Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—French jobs, $10 billion Snapchat, Russian warming, calm whales

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What to watch for today

Turkey toys with interest rates. The central bank is under government pressure to drop its benchmark rate again, having lowered it by 175 basis points since January. The government says more rate cuts will slow inflation, contrary to what most economists believe. Most of the brokerages in a Reuters survey don’t expect a cut.

Tiffany and Co. reels in the bling. After reporting revenue over $1 billion last quarter, the retailer and jeweler hopes to continue its strong streak. Despite a luxury brand slowdown in Asia, analysts are expecting the company to report even higher profit than in the previous quarter.

Hopeful news for the solar industry. Yingli, the world’s largest solar panel maker, is expected to report a smaller quarterly loss, amid signs that a long global glut of solar components is coming to an end. Its competitor Trina yesterday reported a 69% jump in shipments (and that was less than it hoped for).

Brinkmanship over Syria. Pressure is growing on the US to bomb Syria after the Islamic State demanded a $6.6 million ransom for an American hostage there; it’s unclear whether she is one of the four missing Americans that Qatar is trying to free. If the US did strike Syria, this is the first town it could hit.

Bad news for French jobs. A day after France’s cabinet had a reshuffle, the country will report on business confidence and jobless claims. Joblessness was at a record high at the end of June, with almost 3.4 million unemployed.

While you were sleeping

Burgers + donuts = tasty, said Warren Buffett. The billionaire investor’s Berkshire Hathaway is financing the $11.4 billion merger between Burger King in the US and Tim Hortons in Canada to the tune of $3 billion, at a 9% interest rate. The combined company will be the world’s third-largest fast-food group, with some 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries.

Poroshenko and Putin talked late into the night. After the Ukrainian and Russian presidents met (with extremely forced smiles) in Minsk for peace talks, they agreed to come up with a ceasefire plan for the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, and resume Russian gas shipments. Trouble is, Russia still denies supplying the rebels.

The S&P hit another milestone. The broad gauge of US stocks closed above 2,000, after touching the level on Monday and falling back. But the market gained only 0.1% on the day, even though consumer confidence also hit a new post-crisis high.

Snapchat is now worth $10 billion. Venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins has reportedly agreed (paywall) to invest up to $20 million in the photo-messaging service, valuing it at some $10 billion, five times the level of a year ago. We think that might not be crazy, even though Snapchat still has almost no revenue.

Apple is making an even bigger iPad. It could start producing a tablet with a 12.9-inch screen by early next year. (Current iPads are 8 and 10 inches.) The oft-rumored “iPad Pro”—likely pricier, too—seems aimed at business users. Microsoft recently launched a 12-inch Surface tablet.

Silva gained a lead over Rousseff. Less than a week after the Brazilian Socialist Party made Marina Silva its presidential candidate to replace the late Eduardo Campos, she is emerging as the clear favorite (paywall). A poll after the first presidential debate gave Silva 45% of votes in a run-off, against president Dilma Rousseff’s 36%.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on how global warming has hit Russia with a vengeance. “When Vladimir Putin declined to support the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty to limit carbon emissions, he famously quipped that higher temperatures might actually benefit Russia since its people would have to spend less on fur coats. Well, he’s getting his wish… Between 1976 and 2012, average Russian temperatures rose 0.43°C (0.8°F) a decade—more than twice the global average of 0.17°C.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Gaza isn’t safe yet. A UN resolution would make sure the ceasefire, and all of its clauses, stays intact.

The bombing of Tripoli is a game-changer. The joint Egyptian-Emirati airstrikes paved the way for Arab governments to take action against jihadists in other countries.

Narendra Modi’s been a disappointment. He talked big, but his actions in his three months as Indian prime minister haven’t been up to much.

Burger King’s Canadian acquisition isn’t about taxes. It’s been reported as a “tax inversion” deal, but it’s really about growth.

American journalists shouldn’t take the risk of covering wars. The country is so polarized, their reporting won’t change opinions anyway.

An independent Scotland would be vulnerable to Russia. British defenses would depart and the Russian Navy could carry out bolder incursions.

Surprising discoveries

Toddlers are really good at math. At least, they have a strong aptitude for probability.

Televised confessions are a hit in China. CCTV is broadcasting them from prison.

The online taxi wars are getting really dirty. Uber has a secret plan for sabotaging competitors called Operation SLOG.

A woman single-handedly killed a leopard that attacked her. She was armed with just farm tools.

Whales don’t like to be watched. It stresses them out and increases the risk of boat collisions.

The risk from Bardarbunga isn’t over. A stream of magma from the Icelandic volcano is headed towards a larger volcano system, which could trigger an even bigger eruption.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, whale-calming mantras, and televised confessions to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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