Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—BlackBerry bottoms out, British rates, Starbucks’ social responsibility, butter-brewed coffee

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What to watch for today

Signs that BlackBerry’s dive is bottoming out. After another drop in profit and revenue last quarter, BlackBerry is expected to show signs of stabilizing (paywall) under its fairly new CEO, John Chen. Analysts expect a loss of 27 cents per share, compared to 80 cents per share last quarter.

Lithuania nears a change of currency. Euro-zone finance ministers gather to discuss Lithuania’s bid to adopt the euro, following the European Commission’s announcement that the Baltic nation has fulfilled all the conditions to join the eurozone. The decision is set to be confirmed on July 23.

¡Viva España, viva el rey! Crown Prince Felipe will become King Felipe VI of Spain, following his father’s abdication to make way for fresh blood—but he’s not taking on an easy role. The coronation will be a low-key affair, in line with Spanish austerity.

Obama’s energy proposals go to Congress. At the first hearing on the proposed curbs—a 30% reduction in power plant emissions by 2030—the Obama administration will defend them against opponents who say they will kill the US coal industry.

World Cupdate. England takes on Uruguay in their second game of the World Cup (3am Friday HKT), after losing 2-1 to Italy on the weekend. Cameroon and Croatia are playing as we write this, while over in Group C, Colombia and Ivory Coast will battle it out at midnight tonight HKT.

While you were sleeping

Valeant stopped playing nice. The Canadian pharma company has taken its twice-spurned offer for Allergan, the maker of Botox, directly to shareholders (paywall). Allergan’s investors have until August 15 to accept the $53 billion offer.

Amazon unveiled its smartphone. Though it’s really a shopping machine disguised as a phone, with an app that recognizes things so you can buy them instantly on Amazon. Its pricing is suprisingly unradical, despite predictions that Amazon might try to disrupt the wireless industry.

Opposed prognoses for the UK and US. The Bank of England dropped more hints that it could hike rates soon, making it the first central bank to do so since the financial crisis—a sign of Britain’s stronger-than-expected recovery. By contrast, the Federal Reserve downgraded its projections for the US economy.   

Liechtenstein and Nigeria settled their cash disputes. The European country, population 37,000, agreed to return to the African nation €167 million ($227 million) that was looted by the former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and stashed in Liechtenstein.

Ukraine proposed a ceasefire. President Petro Poroshenko unveiled a 14-step plan for a unilateral ceasefire following a late-night call with President Vladimir Putin. Separatists in east Ukraine weren’t convinced, though, and said they would keep fighting.

Spain got knocked out of the World Cup. The defending champions are going home after losing 2-0 to Chile following a 5-1 defeat at the hands—or should we say feet—of the Dutch. In their match, the Netherlands beat Australia 3-2, with both teams scoring their first goal within a minute of each other.

Quartz obsession interlude

Tim Fernholz on Starbucks’ history of dubious social responsibility campaigns. “Starbucks announced its latest effort at social responsibility this week: It will provide tuition reimbursement for its workers to take online college courses at Arizona State University for free—kicking in about $7,500 per employee. It seems like a good move for the company and its CEO, Howard Schultz… But dig a little deeper and there are real questions about how much Starbucks employees will benefit.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Mental health is an economic issue. Its’s closely correlated with unemployment and poverty.

The ad industry has lost the Millennial generation. It’s still making ads for the TV while the kids are all on their smartphones (paywall).

The Dutch are good at football because they’re good at hockey. From style to tactics, the two sports have much in common.

It should be ISIL, not ISIS. But it’s no surprise that nobody can agree what to call Iraq’s jihadists.

China’s housing crisis is far from over. These four charts show that the worst is yet to come.

An independent Scotland should adopt Norway’s currency. For a country dependent on the oil economy, the krone makes more sense than the euro.

Surprising discoveries

The FBI has an 83-page glossary of internet slang. And it’s quite laughably out of date.

Syria, not Afghanistan, is now the world’s least peaceful country. And it’s the seventh year in a row that the world has become less peaceful.

The latest must-have messaging app lets you say only one thing: ”Yo.” The one-trick pony has already raised $1 million from investors.

Butter in your coffee is the new miracle everything. The brew is said to boost energy, focus and mental clarity, and help you diet into the bargain.

North Dakota pumps 1 million barrels of oil a day. That’s one US state producing 1% of the world’s oil.

A Japanese photographer has flown with 156 airlines. That’s a Guinness world record.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, archaic online lingo, and messages that just say “yo” to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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