daily brief

Quartz Daily Brief—Europe Edition—Istanbul protests, Tiananmen anniversary, illegal kindergarten

June 4, 2013
June 4, 2013

What to watch for today

Protests broaden in Turkey. The country braces for a fifth day of demonstrations in Istambul, Ankara, and beyond. A woman in a red dress became a viral symbol of the protests, and the country’s public sector union announced plans for a two day sympathy strike. Turkish stocks fell 10.5% on Monday.

Tiananmen Square anniversary. Chinese mark the date of the infamous 1989 crackdown, with vigils in Hong Kong and carefully phrased messages on social media, which is subject to sophisticated censorship including a ban on certain emoticons and the word “today.”

Brazil reports industrial production for April. The latest data on manufacturing output amid sluggish economic growth.

Russian inflation watch. Economists believe consumer prices increases probably accelerated to 7.3% in May—vindicating the central bank’s decision not to cut interest rates, despite government pleas to do so.

While you were sleeping

No ECB “big bazooka?” The European Central Bank is backing away from a plan to boost lending.

Iran cash embargo. The US unveiled new sanctions on Iran’s currency. Washington said its aim was to make the rial “unusable outside Iran.”

Latvia was cleared for the Euro. It will be the 18th country to join.

North Korea goes fission. A US monitor says that it is almost ready to restart a nuclear reactor at Yongbyon.

A French minister called Amazon the “destroyer of bookshops” and accused it of dumping in order to create a quasi-monopoly. There will be repercussions.

A cull at Zynga. The technology gaming company, best known for the Facebook hit “Farmville,” announced plans to lay off 18% of its staff—520 employees—and shutter its New York and Los Angeles offices.

Steve Cohen’s money fled. SAC Capital’s investors had until Monday to withdraw their money from the hedge fund, which is being probed for insider trading; the word was that most of the fund’s remaining $4 billion in outside investment will leave.

A 500-year flood in Germany. Floodwaters hit record highs as the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers overflowed their banks. German news agency DPA said that the last time the town of Passau saw this kind of flooding was in 1501.

Quartz obsession interlude

Leo Mirani on why China is running in the wrong space race. “It is true that America—the state—is no longer capable of putting people into space. But Americans—the people—are racing to be able to do what is presently the preserve of sovereign nations. Three companies—Boeing, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and Sierra Nevada Corporation—hope to carry astronauts to the International Space Station before the end of its life. SpaceX is already ferrying payloads back and forth… So China may look like it’s on the way to winning the space race. But increasingly, China’s race is one that hardly anyone else is taking part in.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

NATO’s next war will be in cyberspace. Says its secretary general.

Reducing the number of suicides is easy. Just change drug packaging.

The disruption bubble. Silicon Valley only makes stuff for people who live there.

How to finally get along with your spouse: Get divorced.

Down to the pennies. A precise salary request will net you a thicker wallet.

Surprising discoveries

Most of China’s kindergartens are illegal and unlicensed. That can prove fatal.

Solar power is cheaper than you thought. And getting cheap enough to compete with fossil fuels.

Your iPhone is not safe. It can be hacked through its charger.

The customer is always right. Not only does Al Qaeda have HR issues, but a complaints department too.

Computers breed commitment. A new study suggests couples who meet online are less likely to get divorced.

China cracks down on jaywalking. Pedestrians’ poor manners or inattention to their rights?

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, censored emoticons and Al Qaeda complaints to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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