Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Eid bloodshed, Abenomics data, Kremlin fine, Chávez font

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What to watch for today

Argentina procrastinates. Argentinian negotiators will meet again with US court-appointed mediator Daniel Pollack. They continue to refuse direct talks with “holdout” investors, a day before the deadline to avoid a default, and will insist on a delay of the US court ruling obliging Argentina to pay them in full.

A stronger wrist-slap for Russia. The US and European Union may agree stricter sanctions today against Russia’s banking, defense and hi-tech energy sectors, for its part in stoking the Ukraine conflict. These will be more wide-ranging than the measures taken so far against a few dozen people and entities.

Did FIFA give Twitter a helping hand? While the social network expects to report a surge in quarterly sales, investors will be looking for growth in the social media website’s user base, which has been sluggish. But perhaps not this quarter: the World Cup could have given it a boost.

Big data for the US. Although a preliminary survey showed that consumer sentiment dipped in early July, consumer confidence is likely to hit a six-year high as strong jobs reports boosted households, while Standard & Poor’s is expected to release its S&P Case/Shiller Home Price Index for May and show a slower pace in rising home prices.

Japan in the spotlight. Japan releases a triad of data: unemployment is unlikely to fall below the current 3.5%, its lowest level since 1997, while household spending and retail sales likely fell, all of which may prove problematic for prime minister Shinzo Abe’s domestic recovery strategy.

While you were sleeping

No new hopes of a Gaza ceasefire. Hopes that a brief Eid al-Fitr lull in fighting would become a longer-term ceasefire were wrecked after eight children and two adults were killed in northern Gaza and four Israelis died in a mortar attack near the Gaza border. The US’s John Kerry is getting no help from either side.

Alarm grew over Ebola. Two Americans have joined the swelling ranks of healthcare workers infected by the virus, after one of Liberia’s top Ebola experts died at the weekend. The record outbreak poses an even greater global threat with its arrival last week in Lagos, Nigeria, a densely-populated international travel hub.

A huge, if theoretical, fine for the Kremlin. The Hague ordered Russia to pay $50 billion to shareholders of expropriated and now-defunct oil giant, Yukos, in what is reportedly the largest arbitration award ever. Enforcing the ruling might be a tad difficult, though.

Double dollar deals. Dollar Tree agreed to buy Dollar General for $8.5 billion, resulting in a giant discount chain with $18 billion in sales and more locations than any other retailer in the US. Meanwhile, Trulia and Zillow joined forces in a $3.5 billion deal (paywall) that will create the US’s dominant online real-estate listings company.

Virgin America filed for an IPO. The filing from the low-cost American airline, part-owned by billionaire British entrepreneur Richard Branson, was long-expected. Though it’s a budget carrier, it relies to a surprising degree on high-priced tickets.

Quartz obsession interlude

John McDuling on how Major League Baseball made the best argument for net neutrality. “BAM employs about 700 people and is on track to generate $800 million in revenue this year. It runs professional baseball’s digital properties, including the websites and social media properties of MLB’s 30 franchises. But it’s best known for its online streaming prowess. It runs the league’s own streaming platform,, and is now even selling services to clients like ESPN and the professional wrestling organization WWE.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Doctors need to stop conducting research on live flu viruses that could cause epidemics. The risks outweigh the benefits.

We should have more time to nap. The three-day workweek that Mexican mogul Carlos Slim advocates is worth a shot.

Maliki’s sectarian rule is what’s pulling Iraq apart. With a new prime minster and US support, Sunni forces can defeat ISIL (paywall).

The US is in an equity bubble. And it’s more severe than most of the worst bubbles of the 20th century.

Surprising discoveries

A Korean baseball team is employing robot fans. Real fans can live vicariously through the bots by controlling them.

25,000 Ground Zero workers have cancer. And they’re seeking compensation for their illnesses.

Invent better airport security, win a prize. The US Transportation Security Administration is offering $5,000 for the best idea for speeding up its screening lines.

Hugo Chávez now has his own font. Fans of the late Venezuelan president have created “ChavezPro“, based on El Comandante’s handwriting.

We now know the daily struggle of CIA employees. They hate their cafeteria.

Don’t bother writing a better dating profile. OKCupid experimented on users and proved all people look at are the pictures.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, airport security schemes, and cafeteria food Instagram posts to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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