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Recode Daily: What to watch for at today’s Trump-Putin summit

Plus, Prime Day is Amazon’s gift to other retailers; WeWork suddenly goes meatless; a complete guide to the many controversies of Sasha Baron Cohen.

Jack Taylor / Getty Images; Mikhail Svetlov / Getty Images /

U.S. President Donald Trump met Russian President Vladimir Putin this morning in Helsinki, Finland. The extraordinary meeting came days after the U.S. Department of Justice, via Robert Mueller, charged 12 Russian spies with interfering with the U.S. elections in 2016. Don’t expect Trump to push on the issue, since he thinks it’s bogus. Putin and Trump have a joint press conference scheduled for this morning. [The New York Times]

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Congratulations, France. And Happy Prime Day, world. Amazon’s biggest marketing stunt — a global “shopping holiday” that’s now in its fourth year — means more to Amazon than a one-day annual marketing play. The company doesn’t disclose revenue from previous Prime Days, but the 36-hour window of deep discounts for Prime members is predicted to reach $3.4 billion this year. More importantly, Amazon uses the savings event to spotlight its own products and hook new members on its subscription program. Here’s how Amazon’s blitz deal is a gift to other retailers. [Nathaniel Meyersohn / CNN Money]

Policy heads from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter will testify tomorrow at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on social media filtering. Some conservative Republicans in Congress have criticized social media companies for what they claim are politically motivated practices in removing some content, a charge the companies have rejected. [Chloe Aiello / CNBC]

Co-working company WeWork has a no-meat policy for its 6,000 global employees in its 400 shared buildings in 76 cities. Co-founder Miguel McKelvey made the announcement via email: In a move to reduce the company’s environmental impact, WeWork staff will not be allowed to expense meals including poultry, pork or beef, nor will the company pay for meat at any of its events. Many other startups have promoted alternatives to animals as food; some have criticized the new policy as “draconian” and “tyrannical.” [Nate Lanxon / Bloomberg]

Here’s how e-commerce is transforming the economy — and the culture — of China’s rural communities. China’s third-largest tech company, often referred to as the Chinese Amazon, focuses on hundreds of isolated villages, with nearly 85,000 delivery personnel and several thousand depots, and makes a point of hiring local representatives who can drum up business by exploiting the social ties of traditional communities. [Jiayang Fan / The New Yorker]

Recode Presents ...

A recent academic study debunked the popular conspiracy theory that smartphones are secretly listening to our conversations to serve us ads. If you believed this theory, are you convinced now? Do you have questions for the researchers behind this study? We’ll be talking to some of them on this week’s Too Embarrassed to Ask, so send your questions to or tweet them with #TooEmbarrassed.

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How social media bots could tank your stock price.

On the latest episode of Recode Decode, Zignal Labs CEO Josh Ginsberg talks with Kara Swisher about the “massive amounts of bot activity” that his media intelligence company has started detecting on social media.

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A complete guide to Sasha Baron Cohen’s many controversies.

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