What to watch for today
The BRICS hold their sixth annual meeting. The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa gather in Brazil for two days just as the World Cup finishes. Top of the agenda is the creation of a new BRICS development bank.
Citibank unveils a $7 billion settlement and lackluster earnings. The deal will resolve a US investigation into mortgage-backed securities sold in the run-up to the financial crisis. Separately, the bank is expected to report second-quarter net income of $3.45 billion, down 17% from last year.
Malala Yousafzai reminds the world about the missing Nigerian schoolgirls. The campaigner for girls’ education, once shot and left for dead by the Taliban, arrives in Abuja seeking an audience with president Goodluck Jonathan over the roughly 220 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram three months ago.
The EU and US pursue a free-trade deal in Brussels. Negotiators kick off the sixth round of talks. Euro zone industrial production data will add to conversations about how sluggish the European recovery really is.
Reunification talks restart in Cyprus. Negotiations are settling around a federal state similar in structure to Belgium’s, as president Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervish Eroglu meet in Nicosia.
Over the weekend
We have a new football world champion. Germany’s dramatic 1-0 extra-time win over Argentina secured its fourth World Cup—a result impressively predicted by Microsoft’s algorithms, which had a spotless record in calling the tournament’s knockout rounds.
Samsung suspended operations at a factory accused of using child laborers. The move to halt production at the Chinese facility comes after an investigation raised questions about the facility, which is operated by Dongguan Shinyang Electronics.
China’s star TV anchor was arrested right before his show aired. CCTV’s Rui Chenggang was detained before Friday’s night’s broadcast in a widening anti-corruption probe. The head of CCTV’s economic news channel was also arrested earlier this month.
Singapore’s GDP growth took an unexpected fall. A drop in manufacturing meant the economy grew by just 2.1% in the second quarter. On a seasonally-adjusted and annualized basis, that is a contraction of 0.8% from the first quarter.
Lindt got ready to broaden its horizons. The Swiss chocolate maker is close to purchasing Russel Stover, the US’s third-largest confectionary company by sales, for around $1.4 billion. The deal would give Lindt a significant US footprint and bring it out of its traditional comfort zone of high-end confectionary.
Space tourists could soon be blasting off from Scotland. The UK plans to create a port for commercial space flights by 2018, and it said six out of the eight potential sites are in Scotland, which the government is trying to dissuade from voting for secession from Great Britain.
Quartz obsession interlude
Kabir Chibber suggests that Burberry’s star designer-turned-CEO may be worth his $17 million pay packet. “Bailey’s compensation pales when compared to his predecessor, Angela Ahrendts, who handed over the reins to Bailey after being poached by Apple to be its new head of retail. Apple kicked off the Ahrendts era by giving her $68 million in restricted stock, which she will receive in four years regardless of performance, making her among the highest-paid female executives in the world.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
We live in exceptionally turbulent times. And will continue to do so for a decade or more.
Helsinki wants to go carless. Government plans for public and shared transport have been hugely effective.
Israelis and Palestinians are becoming dangerously separated. The divide makes the conflict harder to solve.
Spying is not morally wrong. It is often necessary, and necessity knows no morality.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella needs an editor. Clarity was notably absent from his recent 3,100-word missive.
The US government is funding anti-immigration pop songs. “La Bestia,” about a deadly US-bound freight train, is a radio hit in Central America.
Stem cell treatments can have unexpected consequences. A woman received an injection in her spine, but grew nasal tissue there instead.
Celibacy for Catholic priests started 900 years after the death of Jesus. Pope Francis thinks this is worth remembering.
Coffee may help ward off Parkinson’s disease. But only in combination with a specific genetic variation.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, space-travel tickets, and unintended stem cell results to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow us on Twitter here and on Facebook here for updates throughout the day.