Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Egypt’s aid, JP Morgan’s China hiring, Shanghai’s stock spike, your iPad is watching you

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Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Death toll mounting in Egypt.  The Egyptian government said it killed 36 supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi who were trying to escape detention Sunday, taking the official death toll since Wednesday to around 830, although other reports estimate 1,000 have died. Egypt’s interim cabinet met to discuss the recent bloodshed and the European Union is considering the suspension of €5 billion in aid to Egypt (paywall).

The Philippines shuts down. Severe flooding and a continued onslaught from tropical storm Trami prompted authorities to close the country’s financial markets, government offices and schools.

Deadline for Detroit’s creditors. Banks, bond insurers and employee pension funds have until  Monday to file their objections to the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history. If Detroit’s bankruptcy petition is rejected by the federal judge and the city defaults, creditors could sue the municipal authorities.

Eli Lilly’s patent battle. The drug giant goes to trial Monday over its lung-cancer treatment Alimta, which generated 11% of company revenue last year. At issue is is an unusual suit challenging patent protection of a method of administering Alimta with certain vitamins designed to mitigate side effects, not the patent for the drug itself.

A hunt for chemical weapons in Syria. A team of United Nations experts will begin an investigation into the use of chemical weapons in the civil war. Both president Bashar al-Assad’s government and the rebels fighting him accuse the other of using chemical weapons.

Oscar Pistorius to face charges. The Paralympic athlete and double-amputee will appear in a court in Pretoria to face charges over the shooting of his girlfriend at his home in February.

Over the weekend

JP Morgan’s latest run-in with regulators. The US Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation into whether the bank hired the children of powerful Chinese officials in exchange for business deals. JP Morgan is already under intense scrutiny following the $6 billion trading loss it suffered in the “London whale” derivatives scandal.

Everbright apologized for spiking the Shanghai stock exchange. The Chinese state-owned brokerage said that a technical error was responsible for a surge of buy orders that caused a spike of over 5% on Friday, the market’s biggest inter-day gain since 2009. Regulatory authorities are launching a formal investigation.

Japan’s exports rise, but deficit still high. Exports grew by 12.2% in July, offset by a 19.6% increase in imports, the most for either figure since 2010, as the country battles to re-invigorate its economy. Japan’s trade deficit  grew in July to 1.024 trillion yen ($10.5 billion).

Britain detained Glenn Greenwald’s partner. David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian reporter who published details of the NSA’s surveillance operations given to him by Edward Snowden, was detained at Heathrow airport under the country’s anti-terror laws.  UK authorities seized thumb drives with documents related to the Snowden case that Miranda was carrying.

New homes in China got more expensive. Prices rose in 69 of the 70 cities measured in July from a year earlier, and big metropolitan centers Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai posted record gains.

Alibaba exploring ways for founder Jack Ma to retain control after an IPO. The Chinese e-commerce company and the Hong Kong stock exchange are reportedly discussing creative ways (paywall) to enable Ma and other managers to maintain control over Alibaba if it lists in Hong Kong, in order to keep the IPO from moving to New York.

India reassured investors. Prime minister Manmohan Singh ruled out further capital controls (paywall) and said the country wasn’t headed for a crisis despite its large current-account deficit. Last week the rupee hit a fresh all-time low after the government imposed limits on foreign investments by Indian individuals and companies, a move interpreted by the markets as a sign of desperation.

Consumer spending powered Israel’s economy. Second-quarter GDP growth came in at a surprisingly brisk 5.1% as consumers rushed to buy big-ticket items such as homes and cars ahead of a June 1 increase in value-added-tax.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on the mystery of China’s missing millionaires. “The starkest trend from 2012 is that the net growth of China’s millionaire ranks is slowing fast.  In 2012, even as the tally in some areas surged, a slew of provinces actually shed millionaires. Zhejiang province, China’s entrepreneurial hotbed, had 1,000 fewer millionaires in 2012 than it did in 2011, while Inner Mongolia lost 500. Numbers in Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, and Hebei took a hit as well.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Scotland and England are growing apart.  Scotland’s independence is inevitable, despite signs the referendum may fail.

News has never made money, and it never will. There are some niche exceptions, but on the whole quality news is a loss leader.

The Suez Canal should remain open even as Egypt burns. The 120-mile canal is too important to Egypt’s economy for it to be allowed to close.

China needs a concrete structural reform roadmap. Indecisiveness on migration and financial market reforms will undermine growth.

Indonesia is failing to learn from India’s economic misery. Reluctance to raise interest rates could make Indonesia’s current account deficit unsustainable.

Surprising discoveries

Unleashing the immune system to fight cancer. Scientists have conducted studies on animals showing the immune system could destroy cancer cells.

Shadow-inspecting algorithms can spot forged photos. A new technique can determine whether the shadows in images are physically consistent with a single light source, something humans have trouble doing on their own.

Waste carbon dioxide from power plants can be harvested to create more electricity. Dutch scientists argue that CO2 emissions can be pumped through water or other liquids to generate worldwide the equivalent of 400 times the output of the Hoover Dam.

Breastfeeding may delay breast cancer. A study shows that breastfeeding for longer than six months can delay the onset of breast cancer by a decade.

The iPad can tell whether someone is paying attention. New software uses the device’s camera to track a user’s eye movements to ensure that employees pay attention during company training.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, lessons from India’s economic downturn and tricks to keep employees alert to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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