Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Hong Kong’s protest, GM’s latest recall, farewell Orkut, donkey internet

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What to watch for today

A big protest march in Hong Kong.  Organizers of the annual handover day march say they’re expecting a record turnout (paywall) of half a million people (though they also seem to have a penchant for overstating turnouts). Many Hong Kongers are upset at signs that China is tightening the screws on the historically autonomous city.

It’s jobs day in Europe. Unemployment on the Continent seems shows signs of stabilizing, albeit at ghastly levels. The new numbers will give an update on May.

And it’s factory day in the US. The ISM manufacturing survey will shed light on the state of US manufacturing operations in June; like May, it’s expected to be a strong showing, belying the weak first-quarter GDP figure.

Japan’s corporate mood. The Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey, an important reading on sentiment for large Japanese firms, will be released amid signs that that the central bank is making progress in its effort to spur inflation.

Putin’s gambit and GDP. The final reading on Russia’s first-quarter economic growth will show the impact of the upheaval in Ukraine.

While you were sleeping

GM recalled millions more vehicles and agreed to pay up. The automaker’s newest recall covers vehicle models stretching all the way back to 1997, making for a total of 25.7 million vehicles recalled this year so far in the US alone. The company also revealed a compensation plan for victims of faulty vehicles.

A controversial contraception decision. The US Supreme Court ruled that companies that are largely privately held—which employ about half the workforce, by one estimate—don’t have to include contraception in employees’ health plans if it contradicts the owner’s religious beliefs.

Bulgaria propped up a bank under attack. The European Union authorized Bulgaria to provide extra liquidity to its third largest bank after rumors provoked a run on deposits. The central bank claims an “organized criminal attack,” via rumors spread through social media and text messages.

Google bid goodbye to Orkut. The company announced it will shut the site, the first social network it built, on September 30th. Orkut was at one point huge in markets like Brazil and India, but Google’s other platforms have outpaced it since.

Israel found the bodies of its missing teens. The corpses of three young men kidnapped in June in the West Bank were found, presaging a likely escalation between Israel and Hamas, which Israel accuses of killing them.

Scotland is floating on rivers of shale oil. The British Geological Survey estimated that Scotland’s central belt, stretching between Edinburgh and Glasgow, could contain more than 6 billion barrels of shale oil. Oil and natural gas resources are a key part of the debate over Scottish independence.

Quartz obsession interlude

Leo Mirani goes inside the strange world of auctions for internet domain names. “The man with paddle number 68 wasn’t shy about it. He wanted an adult website, and he wasn’t going to let a few hundred dollars stand in his way.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The unruly sea needs more law. The ocean is basically a dystopian failed state, and the consequences are dire if people leave it that way.

Telepresence will never replace business travel. And it’s not just because executives love going first class.

Mutual funds are tourists in Silicon Valley, and they’re driving the bubble. They almost bowed out this spring, and stock prices plunged—watch out if they get nervous again.

Don’t freak out about Facebook’s mood-manipulation study. The research it conducted on how to affect users’ emotions was creepy, but no creepier than lots of other things.

Cash is a great form of charity. Contrary to popular belief, needy people who are given cash usually don’t waste it on drugs and booze.

American right-wingers should fear soccer. Its growing popularity in the US reflects the rise of a more globally-minded, left-leaning electorate.

Surprising discoveries

The most effective form of birth control is the kind Americans don’t use. The intrauterine device (IUD) has a perception problem in the US.

Ukraine wants its military dolphins back. They’ve been under Russia’s jurisdiction since the Crimea takeover, but Ukraine is demanding they are returned.

BlackBerry has a future. According to investors who have been bidding its stock up this year.

How to get the internet in remote parts of the earth. No need for drones; solar-panel-toting donkeys are helping connect shepherds in western Turkey.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, dolphin sightings, and animal-based internet solutions to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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