Quartz Daily Brief—Apple earnings, Nokia’s mystery event, Abu Ghraib breakout, faster-than-light travel

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What to watch for

Nokia’s mystery event. The struggling smartphone maker will unveil “something big.” Rumor mills are in overdrive, and expectations range from a tablet to a low-end smartphone.

A tepid third quarter for Apple? Analysts expect the tech giant’s revenue to be flat compared with the same quarter last year, while earnings per share are projected to drop 22%. There will inevitably be questions about whether Apple has any tricks left up its sleeve, which may explain the news that Apple is testing larger screens for future iPad tablets and iPhones.

More quarterly results. US carrier AT&T is likely to report a marginal increase in earnings in the second quarter, as the cost of acquiring new customers dents profits. The world’s biggest package delivery company, UPS, which cut its 2013 earnings forecast in July, is likely to report a drop in profits.

Reining in Wall Street. A US Senate subcommittee will hold a hearing on whether financial firms should continue to be allowed to control power plants, warehouses, and oil refineries. The hearing comes even as the Federal Reserve said on Friday that it is reviewing a 2003 decision that let deposit-taking banks trade physical commodities such as aluminum.

While you were sleeping

Al Qaeda broke out of Abu Ghraib. Around 500 senior members fled the infamous Iraqi prison during external assault involving suicide bombers and well-armed gunmen. Many of the escaped prisoners had received death sentences.

Egyptians clashed and the US embassy was threatened. A Muslim Brotherhood leader called on supporters to lay siege to the US embassy in Cairo to protest the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. Separate clashes near Tahrir Square appear to have killed one and hospitalized many.

The Pope made it to Rio, even though he took a wrong turn. The pontiff was greeted by tens of thousands of ecstatic pilgrims as he arrived in Brazil. Despite all the organized security, his driver took a wrong turn and the motorcade was forced to wait in traffic as passers-by flocked around him. The Pope was unharmed, but a bomb was discovered in one of the locations he is scheduled to visit later this week.

Dan Loeb pared his Yahoo stake. Third Point, Loeb’s investor group that spearheaded the replacement of Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson with Marissa Mayer, sold a 3.7% stake and gave up three board seats. With Loeb off Yahoo’s board, the struggling internet company will lose much-needed investor pressure.

McDonald’s disappointed investors. The fast-food chain reported weaker-than-expected second quarter earnings and revenue growth, as the economic slowdown dented demand. McDonald’s also warned that economic weakness would hamper sales for the rest of the year.

So did Netflix, even though the stats were good. The US streaming video service gained 630,000 subscribers in the spring quarter, but failed to fulfill high investor expectations, causing its stock to fall in value.

Another plane crash. A Southwest Airlines flight into New York’s LaGuardia airport had a hard landing when its front landing gear collapsed and it skidded off the runway. Ten people were injured, and an investigation has been opened.

The duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a son. His name isn’t yet known. As the first child of the duke and duchess of Cambridge, the new royal will be third in line to the throne.

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Phillips on why Europe’s plan to cut debt by cutting spending is just not working. “Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio hit 130% during the first quarter of 2013, a new record. Ireland’s continued to escalate, touching 125% at the end of March. Greece remains a basket case. Even after having defaulted on its debt twice over the last few years—which sharply cut the debt outstanding—it posted the highest overall debt-to-GDP ratio, 160%. But it also posted the highest quarter-over-quarter rise in the measure.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Quarterly reports come too late for investors. The antiquated practice is doing more harm than good in a digital age.

The GlaxoSmithKline China probe won’t promote competition or the rule of law. It’s all about avoiding civil unrest.

India’s gain is China’s loss. India’s manufacturers can grab a bigger share of the global manufacturing pie.

The nerve center of African piracy is shifting to the west. Global governments must offer development aid for coast guards and create a maritime task force to fight the growing menace.

Surprising discoveries

A light in the darkness. The Norwegian town of Rjukan is planning to put giant mirrors on surrounding mountains to concentrate the dull winter sun on its town square.

Google serves 25% of North American internet traffic. Bigger than Facebook, Netflix and Instagram combined.

The cost of hack attacks. A new study estimates that cyber espionage and cyber crime may cost the US economy $100 billion each year.

Warp speed at last? NASA scientists are experimenting with photons to see if faster-than-light travel might be possible.

A 340-month global warming streak. Anyone born after February 1985 has never experienced a month of below-average global temperature.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, sci-fi inventions and royal baby name bets to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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