Quartz Daily Brief—Europe Edition—Egypt’s new leader, Libor trial, indignant Bolivians, HIV cure hope

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What to watch for today

Egypt’s new leader is sworn in. Adly Mansour, the head of Egypt’s constitutional court, will be sworn in as interim president in the aftermath of a military takeover that ousted president Mohamed Morsi. Here’s what we know about Mansour.

Status quo on interest rates. The European Central Bank is expected to hold its policy rate unchanged at a record low of 0.5%. The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee will also announce its interest rate decision.

First criminal case on Libor opens. Tom Hayes, the former UBS and Citigroup derivatives trader accused of manipulating the benchmark interest rate, will appear in a London court. Hayes is charged with eight counts of conspiracy to defraud.

US celebrates independence day. And Chinese fireworks manufacturers will celebrate too.

While you were sleeping

Tough questions for Obama. In the wake of European outrage earlier this week at news that the US spied on EU diplomatic offices, Barack Obama agreed to hold talks with Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel.

The last chapter of the Dish-Sprint-SoftBank-Clearwire saga. US regulators are said to have approved SoftBank’s acquisition of Sprint-Nextel and Sprint’s buyout of the part of Clearwire it does not already own. It’s bad news for Dish Network, which tried everything from counter-offers to security scare-mongering in the attempt buy Sprint and Clearwire for itself.

Ecuador said its London embassy was bugged. The hidden microphone technicians found seems to have been meant for listening to the ambassador’s conversations, rather than spying on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is sheltering there in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden.

Bolivia complained to the UN. It said that president Evo Morales had been “kidnapped by imperialism” when his flight from Moscow was re-routed to Vienna on suspicions that US whistleblower Edward Snowden was on it. Austrian authorities said he wasn’t.

South Korea proposed new talks with the North. Just three weeks after the last attempt failed, South Korea wants to try to persuade its troublesome neighbor to re-open a jointly operated factory park at the Kaesong industrial zone.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on how “flag-hopping” enables a multibillion-dollar illegal fishing trade. “More formally known as using “flags of convenience” (FOC), the practice of flag-hopping involves Country A allowing a vessel from Country B to sail under Country A’s flag, for reasons explained further below. Flag-hopping is a time-honored way of slashing operating costs and dodging taxes and home-country regulations, but the practice has picked up in recent years in part because of overfishing. Flag-hopping vessels bring in roughly 15% of global fishing industry earnings each year […] Because FOC vessels seldom report their catches to the country whose flag they’re sailing, they can exceed fishing quotas without restrictions.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Morsi’s downfall was the result of unemployment. But a coup won’t help create jobs.

Abe’s “fourth arrow” should be delayed. Tax increases are due in Japan next year, but that’s too soon.

Hillary Clinton has a problem with age. She’s not too old to campaign—her potential advisors are.

The secret to M&A success. Spurn suitors initially, and wait for them to increase their bids.

You won’t be in any doubt about global warming after looking at this chart. Says it all, really.

The shale gas boom has made the US energy-rich. But outdated infrastructure and policies are holding it back.

Surprising discoveries

HIV cured? Scientists don’t want to use the word yet, but two men who had bone marrow transplants now show no sign of the virus.

North Korea has a YouTube account. It’s all about hearts and minds.

The average Silicon Valley wage more than doubled in one quarter. And it was all because of Facebook’s IPO.

China opened the world’s largest building. It’s four times as big as Vatican City and has an artificial sun.

These are the new-age business gurus. They’re celebrity economists.

No more snoozing on the train. A new device will play ads straight into the heads of commuters leaning against windows.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, North Korean propaganda videos and novel advertising techniques to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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