Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Australian unemployment spikes, Russia’s tit-for-tat, Ebola flight ban, monkey selfie copyright

August 7, 2014
August 7, 2014

What to watch for today

No movement in European interest rates. Despite the threat of deflation and signs that the Ukraine crisis is hurting growth, the European Central Bank isn’t likely to announce any new measures (paywall) to boost recovery. Similarly, the Bank of England probably won’t raise rates from a record low 0.5% until early 2015.

Nestlé reports a difficult first half. Net income is expected to fall 2% on slightly higher revenues (paywall). Investors will be paying close attention to the company’s performance in developing markets, which have been a sore spot for consumer goods companies, along with an update on the Swiss firm’s nascent skin care business.

Iliad steps up its bid for T-Mobile US. The French telecom group says its synergies with the US carrier have yet to be fully appreciated (paywall). After Sprint’s decision to withdraw its T-Mobile bid, Iliad is making a renewed pitch to majority owner Deutsche Telekom.

Colombia’s president is sworn in. Juan Manuel Santos won a second four-year term on the strength of his negotiations to reach a peace accord (paywall) with leftist rebels. But the inauguration takes place just two days after explosions around the capital that police blamed on a militant group.

Thailand’s rubber-stamp parliament begins. A new junta-appointed legislature, dominated by army and police officers, meets for the first time. Its first job will be to pick a new prime minister—most likely Gen. Prayuth Chan-O-Cha, who led the coup in May.

While you were sleeping

The Gaza ceasefire is holding. Egyptian mediators are shuttling between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in a Cairo hotel (while a wedding went on nearby). Israel said it is ready to extend the 72-hour ceasefire beyond Friday morning, but so far there’s no sign of a longer-lasting truce.

Australian unemployment rose to a 12-year high. The jobless rate hit 6.4% in July, from 6% in June, as mining investment and household spending slowed down. Australia’s economy was strong through much of the financial crisis, but its jobless rate is now higher than the United States’.

Russia banned food imports from the US and Europe. All European fruits and vegetables and all US food has been blocked in retaliation for Western sanctions against Russia. President Vladimir Putin acknowledged that the move could result in higher prices for consumers; Russia buys about 20% of European fruit and veg.

Moody’s warned of a global aging crisis. All countries except a few in Africa will see their working-age populations either shrink or age between 2015 and 2030 (paywall), according to the ratings agency, while the growth rate of the global workforce will fall by 50%.

British Airways stopped flights to some Ebola-hit countries. The airline will no longer fly to Liberia and Sierra Leone, citing the “deteriorating public health situation.” The epidemic’s total death toll jumped to 932, including a health care worker in Nigeria, and the World Health Organization said it would consider exploring experimental treatments (paywall).

Bank of America inched closer to a deal. The bank and the US Justice Department are close to a $16-17 billion settlement (paywall) over mortgage-related misconduct, including $7.5 billion to help struggling homeowners.

Quartz obsession interlude

Bobby Ghosh on the tragedy the world has been ignoring in Iraq. “The poignant lament of an Iraqi named Karim… captures the helpless frustration of many minorities facing existential danger in areas controlled by ISIL, the terrorist group, while much of the world has been transfixed by the war between Israel and Hamas. While both Israelis and Palestinians have carelessly bandied about the word ‘genocide,’ it is a real threat for the communities in ISIL’s crosshairs.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

China’s real problem is its leftover men. Men under 30 outnumber their female counterparts by about 20 million.

There are four good reasons for a one-way trip to Mars. Aside from helping humanity, there’s the fame, the challenge, and the money.

Lego could get more girls into science. And its new female scientist figurines will help shape both boys’ and girls’ attitudes.

Snowden’s copycat should come as no surprise. Another NSA leaker is a sign that the US needs to clean up its act.

Can a monkey hold a copyright? A legal battle has broken out over the rights to a macaque’s selfie.

Surprising discoveries

The number of texts sent in the UK is set to double this year… Mostly because of young people flirting.

…And Tuesday mornings are prime time for sexting. 10am to noon are the sauciest hours of the week.

California residents are painting their lawn green. It’s the perfect solution to the worst drought on record.

A former Apple store employee is auctioning his gear on Ebay. His name is Sam Sung.

America Online still has 2.3 million dialup internet subscribers. And they’re very profitable.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, flirty texts, and primate self-portraits to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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