daily brief

Quartz Daily Brief—Europe Edition—Iranian elections, Murdoch divorce, patent-free DNA

June 14, 2013
June 14, 2013

What to watch for today

Iran’s presidential election. Iranians will vote to elect a successor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has accused critics of attempting to undermine the election, and severe restrictions have been imposed on the media.

Toyota’s road ahead. Shareholders meet in Japan as the company decides (pdf) what action to take after a year of falling US sales and massive recalls.

Funny business with US economic data. The producer price index and industrial production will be reported, along with the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index, a key economic gauge whose early release to high-frequency traders has mired Thomson Reuters in controversy.

Europe on the mend? Investors will look to euro zone inflation and employment data for further signs of recovery, following April’s manufacturing surprise.

Pork with Chinese flavor. Smithfield Foods, which is negotiating a possible acquisition by Shuanghui Group, will report its earnings.

Yo-yo equities. Most Asian markets began a swift bounce back from a gruesome Thursday, with the Nikkei up 2%.

While you were sleeping

Boeing goes bigger. Despite battery fires and engine failures that have plagued the rollout, Boeing is set to harvest billion in profits from the 787 Dreamliner, and is preparing to confirm plans for a larger version at the Paris Airshow next week.

Human genes cannot be patented. The US Supreme Court struck down two patents held by Myriad Genetics on genes related to a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancers. The ruling may turn out be an unexpected blessing for Myriad and the biotech industry.

Syria crossed Obama’s red line. The US has determined that the Syrian regime used sarin nerve gas against its people. President Obama has said that would trigger US military aid to certain rebel groups.

Rupert Murdoch filed for divorce. The head of News Corp is splitting from his third wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, who famously defended her husband against a pie-throwing assailant.

Japanese-Thai fusion. Mitsubishi UFJ is in talks to take a majority stake in Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya, which could be worth at least $3 billion.

A petrochemical plant in Louisiana blew up. One person died and at least 75 were injured. The cause remains unknown, but it follows a similar industrial explosion in Texas last April, that killed 15.

Quartz obsession interlude

Simone Foxman on why Nicaragua decided to build a rival to the Panama canal. “The idea of building a canal in Nicaragua is nothing new. For most of the 19th century, experts considered a Nicaraguan canal more feasible than one through Panama or another proposed route through Mexico. US tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt led a project to carry goods across Nicaragua by stagecoach and steamship as a prelude to building a canal, for which he even won a concession.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Understanding inequality can be difficult. The music industry holds the answers.

Leadership potential. The Dalai Lama says women are more compassionate than men, so would make better leaders. But is it true?

Copycat capitalism. Attempts to emulate China’s growth model will be risky.

The need for meat. Meat production has increased seven-fold since 1950, but the world will need much more.

Triumph of the technocrats. Why central bankers are still in charge.

Video-game wars. The litigious breakup between publisher Activision and the creators of Call of Duty.

Surprising discoveries

Only 2% of Pakistanis say their society should accept homosexuality. So why is Pakistan the world’s number one source of gay porn Google searches?

Charities are not always saintly. Here’s a list of the worst US offenders.

Edward Snowden used a super-advanced spy gadget. Also known as a thumb drive.

Kanye West is the real deal. The hip hop star is even more important than he thinks he is!  

Flying comfortably is bad for the environment. First class passengers have a carbon footprint six times as big.

Delivering the numbers. The mind-boggling math behind UPS’ delivery system.

Happy Birthday belongs to nobody. A lawsuit aims to have the song’s copyright annulled.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Rupert Murdoch personal ads, and superspy gadgetry to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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