Quartz Daily Brief—German confidence, green GDP, supersized iPhones, espresso-pod meals

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

Germany looks confident, and not just because of the World Cup. A much-watched gauge of executive business confidence produced by the Munich-based Ifo Institute is due.

Putin arrives in Austria. The Russian president travels to the EU member state, a day after the countries signed more than 20 cooperation agreements covering technology, infrastructure, and trade.

What next for the UK economy? With expectations rising for higher interest rates this year, look for more direction from the Bank of England when its members testify before the Treasury Select Committee.

A deluge of new US housing data. Fresh numbers on new home sales for May, as well as Case-Shiller and FHFA house price numbers, should show signs of continued recovery; sales of existing homes yesterday rose more than expected. Also, US consumer confidence data should be of interest, given the recent jobs uptick.

Executives argue for the AT&T/DirecTV tie-up. CEOs from both companies will make their case in front of the US House Judiciary Committee. Here are some arguments for, and some against.

World Cupdate. Costa Rica v England, and Italy v Uruguay are both at 5pm BST, while Greece v Ivory Coast, and Japan v Colombia, are scheduled for 9pm.

While you were sleeping

Apple will begin production of its big iPhones next month. A 4.7 and a 5.5 inch iPhone could be shipped to retailers as soon as September, according to Bloomberg. Speculation about the new Apple product launches are also driving up the share price of its biggest manufacturing partner, Foxconn.

Climate policies could boost global GDP. The World Bank says economic output could rise by 2.2% per year until 2030 on the back of policies that encourage better waste management, energy efficiency, and the use of public transport.

Woolworths bid for Country Road. The South African retailer offered $201 million (paywall) to buy out the minority shareholders of the Australian fashion retailer. The deal is contingent on Woolworth’s successful acquisition of the department store chain David Jones, and may force a countermove from investor Solomon Lew, who owns stakes in both target companies.

Allergan plans to raise its outlook to fight a takeover. CEO David Pyott is trying to convince shareholders that a takeover attempt by rival pharmaceutical firm Valeant undervalues the company. Allergan’s next quarterly earnings are due in late July or early August.

Argentina tried to delay its impending default. The country asked a US judge to stay his ruling on a dispute with some of its bondholders so the country can meet a June 30 deadline for paying interest to other creditors who previously agreed to a debt restructuring. Argentina’s quarterly GDP also contracted for the first time in two years.

Quartz obsession interlude

Dan Frommer on how Tim Cook is transforming Apple and not getting the credit. “Apple has continued to make moves under Cook—reflecting awareness of the times—that Jobs may never have supported. Notably, it recently spent $3 billion to acquire Beats Music, an admission of sorts that it needs help to meet its goals in the music industry. It recently relaxed a nondisclosure agreement that restricted fans and developers from discussing beta software. Its latest software creation tools, released this month, give developers deeper access than ever to the iPhone and iPad to make new kinds of apps.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Barack Obama is responsible for Iraq’s chaos. The US president ignored prime minister Nuri al-Maliki’s dictatorial streak f0r too long.

Don’t send your kids to summer classes. They need unstructured play time to set and achieve their own goals.

Life without Fitbit is meaningless. What’s the point of exercise if it isn’t being recorded?

Corporate brands still don’t get social media. They’re treating it as a broadcast, not a conversation.

Surprising discoveries

Sneeze guards don’t apply to Obama. On a recent trip to Chipotle, he reached over to point out the ingredients for his burrito.

Early risers are less ethical in the evening. It takes energy to do the right thing.

Google Maps looks different depending on where you are. It adjusts the borders to adhere to political sensitivities.

Surveillance can help the surveilled. CCTV cameras on London buses will soon tell you how many seats are free.

An entire meal in an espresso pod. Nestle is working on nutritionally complete capsules that could eliminate the need to eat.

Astronomers found a vanishing ”island” on one of Saturn’s moons. The anomaly on Titan’s methane and ethane lake could be the result of sunken solids rising with warmer temperatures.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, instant meal formulae, and astronomical observations to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.