Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Deadly Gaza day, US vs Ukrainian rebels, China fast-food scandal, fist bumps ascendant

July 21, 2014
July 21, 2014

What to watch for today

The Security Council decides on Gaza after meeting for an emergency session on Sunday night to consider a Jordan-drafted resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire and Israeli withdrawal. UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon will also meet with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo.

Netflix reports a happy quarter. The US streaming video company is expected to report a jump in profits and subscribers. Other earnings reports are due from Chipotle, Halliburton, and Hasbro.

Detroit could settle its bankruptcy. The city will announce whether its creditors have voted to approve its restructuring plan. A “yes” vote could bring in an additional $816 million in pension funding from the state of Michigan, foundations, and the Detroit Institute of Arts

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, which is now seen as a bigger piracy trouble spot than Somalia.

US airline “security fees” increase. Passengers will now pay $5.60 per flight, including connecting flights more than four hours long. Congress approved the hike to ease the US budget deficit by an estimated $16.9 billion.

Over the weekend

Gaza had its deadliest day since the current conflict began. Eighty-seven people were killed near Gaza City, according to local health authorities, in what Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called a “massacre.” Israel said it lost 13 soldiers.

The US laid out its case against Ukrainian rebels. John Kerry appeared on all five major US Sunday 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 by rebel forces.

A new fast-food safety scandal in China. The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration suspended a Chinese supplier for selling out-of-date meat to McDonalds, KFC, and Pizza Hut. This isn’t the first safety scandal that the brands have suffered in China.

Britain’s property prices took a breather. Month-over-month asking prices fell 0.8% in July, but were still up 6.5% versus the year-ago period, according to data from property website Rightmove.

Rupert Murdoch’s Sky proceeds may fund his Time Warner quest. 21st Century Fox’s sale of its Italian and German pay-TV networks may generate €10 billion ($13.5 billion) that could be used in Murdoch’s bid for the US media giant.

“NSA in da house” appeared on the US embassy in Berlin. 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

Don’t bother with Kindle Unlimited. There are 600,000 books available, but Amazon hasn’t offered the best ones.

Society’s obsession with spontaneity needs to end. The “fear of missing out” leads to unhappiness.

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

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

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

Surprising discoveries

Thought experiments can be dangerous. Speculation about an evil artificial intelligence has some futurists freaked out.

Space beer might be delicious. A brewery flew yeast out of our atmosphere, but unfortunately lost it on the way back.

Cat feces could be prevent cancer. Researchers are developing a vaccine from a feline parasite.

Some bacteria feed on raw electricity. They scavenge free electrons from rocks and sand.

The Pirate Bay’s traffic has doubled since 2011. The illicit file-sharing site is thriving despite its founders being jailed.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, space beer, and non-dangerous though experiments to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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