Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Jamie Dimon’s cancer, Hong Kong arrests, UK house prices, World Cup abstinence

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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 may provide more details on when the bank plans to hike US interest rates.

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.

Constellation Brands toasts bumper earnings. After picking up a bevy of beer brands in the US, including Corona, the drinks company is expected to report as much as a 112% increase in quarterly revenue compared with last year.

While you were sleeping

Roche went shopping for US biotech. The Swiss drugmaker will pay up to $1.7 billion for privately-held US-based Seragon, which specializes in breast cancer treatments—$725 million in cash, and up to $1 billion more if Seragon achieves some development milestones.

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 his doctors caught the cancer early enough for it to be treated, and that he expects to remain active in running the bank. His treatment will last about eight weeks.

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.

UK house prices surpassed their 2007 peak. The average British house price rose almost 12% in the year to June, the fastest rise in nine years, while London prices rocketed by 26%. Mortgage lender Nationwide suggested raising interest rates would be more effective in curbing prices than loan-to-income caps or more stringent borrower stress tests.

The Chinese government banned Ramadan. Students, teachers, and civil servants in the largely Uighur province of Xinjiang have been barred from fasting during the Muslim holy month. This year has seen an escalation in terror attacks across China, and many have called for Beijing to offer more religious freedoms, not fewer, in order to cool tensions.

Quartz obsession interlude

Dan Frommer 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

Robots don’t destroy human jobs—they create them. Hiring at robot-intensive companies like Amazon and Tesla has increased.

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

NASA employs a professional smeller. George Aldritch gives a mission-critical sniff test to all space-bound items.

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

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, came up with 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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