Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
Greece negotiates another bailout. Euro zone finance ministers and IMF chief Christine Lagarde will meet in Brussels (paywall) as they try to strike a deal that could unlock another large payout to Athens—this time to the tune of €86 billion ($96.5 billion).
The Bank of England decides on interest rates. Despite inflation reaching 2.9% last month the bank is expected to keep interest ratesat a record low of 0.25%. The Bank of Japan also meets and isexpected to keep its -0.1% short-term rate flat.
European mobile users get a nice bonus. Residents will be able to make wireless calls, use data, and send texts without any additional roaming charges within the EU, as new rules take effect.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Robert Mueller is investigating Donald Trump for possible obstruction of justice. That marks a major turning point in the FBI investigation’s into alleged Russian interference in the US election,reports the Washington Post. Mueller took over the probe as a special counsel after Trump fired FBI director James Comey. Obstruction of justice could form the basis for impeachment, but that would still be a long shot.
The US Senate overwhelmingly approved expanded sanctions against Russia. Lawmakers made the move in response to Russia’s likely interference in the US presidential election, and for its actions in Syria’s civil war. Unlikely to be vetoed given the strong bipartisan support, the deal would also prevent Trump from loosening or rolling back restrictions on Russia without Congress’s approval.
The US and Qatar agreed to an arms deal worth $12 billion. The preliminary agreement involves Qatar buying dozens of F-15 fighter jets. Qatar, which hosts the largest US military facility in the Middle East, has been accused by its neighbors of financing terrorism. In a bit of awkward timing—the deal has been in the works for months—Trump last week agreed with those accusations.
Western Digital sought a court injunction to block the sale of a Toshiba chip unit. The California company jointly operates Toshiba’s main chip-plant and wants to buy the unit, which Toshiba aims to sell for $18 billion to cover cost overruns at its bankrupt Westinghouse nuclear unit. Western Digital fears Toshiba is leaning toward another buyer, which it contends would be a breach of contract.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Heather Timmons on a shooting that instantly became political propaganda. “Within minutes of news breaking that Republican congressman Steve Scalise had been shot during a baseball practice… supporters of US president Donald Trump and alt-right talking heads were pushing a line that the shooting was part of a left-wing plot.” Read more here.
Potential Fed clash / Over the chair: Should she stay? / Or should she go now?
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Playing videogames instead of getting a job is fine—for now.“Innovations in leisure computer activities” have resulted in more happiness and less despair for many young men.
Europe has too many types of tanks. The EU dreams of a common military but needs to harness continent-wide economies of scale.
Trump is making the Middle East squabble worse. By siding with Saudi Arabia, he’s simply backing one terrorist-financing autocracy over another.
A parking space in Hong Kong just sold for over $664,000. It’s less than 18.5 square meters (200 square feet) yet costs more thansome two-bedroom homes.
Almost all of the ocean’s plastic comes from Asian rivers. The continent’s waterways send more pollution into the ocean than all the others combined.
Google is building a gallery to document unusual sari styles.The online exhibition will feature dozens of rare regional variationsfrom across India.
There’s a fish that recognizes faces. The cichlid can recognize friends and becomes guarded when it meets strangers.
A popular French cheese is endangered. Of the 360 million wheels of Camembert produced each year, only about 1% meet rigorous production standards.
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