island says it can’t make a scheduled payment of $1.9 billion due today (July 1), despite this week’s passage of legislation that will enable it to restructure some debts.

Protesters march in Hong Kong… Large demonstrations are expected, with July 1 marking the anniversary of the city’s return to Chinese rule. Tensions are running high after several booksellerswere kidnapped by security forces for selling anti-Beijing texts.

…And in London. Thousands plan to march against Brexit in London on Saturday, with organizers calling on parliament to refuse to accept the referendum “as the final say.”

Australia’s nail-biter of an election. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and his right-wing Liberal Party face a tough battle with the leftist Labor Party and its leader Bill Shorten in Saturday’s election. Australia, like the US and UK, has been riled by anti-establishment discontent (paywall).


Standard & Poor’s cut the EU’s credit rating. As it did to the UKearlier this week following Brexit, the ratings agency downgraded the European Union, from AA+ to AA. The move will increase the cost of borrowing for the bloc of 29—make that 28—nations.

Tesla reported the first human death in an autonomous car. US safety regulators are investigating a Tesla vehicle that was in “autopilot” mode when it crashed into a truck, killing the Tesla driver. CEO Elon Musk said it was a “tragic loss.”

The US lifted its transgender military ban. It’s a historic move, allowing transgender Americans to serve openly in the US armed forces. The shift was widely expected after a study found it would have no adverse effect on military readiness.

Apple might buy Tidal. The tech giant is exploring acquiring the streaming music service started by rapper Jay-Z, reports the Wall Street Journal (paywall). Tidal could help bolster Apple Music, which a year after being launched is already key the company’s future. Tidal is the only service offering Prince’s catalog.


RIP first half
It wasn’t completely bad
Just terrifying


Ana Campoy on how US employers found a new way to make money off undocumented immigrants. “While it’s common knowledge that immigrants in the country illegally use fake papers to get a job, in some cases it’s supervisors at the employer who provide the fraudulent documents… The practice is so widespread in California farming communities that immigrants subject to it have a name: ghost workers.” Read more here.


Apple is stomping all over its competition. Congress is taking notice after Spotify complained about onerous terms in the App Store.

The myth of millennial entitlement was created to hide parental mistakes. The younger generation’s lifestyle isn’t a choice.

The global wave of populism can become an honest revolution. Human capital, infrastructure, and the legal system all need reforms.


Some Hong Kongers think Jackie Chan is a coward. They want the movie star to show support for democracy and those who stand up for it.

Cannabis could be the key to treating Alzheimer’s. A new study shows THC helps reduce plaque build-up and inflammation.

Nestle is bottling water in the desert. Its new plant is causing outrage in Phoenix, Arizona, which is facing a drought.

A 10-year-old girl won a PhD-level fellowship to build a beautifying robot. She wants to make the sad streets of Paris happy again.

The next great fighter pilots are likely to be AIs. They are much faster and don’t need ejector seats.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, beautifying bots, and top gun AIs to You can download our iPhone app or follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.


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