daily brief

Quartz Daily Brief—Europe Edition—Asian markets plunge, Greeks on the street, defending Big Surveillance

June 13, 2013
June 13, 2013

What to watch for today

Asian market rout. Japan’s Nikkei opened down 3.6% and continued falling into bear territory. Chinese stocks fell to a five-month low.

BoJ explains itself. The Bank of Japan will release the minutes from its controversial May policy meeting, where it declined to take further action to stimulate the economy.

Talking Turkey. The European parliament will vote on a non-binding resolution to call on Turkey to build a “truly democratic, free and pluralist society.” Meanwhile, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered an end to the protests in 24 hours, which hundreds of protesters ignored.

Greeks back on the streets. A 24-hour general strike began on Wednesday night in opposition to the closure of Greece’s state broadcaster and the subsequent loss of 2,700 jobs.

Data-heavy day in the US. Market-moving economic data points include retail sales, initial jobless claims, and business inventories. Economists expect a modest rebound (paywall) in retail sales for May.

While you were asleep

Drug wars. GlaxoSmithKline, still recovering from a recent marketing scandal, has begun investigating claims that its Chinese salesmen bribed doctors to prescribe its drugs. Meanwhile, Pfizer and Takeda are to receive $2.15 billion from generic drugs companies over patent infringement.

A small victory for Dish. Wireless service provider Clearwire urged its shareholders to accept Dish Network’s bid for the company over Sprint Nextel’s rival offer to acquire the 51% of Clearwire it doesn’t already own.

Defending the surveillance state. The head of the National Security Agency told Congress that extensive internet and telephone surveillance helped thwart dozens of terror attacks. Leaker Edward Snowden vowed to fight efforts to extradite him from Hong Kong.

Indian rubber meets the US road. Apollo Tyres announced a deal to buy US-based Cooper Tire for $2.5 billion. It’s the latest instance of emerging-market companies making high-profile acquisitions in the US.

Changing of the Scots guard. Royal Bank of Scotland announced that Stephen Hester would step down as CEO in December.

Quartz obsession interlude

Lily Kuo on whether building more cities is the answer to China’s economic problems. “Chinese officials are calling for a kind of populist urbanization… According to premier Li Keqiang, city dwellers spend more than rural residents on services like schools, healthcare, leisure and financial advice—all things that would boost the country’s services sector and decrease its export dependence.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Retirement will kill you. Work may be a chore, but you’ll live longer.

End compulsory paternity. There’s a feminist argument for getting rid of “forced fatherhood.”

What’s the biggest threat to the global economy? You’ll never guess: Space weather.

Internet companies should take a stand on surveillance. And not be like the telcos. 

America’s worst charities. A billion-dollar business.

Surprising discoveries

Crowdsourcing China. In the absence of government pollution data, user-generated Danger Maps comes to the rescue.

Your personal information is worth less than a dollar. Skeptical? Try the calculator.

New human body part discovered. A layer in the cornea is just 15 microns thick but could make eye surgery safer.

Psyche, Popeye, Cookie, and Twelve. Why Chinese choose weird English names for themselves.

India’s best shot at population control. A study finds women who watch cable TV have fewer kids.

A sea change for the US Navy. It’s going to STOP USING ALL-CAPS IN ITS COMMUNICATIONS.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, and REQUIEMS FOR ALL-CAPS to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

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