Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Nairobi airport fire, BoE guidance, Mexico oil shake-up, Bitcoin is officially money

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What to watch for today

A new dawn at the Bank of England. Governor Mark Carney will use the bank’s August inflation report to issue his first interest-rate guidance, giving policy-watchers their first glimpse at the economic criteria the BoE will use to set monetary policy during his five-year term.

Mexico shakes up its oil industry. President Enrique Peña Nieto is expected to end the monopoly of stated-owned Pemex and open the sector to private and foreign investment. The country’s economy badly needs a change, but to many Mexicans it’s blasphemy.

Europe’s engine. Germany releases industrial production data for June. Expectations are high after Tuesday’s factory orders posted their biggest gain in eight months. US consumer credit and mortgage application data will also be released.

More media earnings. Time Warner is likely to report higher profits thanks to bouncy ratings at CNN and strong revenues from its movie division. AOL should do well too thanks to higher advertising revenues. Groupon, Tesla Motors and Carlyle Group will also report.

While you were sleeping

Kenya’s main airport went up in flames. Nairobi’s international airport was evacuated due to a massive fire, taking one of East Africa’s primary transit and tourism hubs out commission indefinitely.

Fukushima is definitely leaking. The damaged Japanese nuclear plant has been sending as much as 300 tons of radioactive water into the sea every day for the last two years.

Bitcoin is officially money in the US. A federal judge gave the green light to prosecutors who are suing a Texas man for running a Ponzi scheme using the digital currency, ruling that “Bitcoin is a currency or form of money.”

China fines milk powder firms. US-based Mead Johnson, Hong Kong-listed Biostime, and New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra paid fines after a probe for price fixing and anti-competitive practices. Separately, Fonterra said that all products potentially tainted with botulism-causing bacteria have been successfully recalled.

Tunisians and Thais took to the streets. Tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Tunis to demand the dissolution of the Islamist transition government. In Bangkok, protesters faced off against riot police as parliament considered a controversial amnesty bill that could clear a path for the return of the exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

North Korea said it would re-open Kaesong in predictably unpredictable fashion, just minutes after Seoul indicated the joint North-South industrial zone would close for good.

ING felt the weight of Asia losses. The Dutch bank reported a bigger than expected fall in second quarter profit due to a multi-million euro loss in its Asia insurance and investment management businesses.

Virgin America found a route to profit. The discount US airline reported its first profit in almost three years, at $8.8 million in the second quarter, driven by slowing expansion and restructuring.

Quartz obsession interlude

Lily Kuo on what a two-child policy could mean for the Chinese economy. ”A baby boom would increase the number of people who can support an aging population. However, it may be too little too late, given that the labor force is estimated to begin declining by as much as 10 million a year starting in 2025, and it will take at least 16 years for the effects of a baby boom that starts today to be felt in the workforce. The authorities may be unable to avoid unpopular measures like raising the country’s retirement age—55 for women and 60 for men.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

It’s time for Obama to stand up to Putin. The Russian leader thumbed his nose at the US president over Edward Snowden. Enough is enough.

If you think Europe is fine, just look at Italy. The country’s problems go way beyond the financial crisis.

Apple’s iPhone charger take-back program is genius PR. It fixes a reputation problem and might even make a profit.

If you want to make money from apps, forget about the app store. Squeezed margins have forced developers to seek revenue in other ways.

India picked the right central bank governor at the wrong time. Raghuram Rajan is well qualified, but the country’s populist policies will hold him back.

Surprising discoveries

Distracted driving. App makers begin to realize the potential of advertising to drivers using information about their location.

How to write your own obituary. “I was given the gift of life, and now I have to give it back. This is hard.”

Dolphins remember swimmingly. They can recall a companion’s unique whistle for up to 20 years.

The sun’s magnetic field is about to flip… That could disrupt radio and satellite communication, and possibly the electrical grid.

…but it won’t help with sunburns. This might: sunburn pain is caused by a single skin-cell molecule, and scientists can turn it off.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, phony iPhone chargers and newly official Bitcoins to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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