Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Greece’s misssed deadline, BHP Billiton’s profit, Singapore’s redistribution, Wi-Fi-sniffing drones

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What to watch for today

Greece submits its reform plans a day late. The government’s proposal to euro zone leaders for a four-month extension on its loans was due on Monday, but the deadline came and went. The parties are now scheduled to discuss the plan’s particulars in a teleconference this afternoon.

Details on Hewlett-Packard’s impending split. HP will report fiscal first-quarter results, but analysts will pay more attention to how assets will be divvied up when it splits into two companies later this year.

Barack Obama nixes Keystone XL. A bill approving the $8 billion pipeline, which would carry more than 510,000 barrels of oil a day between Nebraska and Alberta, Canada, is expected to reach the president’s desk this morning. Obama plans to veto the measure without “drama or fanfare.”

Janet Yellen speaks to Congress. Her remarks are expected to signal how soon the Federal Reserve plans to hike its benchmark interest rate hike for the first time since 2007.

Comcast and Dreamworks Animation earnings. America’s largest cable operator is expected to report a rise in revenue due in part to more political ad spending as election campaigning ramps up. The animation studio, on the other hand, had to cut 500 jobs last month, and Penguins of Madagascar didn’t do so well at the box office.

While you were sleeping

A South African intel leak spills secrets from Mossad and the CIA. Al Jazeera obtained a trove of cables between South Africa’s intelligence service and its allied counterparts abroad. Among the revelations: Israeli intelligence’s assessment of Iranian nuclear capabilities contradicted public statements by Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and the CIA attempted to make contact with Hamas despite a US ban.

Viacom is planning job cuts. The US media company is struggling with shrinking audiences and ad revenue at its cable channels, sources told Bloomberg. With younger audiences watching video online, Viacom is also planning to shift its focus to international and online media.

Avoiding peanuts may cause peanut allergies. New research in the New England Journal of Medicine found that only 1% of children who regularly ate peanuts became allergic to them, compared with 17.5% of those who did not. The study suggests that the recent outbreak of peanut allergies could be rolled back.

Singapore redistributed some wealth. The city-state raised its top tax rate to 22%, from 20%, and said the top 5% of earners will see higher fees. In return, the government unveiled quarterly payouts to low-income pensioners, raising speculation it may call an election this year.

New Zealand’s inflation outlook took a dive. Kiwi businesses expect the two-year inflation rate to be just 1.8%, the lowest expectations in over 15 years and down from an expected 2.1% last quarter, according to a central bank survey of companies.

BHP Billiton’s took a hit from cheaper oil. The global mining and petroleum giant said underlying profit for its fiscal first half was $5.35 billion, down 31% from a year earlier but above expectations of $5.1 billion. A 50% drop in oil prices was counterbalanced by strong performances in iron ore and other metals.

Quartz obsession interlude

Anne Quito on the Oscar-winning graphic designer behind The Grand Budapest Hotel. ”Annie Atkins meticulously hand-crafted almost every of piece of ephemera shown on camera. ‘Every piece I made began with showing Wes a collection of real examples from the period,” she explained. “We looked at hundreds of pieces of design from Eastern Europe at the beginning of the last century as reference.'” Read more here.

Matters of debate

HSBC is too big to be regulated. The bank makes most of its money in Asia, but is overseen—poorly—from the UK.

Should a national anthem be gender-neutral? Canada’s parliament is divided.

Arab armies are not going to take down ISIL. Their track records don’t inspire confidence.

It’s time for China to drop the yuan-dollar peg. China’s economy is simply too big, and exposure to the dollar makes it more vulnerable.

Large group dinners should be banned. Nobody has fun when 10 or more people eat together.

Surprising discoveries

A mummified monk was found inside a Buddha statue. Researchers believe he “self-mummified” around 1,000 years ago.

Frank Zappa ruined Jeb Bush’s wedding photos. Marvin Bush used the same film to shoot the rock star and his older brother’s nuptials.

Wi-Fi-sniffing drones have arrived. They are designed to help marketers target you with ads.

Alcohol is over 100 times more deadly than marijuana. Marijuana was the least deadly drug in a wide-ranging study of controlled substances.

Alaskans have the lowest stress and diabetes levels in the US. They are also best in the nation at exercising—if you take their word for it.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Wi-Fi-drone countermeasures, and Zappa-Bush photo collages  to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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