STAR WARS

Quartz Daily Brief—Israel accepts ceasefire, BRICS strongmen meet, Germany’s sausage cartel, Obama’s credit card

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What to watch for today

The three men who rule much of the world meet in Brazil. The leaders of China, Russia, and India are nationalistic leaders who govern with an iron fist.  They will gather, along with their counterparts from South Africa and Brazil, at the BRICS summit.

A big week for Wall Street… Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase are, like many other big US banks, expected to report dismal second-quarter earnings, and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon will speak publicly for the first time since he announced he has throat cancer.

…And for Silicon Valley. Analysts expect a 9% increase in Yahoo’s profit and are looking for updates on its minority stake in Alibaba. Intel may see an uptick from narrow gains in the global PC market.

A dispatch from Janet Yellen. The Federal Reserve chair will explain her plans to unwind the unprecedented monetary stimulus to the Senate Banking Committee.

Chile ponders further economic stimulus. The country’s central bank, which meets today, has reduced Chile’s benchmark interest rate four times since October. But falling growth forecasts due to weakened domestic demand have raised expectations for further cuts.

While you were sleeping

Israel agreed to a ceasefire. Israel accepted an Egyptian-brokered proposal for an immediate cessation of fighting in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has not offered a formal response, but its armed wing initially rejected the idea as a “surrender.”

Germany split up a sausage cartel. Twenty-one manufacturers were embroiled in a plot to fix wurst prices dating back to at least 2003.

Line filed for an IPO. The popular messaging app filed for a public offering valued at around $10 billion on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, according to Reuters. Line competes with Facebook’s WhatsApp and China’s WeChat, and is known for making money from virtual stickers.

Hong Kong’s government ignored democracy demands. Two reports laying the groundwork for Hong Kong’s 2017 election claim that “mainstream opinion” does not support public nomination of leaders, despite a heavily-attended march two weeks ago that called for universal suffrage. The reports are expected to incite more protests by democracy activists.

Russia’s Lenta hypermarket chain brushed off sanctions. The chain said like-for-like sales rose 14.1% in the second quarter and total sales were up nearly 40% as it opened seven new stores, despite Russia’s sputtering economy. The company listed in London in February this year, just ahead of the invasion of Crimea.

BMW doubled down on electric cars. The German automaker plans to increase its orders of Samsung’s electric vehicle battery cells by 20-30% in 2016, from 2014 levels. The batteries will be used for BMW’s i3 and i8 electric cars along with future hybrid models.

The world feels better about China than it does about its president. Most Asians in a new Pew survey think China’s progress is good for their own country, but few trust president Xi Jinping. Other than people in China, Pakistan, and Malaysia, most Asians see the United States as their greatest ally.

Quartz obsession interlude

David Yanofsky on Airbus’s attempt to patent a new kind of airplane seating that would guarantee you less legroom. “The European airplane maker filed the application–officially named ‘Seating device comprising a forward-foldable backrest’—with the USPTO on June 12, 2014. Among the application’s claims is the seat’s ability to “avoid providing an excessive necessary distance” between seats—AKA legroom. Among the application’s omissions is a tray table (or even a cup holder).” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Miami is drowning and nobody cares. The low-lying city is run by climate change deniers.

The NSA’s goal is total population control. The US spy agency has no interest in stopping terrorism.

Obama uses the wrong credit card. It offers fewer benefits than comparable cards—though it’s not like he needs the frequent flier miles.

Buffett, Gates, and Adelson don’t understand immigration. The billionaires are willfully ignorant of the politics behind the US impasse.

Germany is a world champion beyond soccer. The country’s World Cup win is a symbol of its reunification and strength as a world power.

Surprising discoveries

Strawberries are the lowest-hanging fruit. Ironically, that makes them harder to pick.

Running-of-the-bulls selfies are illegal in Spain. Police are seeking a daredevil who appeared to take an amazing self-portrait in Pamplona.

You can see political favoritism from space. National leaders’ hometowns shine brighter on satellite maps.

Amazon employees are the hottest. Among big tech companies, at least. Apple employees are the least attractive.

It costs $20 to breathe in Venezuela. The country’s largest airport is charging outbound passengers to cover the cost of an advanced air purifier.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, fresh strawberries, and presidential credit card offers to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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