Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—China’s murky growth, cagey Janet Yellen, America’s famous undocumented immigrant, German luddites

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What to watch for today

China braces for murky growth data. China releases second-quarter growth figures, with analysts predicting gross domestic product to expand 7.4% year-over-year. If GDP comes in lower, the government’s full-year target of 7.5% will seem less attainable and additional stimulus more likely.

Banks and tech firms vie for the earnings spotlight. Bank of America may continue the winning streak of Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, which all beat quarterly earnings expectations this week, but a hefty settlement related to its mortgage securities looms. eBay earnings could reflect a security breach and a spat with Google over SEO tactics.

EU officials shuffle the deck. When EU members meet in Brussels to discuss expanding Russian sanctions, they’ll also sort out who to appoint next to various top posts for managing the bloc (paywall).

The Fed releases its Beige Book. The US central bank releases its periodic business survey of its 12 regional banks, which should reflect moderate economic growth. Similar to its upcoming Federal Open Market Committee meeting, analysts expect it to be a snoozer.

While you were sleeping

Egypt’s ceasefire deal collapsed. Israel resumed airstrikes into the Gaza Strip amid continued rocket attacks by Hamas militants. A ceasefire deal collapsed after a Palestinian attack caused the first Israeli fatality in an eight-day battle that has killed 200 Palestinians.

LivingSocial hires former eBay CEO. LivingSocial, the struggling deal company, named Guatam Thakar as its next CEO to jolt growth. He replaces fatigued co-founder and outgoing CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy.

A Moscow metro train derailed. At least 20 people were killed and 120 injured when multiple subway cars derailed during morning rush hour on the world’s busiest subway system, making for one of the worst metro accidents in years. Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered a criminal investigation of the crash from his post in Brazil at the BRICS summit.

America’s most famous undocumented immigrant got arrested. Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist for the Washington Post and New York Times, was detained by border patrol officials at a Texas border town. In a high-profile event, the Filipino immigrant was visiting the town to highlight the stories of children escaping gang violence in Central America.

Janet Yellen kept her plans under wraps. The Federal Reserve chair testified before Congress, refusing to give a timeline for raising interest rates and defending the Fed’s loose monetary policy.

Quartz obsession interlude

John McDuling on Alibaba striking to be the Netflix of China. “Alibaba’s strategy thus far has been somewhat different from Netflix’s: Like Amazon, it is selling set-top boxes. But the new service with Lionsgate looks like the most Netflix-style thing it has done. It will feature the production company’s biggest hits and be available exclusively in mainland China, the companies said.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Timed meetings are better meetings. The Time Turner, a 60-minute plastic timer, makes meetings more urgent and efficient.

Humans could go the way of the honeybees. The unfortunate collapse of honeybees is a lesson for humans about how to avoid a similar extinction.

There future of passwords is no passwords. Tired of the letter-number combo game, people want other ways to log in. 

Helsinki understands the future. Its transportation system innovations reflect that millennials prefer experiences and services to car ownership.

Obama uses the wrong credit card. It offers fewer benefits than comparable cards—but then who needs frequent flier miles when you’re president?

Surprising discoveries

Google is developing a contact lens that could help with diabetes. Born out of a partnership with Novartis, the lens would analyze tears to provide just-in-time measurements of blood sugar levels.

The German government is a luddite. German politicians are considering going back to manual typewriters for sensitive documents in the wake of the US spying scandal.

Superbugs like E. coli can last up to a week on a plane. But fear not: we aren’t all going to get sick in flight.

An amateur jalapeño-grinding experiment nearly deprived the world of sriracha. The world-famous hot sauce’s problems weren’t just about air quality.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, newfangled meeting timers and credit card tips to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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