Quartz Daily Brief—Deadliest day in Gaza, Ukraine clean-up, fist bumps

July 20, 2014
July 20, 2014

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

The UN steps up efforts to end the Gaza crisis. The Security Council scheduled an emergency session for Sunday night in New York. UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon is slated to meet with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo to discuss proposals to end the fighting.

Netflix is the pick of today’s financial reports. The US streaming video company is expected to report a bump in profits and subscribers. Other quarterly earnings reports come from Chipotle, Halliburton, and Hasbro.

An anti-piracy conference kicks off in Lagos. The fourth annual “Combating Piracy: West African Maritime Security” looks at how to protect ships in the Gulf of Guinea area, and features a speech from the chief of the Ghanian navy.

Airline security fees are going up in the US. It will cost more to fly.

Over the weekend

Gaza had its deadliest single day since Israel began invading. Eighty-seven people were killed in Shejaiya, near Gaza City, on Sunday. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called it a “massacre.” Israel said it lost 13 soldiers.

The US laid out its case against the Ukrainian rebels… John Kerry appeared on all five major US talk shows to argue that Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was downed by pro-Russia separatists, as the bodies of up to 196 people from the crash site were loaded onto refrigerated train cars.

…while Malaysia Airlines announced a refund for all tickets. Would-be passengers can get their money back if they call before July 24—but will the airline survive for much longer?

“NSA in da house” appears on the US embassy in Berlin. The German artist Oliver Bienkowski projected an image of Barack Obama in a backwards baseball cap onto the building. It lasted five minutes before police stopped the protest art show.

Quartz obsession interlude

Roya Wolverson on how American airlines are the world’s most profitable and least comfortable. “The poor American performance should be no surprise to the airlines themselves. There’s been a deliberate effort in recent years, especially by American carriers, to make life on an airplane as miserable as possible.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

We should only work three days a week. “We would have more time to relax; for quality of life,” Carlos Slim says.

Latin American countries need better infrastructure. Their growth rates could be boosted by five percentage points if it was as good as East Asia’s.

The fist bump is the new high-five. And it’s spreading around the world.

Using abstract language signals power. Quick tip: de-emphasize verbs.

Surprising discoveries

Cat faeces could help cure cancer. Researchers are developing a vaccine from kitty litter.

Electricity-eating bacteria exist. They scavenge free electrons from rocks and sand.

Nuclear war would send five megatons of black carbon into the air. Then the Earth’s temperature would drop.

The Pirate Bay’s traffic has doubled since 2011. That is despite being blocked by ISPs and having its founders in jail.

Punjab has India’s highest cancer rates. Chemical fertilizers for high-yield crops may be to blame.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, pirate outfits, and Game of Thrones torrents to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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