Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—UK outpaces EU, Coke’s Monster deal, Berkshire Hathaway’s bounce, one-armed plane landing

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What to watch for today

The UK pulls ahead of Europe. In contrast with yesterday’s stagnant result in the euro zone, the UK’s second-quarter GDP is forecast to be up 3.1% on the same period last year, and could even surpass pre-recession levels; an estimate last month put the economy 0.2% ahead of its 2008 peak.

China’s and Estee Lauder release earnings. China’s second largest e-commerce company after Alibaba will release its first results after its IPO. Good results are expected for cosmetics giant Estee Lauder, thanks to a surge in luxury buying in the developing world.

Russia and Ukraine’s game of cat and mouse. The Russian aid convoy that Ukraine fears may be a Trojan Horse is on its way to a pro-Russian rebel-controlled checkpoint, instead of a government-controlled post as Kiev has demanded. There could be a showdown if Russia tries to get the trucks in without an inspection.

While you were sleeping

Brazil’s banana bid lost out to Ireland. Chiquita Brands rejected the $611 million bid from Brazilian companies Safra Group and Cutrale, and backed plans to continue pursuing a merger (paywall) with Dublin-listed Fyffes.

Pershing Square Capital Management sued the US government. Bill Ackman’s hedge fund claims the move to strip profits from government-backed lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (paywall) illegally deprived shareholders of some $130 billion.

Samsung snapped up SmartThings. The South Korean electronics giant bought the US-based startup specializing in smart-home controllers for a reported $200 million, in a bet on the fast-expanding “internet of things.”

Coke bought a piece of Monster. The two companies have agreed a long-term strategic partnership, with Coke buying 16.7% of the energy-drink maker for $2.15 billion. Coke will also transfer its own energy-drink business to Monster and get Monster’s non-energy business in return.

Apple made its assembly lines safer. The tech giant banned two dangerous toxins that can cause cancer, nerve damage, and reproductive problems for factory workers in 22 iPhone and iPad production plants, most of them in China.

Berkshire Hathaway’s stock hit a new milestone. Class A shares of Warren Buffett’s holding company climbed 1.6% and hit an all-time high of more than $200,000 per share; in 1984, the shares traded at  about $1,300. Wealth didn’t come early for Buffett: He made 95% of it after his 60th birthday.

More bad news on Ebola. Sierra Leone lost another top doctor to the virus, Guinea declared a public health emergency, and a new experimental drug may take months to reach West Africa. The epidemic has even spooked citizens in China, where authorities have had to explain that no, it doesn’t turn people into zombies.

Quartz obsession interlude

Adam Epstein on the surprising democratizing power of McDonald’s Wi-Fi. “The two reporters in Ferguson had discovered what many across the US already know—that the local McDonald’s is generally a good bet when you need free and convenient internet accessibility. McDonald’s branches in the US allow people to use their Wi-Fi for free, even without purchasing food. According to the Wall Street Journal, as of last year there were roughly 12,000 McDonald’s locations with free Wi-Fi (paywall) in the US, almost as many as the 15,000 public libraries with Wi-Fi. And McDonald’s stays open much later than most public libraries—some even operate 24/7.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Email is the best thing about the internet. It’s a dependable workhorse that everyone relies on and nobody owns.

The ice-bucket challenge is a cannibalistic charity. If someone donates to the ALS Association, they are less likely to donate elsewhere.

Social media has given protestors in Ferguson, Missouri a voice. The revolution may not be televised, but it is Vined.

Money won’t buy your kids a future. In fact it will hinder their success.

Surprising discoveries

One man approves all US beer bottle labels. He goes by the nickname “Battle.”

Food sells better in clear plastic packaging. Shoppers like to see what they are getting (paywall).

Big asteroids aren’t the scariest ones. Piles of rubble that can break up into a cloud of chunks are the ones to worry about.

Rich Los Angelenos live closer to earthquake zones. A mandatory buffer area has enticed affluent homeowners.

A pilot’s prosthetic arm came off during a rough flight. The plane landed heavily but safely.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, edgy beer bottle labels, and Berkshire Hathaway shares to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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