Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Gaza ceasefire, Kerry in Burma, Captain America, atomic tests

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What to watch for today

Rare quiet in Gaza. It is the first full day of a 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, brokered by Egypt and which began at 21:00 GMT on Sunday, with hopes of a longer truce. More than 2,000 people—mostly Palestinians—have died so far.

The Kurds want weapons from the US. They requested the arms as the US launched more air strikes near Iraqi Kurdistan against the Islamic State, just before a deadline passed for Yazidis to convert to Islam or die.

Kinder Morgan is consolidating in a $70 billion deal. The oil-and-gas pipeline empire—which controls 80,000 miles of pipelines—will combine its four publicly traded units into one company.

Liberia’s healthcare system is on the verge of collapse. Hospitals have been overwhelmed by the Ebola virus, which has killed more than 960 people so far. Patient Zero was a two-year-old boy in Guinea.

A central bank deadline passes. The US Federal Reserve gives interested parties until today to comment on a proposal to modify the start dates for capital planning and stress testing under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Over the weekend

Plus ça change… Tayyip Erdogan won Turkey’s first-ever national presidential election vote. Erdogan, the current prime minister, has plans to expand the powers of the traditionally titular presidency.

John Kerry ended a two-day visit to Burma. The US secretary of state urged more democratic reforms as he visited the formerly isolated nation, which hosted the ASEAN Regional Forum.

Calling Captain America. Amazon stopped selling pre-orders of Walt Disney hit films in its latest contract dispute, including the superhero movie sequel and Maleficent. The tactics echo what it’s been doing to the book publisher, Hachette.

No to a no-poaching settlement. A judge in Silicon Valley took the rare step of rejecting a $324.5 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit over whether Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel conspired not to hire each other’s employees.

A Nasa spacecraft began a new mission. The ISEE-3—launched in 1978 and decommissioned in 1998 before being taken over by a private group—started a series of science experiments after raising $160,000 through crowdfunding.

Quartz obsession interlude

Zainab Mudallal on how your tech peak is in your mid-teens—and it’s downhill from there. “Digital savviness peaks sometime between the ages of 14 and 15, and then drops gradually throughout adulthood, before falling rapidly in old age.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Women who “lean in” leave engineering careers sooner. A study blames inhospitable work climates.

Governments need to rethink how they reward civil servants. They are less well paid but have more cushy lives.

Apple needs to hire human curators to fix its App Store. Former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée argues that algorithms alone create a lousy shopping experience.

We need a philosophy of failure. Disappointed expectations are a part of life.

Surprising discoveries

A property developer is building his own foodie heaven in Paris. The locals aren’t too happy.

Atom bomb tests were a tourist draw in Las Vegas. The 1950s were quite different.

The average person uses the same pillow for three years. The sleep industry recommends throwing them away every six months.

Scientists turn cigarette butts into electrical storage. Filters have a lot to offer a super-capacitor.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, crowdfunded spacecraft, and ciggie super-capacitors to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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