Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Shire won over, Lindt buys Stover, BRICS summit, anti-emigration pop

July 14, 2014
July 14, 2014

What to watch for today

The BRICS hold their sixth annual meeting. The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa gather in Brazil for two days just as the World Cup finishes. Top of the agenda is the creation of a new BRICS development bank.

Citibank unveils a $7 billion settlement and lackluster earnings. The deal will resolve a US investigation into mortgage-backed securities sold in the run-up to the financial crisis. Separately, the bank is expected to report second-quarter net income of $3.45 billion, down 17% from last year.

Malala Yousafzai reminds the world about the missing Nigerian schoolgirls. The campaigner for girls’ education, once shot and left for dead by the Taliban, arrives in Abuja seeking an audience with president Goodluck Jonathan over the roughly 220 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram three months ago.

The EU and US try to get past “chlorine chicken.” Negotiators kick off the sixth round of free trade talks in Brussels, as the US tries to quell fears that practices like disinfecting poultry with chlorine might be introduced in Europe.

Over the weekend

Shire was won over with a sweetened takeover offer. The Dublin-based drug firm, which makes the ADD drug Adderall, said it would recommend a new £31 billion ($53 billion) buyout offer from US rival AbbVie, which had made four previous bids. AbbVie plans to relocate the combined company to  the UK for tax purposes (paywall).

The world has a new soccer champion. Germany’s dramatic 1-0 extra-time win over Argentina secured its fourth World Cup—a result impressively predicted by Microsoft’s algorithms, which had a spotless record in calling the tournament’s knockout rounds.

Lindt got ready to broaden its horizons. The Swiss chocolate maker agreed to purchase Russell Stover, the third-largest US candy company, for around $1.4 billion. The deal will give Lindt a significant US footprint and bring it out of its traditional comfort zone of high-end confectionary.

Samsung suspended operations at a factory accused of using child labor. The move to halt production at the Chinese facility operated by Dongguan Shinyang Electronics came after an investigation by the Hong Kong-based China Labor Watch.

Airbus unveiled a revamped A330. Quieter and more fuel-efficient Rolls Royce engines are Airbus’s latest weapon in its fight with Boeing for the $250 billion  long-haul aircraft market. The announcement was made at the opening of the UK’s Farnborough Airshow, a major event in the aerospace industry calendar.

A Chinese star TV anchor was arrested right before his show aired. CCTV’s Rui Chenggang was detained before Friday night’s broadcast in a widening anti-corruption probe. The head of CCTV’s economic news channel was also arrested last month.

Space tourists could soon be blasting off from Scotland. The UK plans to create a port for commercial space flights by 2018, and it said six out of the eight potential sites are in Scotland, which the government is trying to dissuade from voting for secession from Great Britain.

Quartz obsession interlude

Kabir Chibber on why Burberry’s star designer turned CEO may be worth a $17 million pay package. “Bailey’s compensation pales when compared to his predecessor, Angela Ahrendts, who handed over the reins to Bailey after being poached by Apple to be its new head of retail. Apple kicked off the Ahrendts era by giving her $68 million in restricted stock, which she will receive in four years regardless of performance, making her among the highest-paid female executives in the world.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The US and Vietnam are perfect allies against China. It’s just what Ho Chi Minh wanted all along.

Smartphone manufacturers are racing to the bottom. Companies like Samsung can’t compete on hardware, and their customers belong to Google.

Israelis and Palestinians are dangerously separated. The divide makes the conflict harder to solve.

Spying is not immoral. It is often necessary, and necessity knows no morality.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella needs an editor. Clarity was notably absent from his recent 3,100-word missive.

Surprising discoveries

Phil Collins has the world’s biggest collection of Alamo artifacts. Yes, that Phil Collins.

The US funds anti-emigration pop songs. “La Bestia,” about a deadly US-bound freight train used to sneak across the border, is a radio hit in Central America.

Stem cell treatments can have unexpected consequences. A woman received an injection in her spine, but grew nasal tissue there instead.

Celibacy for Catholic priests started 900 years after the death of Jesus. Pope Francis thinks this is worth remembering.

Coffee may help ward off Parkinson’s disease. But only in combination with a specific genetic variation.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, space-travel tickets, and unintended stem cell results to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here and on Facebook here for updates throughout the day.

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