daily brief

Quartz Daily Brief—Americas Edition—Iranian elections, Turkish compromise, Toyota’s new faces, Happy Birthday©

June 14, 2013
June 14, 2013

What to watch for today

Snowden probed. NSA officials are trawling through the whistleblower’s call records, text messages, e-mails and online activity looking for ties to China. There is a wealth of material, including posts on online forums where a young Snowden wrote about surveillance.

Iran’s presidential election. Iranians go to the polls 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. If social media were the electorate, we would already have a clear winner.

US economic data, give or take a few minutes. The producer price index and industrial production are due, 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.

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

Yo-yo equities. Asian markets bounced back from a gruesome Thursday, with the Nikkei up 2%, and European markets rose more modestly.

While you were sleeping

Good news for the euro zone. With 1.4% inflation in May, up from April’s 1.2%, an economic recovery may finally be gathering steam. But employment suffered in the first quarter, down 0.5%.

Change of guard at Toyota. Shareholders at the annual general meeting elevated vice-chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada to chairman, replacing Fujio Cho. The company also appointed its first ever outside board members, including one from General Motors.

A compromise in Turkey. The government struck a deal with protesters, agreeing to put on hold plans to raze Gezi Park. If a court rules that a controversial shopping mall/museum complex can go forward, a mini-referendum will be held in Istanbul.

Boeing goes bigger. Despite battery fires and engine failures that have plagued the rollout, Boeing is set to harvest billions in profits from the 787 Dreamliner, and is preparing to confirm plans for a larger version at the Paris Airshow next week. Meanwhile, Airbus’ new A350 passenger jet took off on its maiden flight.

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.

Compassionate leaders. The Dalai Lama says women have more sensitivity about others’ wellbeing, and thus should be running things.

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 require much more.

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

Surprising discoveries

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

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

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

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

Happy Birthday belongs to everybody. A lawsuit aims to have the song’s copyright annulled.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, renounced first-class tickets, and superspy gadgetry to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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