What to watch for today
Australia considers scrapping its carbon tax. Tony Abbott’s government will put before parliament a bill repealing the carbon-pricing system enacted by the previous government. However, a poll showed that support for carbon pricing has grown, with a majority of Australians now in favor.
The economic health of the euro zone… Markit Economics releases its monthly purchasing managers indexes (PMIs) for France, Germany and the euro zone. Watch for whether France’s PMI scrapes its way back over the 50 mark, denoting expansion, and a crucial sign of recovery.
…and of China. Another key PMI figure is Chinese manufacturing, where the decline of recent months is abating; a move above 50, though not expected, would be an extremely comforting sign for China-watchers.
A confab on internet governance. ICANN’s 50th global summit kicks off in earnest in London. It takes place in the wake of French calls to reform ICANN’s structure; the ongoing expansion of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) is also likely to be big on the agenda.
Wimbledon joins the orgy of great summer sports. The tennis championship begins in London. Andy Murray, after becoming the first Briton to win in more than 70 years, begins the defense of his title under his new coach, Amelie Mauresmo.
World Cupdate. Portugal is currently playing the US. The next standout game is Netherlands versus Chile (8pm HKT), at the same time as Australia v Spain. Then Croatia takes on Mexico and Brazil faces Cameroon later, when you’re fast asleep.
Over the weekend
Alstom went to GE (and France.) The board of Alstom voted to accept an offer from General Electric for $17 billion to acquire its railway business and set up joint ventures. The French state will get a 20% stake in Alstom as part of the deal.
“Child’s pose, then corporate takeover pose.” The founder of yoga wear-maker Lululemon is looking to take more control of the company (paywall). Dennis “Chip” Wilson is considering a buyout with a private-equity firm.
The US tried to rein in the chaos in Iraq… US secretary of state John Kerry was in Cairo in an attempt to rally US allies against the threat of ISIL—and turn them against Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki. The Sunni militants overran Iraqi border posts with Syria and with Jordan.
…While Iraqi Kurdistan took advantage of it. A million barrels of oil from the autonomous region of Iraq were delivered to Israel—the fourth such sale in defiance of the government in Baghdad. Iraq is suing Turkey, which is the conduit for its oil sales, over the last dead in the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris.
Russia backed a ceasefire in Ukraine. But president Vladimir Putin’s statement seemed at odds with Russia holding combat drills and putting 65,000 more troops on alert.
Quartz obsession interlude
Kabir Chibber on how Disney is reshaping ”Star Wars” along the model of Marvel Comics. ”The stories that unite the universe, such as The Avengers, become must-see global blockbusters that bring together these different fan-bases once every few years. The Marvel method has upended the blockbuster formula, which, ironically, was created by the original Star Wars film in 1977.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The UK needs more unions. Otherwise it will look more like the US, where workers have low wages and little power.
The US should tax carbon emissions. So says none other than George W. Bush’s Treasury secretary, Hank Paulson.
Banning begging is a bad idea. Norway is gearing up to do it, but such bans are both cruel and unnecessary.
Hipsterism is dead. The fashion trend has become so mainstream that “real” hipsters are moving on to other things.
The future of art is on tablets. Meet Ink and Slide, two Adobe drawing tools that link into iPad apps.
Japan is expecting a record number of annual visitors. The island is looking at its first net surplus in tourism revenue since 1970.
There are practically no proven cures for a hangover. Except one: a fried breakfast.
France sold Louisiana for $236 million in today’s money. If it hadn’t, the US might have returned to British rule.
Hinduism is the second biggest religion in Arizona and Delaware. And in South Carolina, it’s the Baha’i faith.
Internet cat sensation Lil Bub has a new website. She’s adorably raised $100,000 for animals in need.