Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Renzi’s aunt, Twitter’s CFO, Erdogan’s ambitions, Abe’s myths

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What to watch for today

A curtain-raiser for US jobs day. Paycheck-processing company ADP’s monthly reading on US private-sector job creation in June may shed some light on labor market trends—though it’s often a bad predictor. The official jobs report will be out on Thursday morning, instead of the usual Friday, due to the US Independence Day holiday.

Deal-making resumes on Iranian nukes. The P5+1—the five permanent members of the UN security council, plus Germany—resume negotiations with Iran over its nuclear development program. The deadline for a deal is July 20, and it’s only the latest in a long history of such attempts.

Renzi talks to his “boring old aunt.” Italy’s prime minister will lay out his vision for a more expansive growth policy before the European Parliament. Italy has just assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union, which Renzi recently likened to a “boring old aunt” for its fixation on fiscal rectitude rather than growth.

While you were sleeping

Twitter rolled the CFO dice—again. The company tapped former Goldman banker and NFL executive Anthony Noto to be its third CFO in two years. Before the announcement, Twitter’s stock was down 30% so far this year.

US auto sales gained momentum. With the exception of Honda, leading automakers all reported better-than-expected June car sales. And, yes, that included General Motors; the company saw a moderate rise in sales over June 2013, despite a slew of safety recalls.

Moody’s kicked Puerto Rico deeper into the junkyard. The ratings agency downgraded all the island’s major debt issuers. Puerto Rico was already perilously close to overtaking Argentina as the sovereign considered most likely to default, and this is likely to push it further.

Iraq remained leaderless. A meeting of parliament to pick a new prime minister rapidly dissolved into factional squabbling. The US has hinted it may not provide new military aid unless an inclusive, non-sectarian government replaces Nuri al-Maliki’s Shia-dominated one. Meanwhile, a UN report found that June had been the deadliest month since 2008, with more than 2,400 killed.

Erdogan found a new way to keep control of Turkey. His party, the AKP, nominated the Turkish prime minister for the presidential election on Aug. 10. An AKP rule limits prime ministers to three terms, but though the role of president has in the past been largely ceremonial, that could change if the divisive Erdogan wins.

Quartz obsession interlude

Lily Kuo explains the mass protest in Hong Kong against the Chinese government. ”Today, Hong Kong’s chief executive is elected from a list of Beijing-approved candidates. Chief executive Leung Chun-ying promised to deal with inequality when he came to office in 2012, but protesters and other critics say he has been too beholden to Beijing to pursue effective policies.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The secret to Belgium’s economic success: no government. Without one, it can’t pursue the austerity policies that have crippled its neighbors (paywall).

The World Cup won’t make US soccer popular. Having seen how the rest of the world plays, Americans just won’t find homegrown soccer leagues good enough to watch.

Modern-day Texas is truly extreme. It’s so right-wing, George W. Bush would be considered a Communist.

You need to get more sleep. The productivity you gain more than makes up for the time you lose (paywall).

Abenomics is premised on a myth. Japan’s problem isn’t a weak economy caused by deflation, but its fiscal deficit.

Surprising discoveries

The home of the free is New Zealand. In 2013, 94% of New Zealanders said they were satisfied with their freedom, the highest percentage of any country surveyed.

To get a modeling contract, get arrested. A California man’s police mugshot won him a $30,000 modeling gig after the internet went gaga over his looks.

A mall full of fish can be eerily beautiful. Check out these photos of an abandoned Bangkok mall that was flooded after a fire and overrun with koi and catfish.

Supercomputers can be chefs. Watson, IBM’s supercomputer, just came out with its own barbecue sauce, Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce, which it says has a “slow, warm heat and a kick.”

Iranian TV has a nearly frame-for-frame ripoff of Modern Family. Minus the gay characters, of course.

Take a tour to the edge of space. A balloon-lofted capsule will take passengers 100,000 feet (30,500 meters) into the air.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, modeling mugshots, and barbecue sauce recipes to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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