STAR WARS

Quartz Daily Brief—Thailand’s martial law, Vodafone’s decline, Putin in Shanghai, engagement ring selfies

What to watch for today

Jamie Dimon’s pay is up for a vote. JP Morgan’s proposal to increase its CEO’s pay by 74% will face opposition after advisory firm Glass, Lewis & Co recommended that shareholders reject the package. Three pension funds have already said they will vote against the salary bump.

Microsoft unveils a mystery product. Earlier rumors suggested a smaller version of the Surface tablet, but recent leaks have pointed toward a totally new tablet, which could actually be on the larger side. Here are a couple of roundups of all the pre-reveal chatter.

Staples tries to restock. Sales are expected to have been hit by bad winter weather, but investors will be hoping to hear some positive noises as the office supplies company reports its fiscal 2014 first-quarter earnings. The retailer’s shares are down 17% so far this year.

The US and China spar over cyber-espionage. China summoned the US ambassador for a scolding and refuted US allegations that Chinese military officials stole Western trade secrets. The dispute hinges on whether some types of cyberspying are worse than others—a touchy debate for Washington in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations.

While you were sleeping

Thailand’s military declared martial law. The army’s move to seize control of domestic security comes after a months-long political stalemate and the possibility of clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters. The military occupied TV stations, major streets, and prominent shopping malls, but claimed a coup d’état was not underway.

A new cold war may be brewing … Russian prime minister Dmitri Medvedev said the US is pulling Russia into economic conflict, and that Russia has prepared a range of retaliatory steps to combat potentially wider-ranging sanctions over its actions Ukraine.

…As Russia courts China. Vladimir Putin arrived in Shanghai to attend a meeting where China and Russia will try to seal a long-discussed natural gas deal. The two countries, which are also planning joint naval exercises, want to increase bilateral trade from $90 billion a year to $200 billion by the end of the decade.

UK inflation beat expectations. The consumer price index rose 1.8% in the year to April, easing fears of deflationary pressures on the economy. Last week, the Bank of England said inflation would likely remain below its 2% target for the next two years.

Vodafone continued its downward trend. Service revenue from phone calls and data plans fell 3.8% in the company’s fourth quarter—the seventh straight decline. The company said the proceeds from the $130 billion sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless will be invested in internet infrastructure.

Credit Suisse shareholders shrugged off its guilty plea. The bank’s shares rose 2% in early trading, despite admitting to an “extensive and wide-ranging conspiracy” to help US citizens evade income taxes, and agreeing to a $2.5 billion fine.

Quartz obsession interlude

John McDuling on how the US National Football League could ruin the AT&T-DirecTV deal. “DirecTV shares are down about 2% this morning, which is a surprise, because yesterday the company agreed to be bought by AT&T in a blockbuster deal worth $48.5 billion. In early-morning trading, the stock was hovering around the $85 mark, which is about 11% below AT&T’s bid price (which works out to $95 per share). Why? In a word, American football. Investors are worried that the deal will collapse if DirecTV is unable to renew its exclusive rights to broadcast every National Football League match on Sundays.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The US needs to reset its relations with India. It banned Narendra Modi from travelling to the US in 2005, but needs to make nice now.

We’ve got eating and obesity the wrong way around. People aren’t fat because they’re especially hungry—they are hungry because they are fat.

“Fog computing” will trump cloud computing. Bandwidth constraints mean that storage and processing will take place on distributed devices, not distant servers (paywall).

Invisible racism is more insidious than the visible kind. When racist epithets are unacceptable, it makes institutionalized racism that much harder to see.

Online loan services are threatening banks. Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending (paywall) can offer better deals to borrowers.

Surprising discoveries

48 million channels, and nothing’s on. Netflix thinks it knows what TV will be like in 2025, but don’t worry—your device will know what you want to watch.

McDonald’s’ new mascot is terrifying. A toothy red box named “Happy” may be enough to turn kids into vegans.

Women are having “pre-engagement ring selfie” procedures. A $1,300 injection gets the hand ready for its close-up.

The Wolf of Wall Street just had his best year ever… Jordan Belfort will repay the victims of his securities fraud with proceeds from his book and speaking tour.

…But Dominique Strauss-Kahn is suing the makers of his biopic. The former IMF chief is “heartbroken and terrified” over Welcome to New York.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, engagement ring selfies, and fog computing droplets to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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