Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Israel’s pause, Murdoch’s rejection, Glaxo’s China bribery, UAE’s Mars mission

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What to watch for today

Israel pauses its rocket fire. The temporary cessation comes after four children from one Palestinian family were killed by Israeli shelling on a Gaza beach, and will enable the delivery of aid. Israel warned that a ground invasion is still being considered.

Morgan Stanley steals Goldman’s thunder. The last big bank to report second-quarter earnings may beat out Goldman Sachs as Wall Street’s biggest earner from equity trades.

Hollande tries to renew African ties… The French president begins a tour of Niger, Chad, and the Ivory Coast to revive the policy of ”Françafrique,” as Islamist militants threaten France’s former colonies.

…As West African heads of state convene. The Economic Community of West African States meets in Accra, Ghana, where a regional Ebola outbreak will be high on the agenda (to July 18).

Google’s mobile rewards. The company’s push into smartphone and tablet search ads, along with growing YouTube ad revenue, should boost its quarterly earnings.

While you were sleeping

The US imposed its toughest sanctions on Russia yet. President Barack Obama targeted oil giant Rosneft as well as Russia’s energy, finance, and defense industries. But the effectiveness of the sanctions ultimately depends on whether the EU follows suit.

Rupert Murdoch was spurned. 21st Century Fox made an $80 billion takeover bid for Time Warner, but was rebuffed. The bold move by Murdoch’s film and TV company, if pursued further, could be transformational for the media industry.

GlaxoSmithKline fessed up to Chinese bribery. US investigators will look for similarities between a newly revealed 2001 bribery case and current allegations of improper practices at the pharmaceutical company’s China unit, according to the Financial Times  (paywall). Any similarities could lead to much tougher charges.

GE toasters may be toast. The industrial conglomerate is in talks to sell its home appliances unit. The underperforming, century-old business is the third-biggest US appliance maker by market share.

Tony Abbott scrapped Australia’s carbon tax. The prime minister plans to “unshackle” the economy to encourage growth. Green groups are dismayed at the move, which would make it difficult for Australia to meet its carbon emissions targets.

Quartz obsession interlude

Roya Wolverson on Urban Outfitters offending everyone except 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

US regulators will only listen the telecom industry. And it’s the public’s fault for writing incoherent comments on net neutrality.

Everyone should shower like the Japanese. Bathrooms elsewhere are wasteful and inefficient.

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

The Myers-Briggs personality test is useless. The questionnaire is entirely unbacked by scientific evidence.

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

Surprising discoveries

Ultra-pure water can be deadly. It tastes of nothing and will suck the electrolytes right out of you.

China has a DIY Tesla charging network. An enthusiast bought and installed 20 charging pillars (paywall) for just $800 each.

The UAE is going to Mars. The country’s unmanned probe will be the Arab world’s first space mission.

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

Move over, BRICS, there are new acronyms in town. Create your own with our emerging economic bloc generator.

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

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