Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Climate change’s revenge on America, the Bernanke bump, China car crackdown, Japanese diaper trends

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What to watch for today

What does climate change have in store for the US? Every aspect of America’s energy infrastructure—oil wells, refineries, dams, and nuclear power—is vulnerable to increasingly severe weather events, according to a Department of Energy report due on Thursday.

Will the US jobs cheer continue? Initial jobless claims will offer clues into the strength of the US labor market recovery.

Big shakeup at Microsoft. CEO Steve Ballmer is reportedly looking to reorganize the company into software and devices divisions, a move that may involve moving a lot of high-ranking executives around. Ballmer may also change the way the company reports its earnings.

Paging Larry at Sun Valley. The Allen & Company media and technology conference is filled with the usual A-List names—including a “beaming,” newly single Rupert Murdochbut not Google CEO Larry Page, who has a chronic illness that affects his vocal cords and breathing.

While you were sleeping

The Bernanke bump. Global markets surged, with emerging markets posting their biggest increase in 10 months, and US futures were higher in reaction to the Fed chair’s remarks about the need for continuing stimulus.

China is attempting a car crackdown. Eight more cities will restrict autos to curb congestion and pollution, but Chinese drivers will probably just find ingenious ways to avoid the new regulations.

PC sales continued their inexorable decline. Shipments fell 11% for the fifth consecutive quarterly decline, as Lenovo claimed the top spot ahead of HP and Dell.

Glaxo SmithKline Chinese bribery charges. An internal investigation by the drugmaker has found no wrong-doing in alleged bribery of doctors and officials, but China’s Ministry of Public Security disagreed, saying Glaxo was at the center of a “huge” illicit scheme.

The Bank of Japan stood firm. It announced no new changes to its monetary easing policy and reiterated its view that prices will rise 1.9% in the year starting April 2015. It trimmed some other forecasts, projecting inflation 0.6% this year and 1.3% in the following 12 months. South Korea also kept rates steady at 2.5%.

Australian jobs stats weren’t great. Unemployment climbed to 5.7% in June, above analyst expectations. The number of full-time jobs decreased, as more people found part-time work instead. Newly reinstated prime minister Kevin Rudd declared the country’s long resources boom officially over.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on why China’s slowdown could be great for the US. “It’s unlikely any global player will emerge with the voracious appetite for US Treasurys that China has had. But that might be fine. Why? Because America might need to borrow less. And that means it will need fewer borrowers of its debt.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

US immigration reform can still get past the opposition.But only by removing the crucial path to citizenship.

Energy prices shouldn’t be rising so fast. It’s traders who are pushing them up.

Minimum wages should be tied to average hourly wages. It’ll help the lowest earners reap the benefits of rising productivity.

Fighting terror will get trickier. As the US scales back in the “war on terror,” al-Qaeda and its mutations have decentralized and spread.

Round tables are the best way to boost collaboration at work. Those who sit in angular arrangements are likely to be more self-centered.

Surprising discoveries

Japan sells more adult diapers than infant diapersA symptom of demographic changes, but also a business opportunity.

90 is the new 80. A new study shows that those born in 1915 are more likely to live longer and have better mental faculties than those born a decade earlier.

ADHD drugs don’t boost grades. The drugs improve attention, focus and self-control, but don’t translate to academic success.

Our solar system has a tail. It’s 8 billion miles long and looks like this.

A Polish startup claims to predict soccer games with 90% accuracy. Next goal: predicting the scoreline.

These worms can regrow their decapitated heads.  And stranger still, their memories too.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, collaboration-boosting furniture and regrown memories to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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