Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—World Cup kick-off, London’s RMB win, Intel’s court case, mellowing mafia

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What to watch for today

No beating about the bush for Mulberry. It’s the British luxury-bag maker’s first full-year earnings report since its CEO Bruno Guillon quit in March, and it will have to convince investors that it’s got things under control (paywall), following three profit warnings in two years and a plunging share price.

Intel hears about a fine appeal. Europe’s second-highest court will publish its decision on Intel’s appeal against a $1.47 billion fine. The EU slapped the fine on the chipmaker five years ago after finding that it abused antitrust regulations to thwart a competitor.

Lululemon tries to get back in shape. This earnings report marks the one-year point since Lululemon’s CEO, Christine Day, stepped down, after the sportswear company lost $2 billion in market value when it had to recall yoga pants that were too transparent. Analysts expect a 10% rise in sales on flat profits.

UK housing gets a boost. In his annual speech at the Lord Mayor of London’s residence, UK chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce incentives for developers to build new houses in derelict cities. He will also unveil measures to crack down on rate rigging in the forex market.

The World Cup kicks off. Brazil and Croatia go head-to-head in the first match of the football tournament. This comes after months of protests in Brazil over the money that is being spent on the event rather than health, housing and education, and concerns that the country wouldn’t be ready in time.

A boost for US retail sales.The US Commerce Department is expected to report that retail sales rose 0.6% in May, following a 0.1% rise in April.

While you were sleeping

London got a renminbi boost. China Construction Bank, China’s second-largest lender, will be the first clearing service for the renminbi in London (paywall), according to the Financial Times. The deal—likely to be announced by premier Li Keqiang during a trip to London next week—boosts London’s status as a foreign exchange trading center, and ought to allow for more efficient and liquid trading of the renminbi.

Australia lost 4,800 jobs. A four-month trend of gains was broken in May, when 4,800 jobs were lost—analysts were expecting to see 10,000 jobs created instead. A slight silver lining though: all of the jobs lost were part-time positions and full-time positions grew.

Bank of America may get a small legal win… A federal judge said that he would consider dismissing a US Department of Justice lawsuit accusing Bank of America of civil fraud related to $850 million in mortgage-backed securities ahead of the financial crisis, because the DoJ may not have sufficient evidence. The DoJ rejected the bank’s offer to pay $12 billion earlier this week to resolve government probes into securities sales.

…But the DoJ is reinvesting efforts to prosecute. Some of the $13 billion the department received in fines from JPMorgan Chase is spent on pursuing and prosecuting banks such as Bank of America and Citigroup, according to Reuters. US Attorney’s offices in key areas have received extra cash to hire more civil prosecutors, the report states.

Hackers claimed World Cup attacks. Anonymous, the loose collection of hackers, has claimed responsibility for hacking several websites connected to the World Cup (paywall), including the Bank of Brazil and the Brazilian police force. Some websites were taken down, while the Bank of Brazil’s site was replaced with images of Brazilians rioting against FIFA and the World Cup.

South China Sea disputes were aired. Vietnam’s ambassador to the UN accused Beijing of refusing to hold talks to resolve the dispute over areas of the South China Sea, while a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson in Beijing denied China had sent warships to the area yesterday. Meanwhile, a Philippines senior supreme court judge has presented ancient Chinese maps to disprove China’s current claims to the South China Sea.

Quartz obsession interlude

Shruti Chakraborty on Indian corner shops: Big retail can’t compare, but online grocery sites could. “Corner shops should beware, though, of the online grocery. A number of e-commerce startups are entering this space. They figure if they can deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to a doorstep, people would rather shop online rather than step out into heat, traffic, or pollution. The sector is especially emboldened by double-income families and the fact that women between the ages of 30 and 35 are the biggest adopters of online grocery shopping.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

American-style warfare doesn’t work. The US has spent half a century at war and it hasn’t won one.

Most doping in sport should be legalized. Not all performance enhancement is cheating.

The tech M&A boom is a mid-life crisis. Older companies think they can stay in the game by absorbing fresh young startups.

Shinzo Abe is the world’s best leader. The Japanese prime minister is actually getting things done—including winning over his skeptics.

Courts should not rely on forensic science as evidence. It’s a fundamentally flawed discipline that has sent many innocent people to prison.

Surprising discoveries

Oculus Rift doesn’t plan to make money from its headsets. Whatever they cost to make, that’s the price they’ll be sold at.

JK Rowling really doesn’t want Scottish independence. The Harry Potter creator donated £1 million ($1.7 million) to a campaign to keep the UK unified.

The mafia seems to be mellowing. Mafia murders in Italy have dropped by 80% in the last 20 years.

China is World Cup crazy, even though it isn’t competing. You can even buy fake sick notes to get off work after a late-night match.

Americans don’t have the fever pitch, though. Their top answer to “what is your least favorite team” is… the US.

Handshakes are so passé. The cool young men are hugging nowadays.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, World Cup sick notes, and hugs to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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