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Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Hong Kong arrests, Jamie Dimon’s cancer, UK investigates Facebook, World Cup abstinence

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

Janet Yellen discusses rates. The head of the Federal Reserve will speak at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC, and will likely be pushed to provide more details on whether rates will rise at the start of next year.

A curtain-raiser for US jobs day. Paycheck-processing company ADP’s reading on US private-sector job creation in June may shed some light on labor market trends. 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. There’s a July 20 deadline for a deal.

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

Hong Kong’s democracy protests ended with mass arrests. Demonstrators who vowed to occupy the city’s central business district were hauled away by police, who made more than 500 arrests. Organizers said half a million protesters turned up to rail against Beijing’s control over the city’s supposedly autonomous elections.

Jamie Dimon has throat cancer. JP Morgan’s CEO said he caught the cancer early enough for it to be treated, and that he expects to remain active in running the bank. His treatment is likely to last about eight weeks.

UK regulators began a Facebook probe over a study (paywall) that manipulated the emotions of users, to see whether the company broke data protection laws.

Australia’s trade deficit blew up. Declining natural resource exports led to a deficit of A$1.9 billion ($1.8 billion) for May—almost ten times the amount a Bloomberg survey predicted. Fading demand from China is hurting prices for iron ore and coal.

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.

Quartz obsession interlude

Dan Fromer explains why Twitter’s next trick is to prove it can actually become a stable, grown-up company. “Twitter is simply too good an idea—and too successful already—that it shouldn’t someday have billions of users and billions of dollars in revenue. … The challenge will be to make the product and the business work in harmony, at much greater scale than it does today.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

American values are to blame for the world’s chaos. Forcing democracy on other countries has backfired dramatically.

Li Ka-shing’s exit plans should worry Hong Kongers. When even the billionaires who benefited from the status quo start investing elsewhere, there is reason to be concerned.

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

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

Surprising discoveries

All of the World Cup teams that banned sex have been eliminated. Of course, a lot of more permissive teams have lost too.

New Zealand is the home of the free. 94% of citizens are satisfied with their freedom, the highest percentage of any country.

Mug shots can be head shots. A California convict scored a $30,000 modeling gig after the internet went gaga over his looks.

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

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

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

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