Quartz Daily Brief—America edition—Indonesia’s election, India’s growth, China’s inflation, Seoul’s insect hotels

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What to watch for today

Obama tries to stem the surge of young migrants. The US president will hold a roundtable with Texas governor Rick Perry, one of his fiercest opponents on immigration policy, as Obama seeks $3.7 billion in emergency spending to solve a humanitarian crisis caused by Central American youths crossing the border.

Citigroup’s mortgage mega-fine. The bank is close to agreeing with prosecutors on a mammoth $7 billion settlement, according to Reuters. Analysts estimate Citi has around $3 billion in reserve for fines; the reported deal would be mostly in cash with some money set aside to help struggling borrowers.

Reading the Fed’s tea leaves. Economists will pore over the Federal Reserve’s minutes of its June policy meeting, when it hinted that it thought the US job market was still looking weak. But the subsequent strong June jobs report may have superseded whatever the Fed was thinking at the time.

World Cupdate. The tournament’s second semi-final match—Netherlands v Argentina at 4pm ET—will determine who faces Germany in the final.

While you were sleeping

Both Indonesian presidential candidates claimed victory. Reformer Joko Widodo said preliminary results put him ahead, but ex-general Prabowo Subianto refused to concede, saying other polls put him in the lead. The Indonesian army was hoping that the winner’s margin would be decisive to avoid the possibility of violence.

The Indian economy got a confidence boost. The economy is expected to expand by 5.4 to 5.9% in 2014-2015, according to India’s pre-budget economic survey. Indian GDP has grown by less than 5% for the past two years.

China’s inflation slowed… Consumer prices rose by a less-than-expected 2.3% in the year to June, versus 2.5% in May, giving the government more room for further stimulus. Producer prices fell 1.1%—the 28th consecutive month of declines.

…As John Kerry pressed Beijing on the yuan. The US secretary of state prodded China to move its currency towards a market exchange rate, citing the need for a level playing field. Kerry and treasury secretary Jack Lew are in Beijing for an annual strategic and economic dialogue between the two countries.

The UK property market showed signs of cooling. House prices slipped 0.6% last month, a surprise fall and the fourth decline in six months, according to the Halifax house price index. Still, prices are up nearly 9% year-over-year.

Apple lost a patent case in China. A Beijing court ruled in favor of a Shenzhen-based company that accused Apple of violating its patent for Siri speech recognition technology. A previous Chinese courtroom loss over the iPad trademark cost Apple $60 million.

Quartz obsession interlude

Michael Silverberg shares writing tips from the CIA’s style manual. “As revealed in the manual, the CIA is a prescriptivist scold, a believer in the serial comma, and a champion of ‘crisp and pungent’ language ‘devoid of jargon.’ It takes a firm stand against false titles used attributively and urges intelligence writers to lowercase the w in Vietnam war (‘undeclared’).” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The new US airport security rules won’t stop an iBomb. Take it from a TSA agent.

There’s nothing wrong with paying high school interns $6,000 per month. Given how many interns are unpaid, this is great news.

Uber’s strategy: Be too big to ban. If enough people love the car service, it will become politically bulletproof.

Stop picking on Taylor Swift. It’s easy to ridicule her optimistic column about the music industry’s future, but she has evidence on her side.

Another Olympics would be good for Beijing. The 2022 Winter Games could give the city an impetus to finally clean up its pollution problem.

Surprising discoveries

Harry Potter is almost 34 years old. And he’s busy watching the Quidditch world cup, according to a new J.K. Rowling short story.

IKEA uses 1% of the world’s commercial wood supply. And it has a separate company of 15,000 people to source it.

Madonna doesn’t have to do jury duty. She would only distract the rest of jurors.

Tour De France selfies are dangerous. Spectators are posing with their backs to oncoming bikes.

Seoul insects are moving on up. Mayor Park Won-soon is building miniature high-rise hotels for bugs to protect environmental diversity.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Madonna voir dire questions, and Tour De France selfies to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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