Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Murdoch’s rejection, Mexico’s obesity war, Gaza’s pause, teeth-cleaning weeds

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What to watch for today

Israel agrees to a humanitarian pause. After four children from one Palestinian family were killed by Israeli shelling on a Gaza beach, Israel agreed to a United Nation-proposed five-hour pause to fighting in Gaza as a humanitarian gesture. The pause will allow aid delivery to the strip, but Israel warned that a ground invasion still looms.

Morgan Stanley snatches the limelight from Goldman. The last big bank to report second-quarter earnings, Morgan Stanley may beat out Goldman Sachs as the biggest earner for equity trades.

Hollande beefs up ties to Africa. The French president begins a three-nation visit to Niger, Chad and the Ivory Coast to renew its old policy of ”Francafrique,” as Islamist militants threaten to dominate the Sahel-Saharan strip.

Google reaps mobile’s rewards. The company’s push into more mobile-based paid search ads, along with growing YouTube ad revenue, should boost its earnings.

While you were sleeping

The EU upped the ante on sanctions. In response to Russia’s encroachment on Ukraine, the EU is preparing to expand sanctions on Russia at the EU leaders’ meeting in Brussels. Its broadest sanctions on the country yet will penalize Russian companies and stop lending for investment projects in the country.

Rupert Murdoch got burned. An $80 billion takeover bid for Time Warner by 21st Century Fox, Murdoch’s film and TV empire, was rebuffed and fell flat. But the bold move, if pursued further, could be transformational for the media industry.

Mexico banned soda advertisements. After the emerging economy surpassed the US as the most obese country in 2013, Mexico is upping its health policy efforts by banning ads for high-calorie food and soft drinks.

GE shunned its old reliable. The inventor of the electric toaster is in talks with potential bidders to sell its century-old, underperforming home appliances division, GE Home & Business Solutions, the US’s third-ranking household appliances business by market share.

Bank of America’s profits bit the dust. The bank saw second-quarter profits fall $2.3 billion—a 43% dip from a year ago—weighed down by the barrage of legal headaches related to mortgage securities.

Quartz obsession interlude

Roya Wolverson on Urban Outfitters offending everyone but suburban American teens. “Urban Outfitters’s latest faux pas is a case-in-point: it had to pull a duvet cover featuring Lord Ganesh, the Hindu deity with the head of an elephant, from its website and issue an apology after some vocal Hindu activists protested the use of the image on a bedspread. It isn’t the first time Urban Outfitters’s designs have caused a ruckus among Hindus, not to mention people of other cultures.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Everyone should shower like the Japanese. The modern bathroom is wasteful and inefficient.

Fox and Time Warner can’t go it alone. To survive upheaval in their industry, they need to get bigger together.

Corporations can be both profitable and charitable. There is opportunity for profit-seekers to do good, at least to a point (paywall).

The Myers-Briggs personality test is useless. The test that colleges, human resources departments and government agencies make you take has no evidence to support it.

Hong Kong will be free one day. But it might be a long, long time from now, says the city’s last governor.

This viral Thai smartphone ad is unfair to men. It makes new fathers look more clueless about parenting than they actually are.

Surprising discoveries

The UAE is going to Mars. The country plans to send an unmanned probe to the planet, making it the Arab world’s first mission into space.

The other checkout line really is moving faster than yours. It’s simple mathematics.

Move over, BRICS, there are new acronyms in town. LICK and EPIC are just a few of the relevant combinations created by our emerging economy acronym generator.

Our ancestors were keeping their teeth clean without even knowing it. This pesky weed was protecting their chops from cavities and decay.

American sunscreen doesn’t cut it. US regulators have been withholding powerful ingredients that are safely used in Europe and Asia.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, emerging economy acronyms and sunscreen recommendations to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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