Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—The new Mi, Europe vs Gazprom, the love of Spam, giant rats

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

Xiaomi unveils a new phone. The Chinese handset maker will reveal the device for the Indian market in New Delhi. The Mi4i is expected to be a cheaper version of its flagship phone, the Mi4, with a price of as little as $161.

Tsipras has a chat with Merkel. The Greek and German leaders will meet in Brussels (paywall), their third get-together since Tsipras took office, in an attempt to reach a deal on Greece’s debt. It has a €3.5 billion ($3.8 billion) bill coming up in July to the ECB and €770 million due to the IMF next month.

Deutsche Bank faces a fine. British and US officials are reportedly planning to announce that the German bank must fork over at least $1.5 billion for participating in the rigging of the Libor rate. It settled with European officials in 2013 over the same issue.

Europe starts taking migrants seriously. An emergency summit will call for funding commitments to fight human trafficking, boost rescue services and help refugees before they try to cross the Mediterranean, after last weekend’s boat disaster in which 800 people are thought to have died.

Earnings. Lots of earnings. Here’s just a small sample of the firms reporting today: Altera, Amazon, Domino’s Pizza, Dunkin’ Brands, Freescale, General Motors, Google, Kia Motors, Microsoft, Novartis, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and Starbucks.

While you were sleeping

The EU squared up to Gazprom… A four-year investigation concluded that Russia’s gas behemoth abused its market power to overcharge for gas and force customers to buy its services. Gazprom retorted (paywall) that Europe can’t touch it because the company is a government entity.

…and Bulgaria inched away from it. The country, which relies on Gazprom for 95% of its gas supply, said it plans to build a new €220 million pipeline connecting it to Romania and Greece (paywall). It will start operating in 2018.

Airstrikes in Yemen continued. Though Saudi Arabia said the day before that it had ceased its aerial bombardment of Houthi rebels at the request of Yemen’s president, there were reports of fresh bombings of Houthi positions in the city of Taiz (paywall).

Amazon wants to break into people’s cars.pilot program in Germany will let DHL deliver packages bought on Amazon straight into the trunk of select Audi vehicles, using a one-time keyless access system. In future, Amazon said, it may allow returns via the same concept (paywall). Volvo floated a similar idea earlier this year.

Google started selling mobile phone service. The company will connect its Nexus 6 users via two US wireless networks: Sprint and T-Mobile. The pricing is what’s unique: Customers will pay a flat fee based on expected usage, and get refunds for what they don’t use. The service will be invite-only for now.

Quartz obsession interlude

Deena Shanker on the world’s favorite canned meat. “In times of economic trouble, Spam flies off the shelves. But now, as the economy improves, Hormel Foods’ canned pre-cooked pork is looking for a new, higher-brow market. The product has played a bit part in ‘haute’ cuisine since at least 2009, when Vinny Dotolo of the LA eatery Animal paired it with foie gras. In 2011, chef Hooni Kim put it in a stew at his New York restaurant Danji. ” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Stop drinking bottled water. Unless your country’s tap water is unsafe to drink, don’t buy a bottle that’ll end up polluting the ocean.

Chinese companies defaulting is a good thing. It’ll instil some fiscal responsibility in firms that have been coddled with easy money.

One-way streets are a bad idea. They were designed for the rise of car culture, but they depress real-estate prices and create a dangerous environment for people.

Europe should stop treating migrants like criminals. Rescuing them from the sea isn’t enough; they need more ways (paywall) of entering the continent legally.

We need to understand Vladimir Putin better. The Russian president is neither a fanatic, nor a lunatic, nor even just a kleptocrat, but a believer in a cause.

Surprising discoveries

There used to be cat-sized rats in the Caribbean. Settlers from Europe exterminated them.

This is the most accurate clock ever. It can sense the effect on time of a change in height—and thus of Earth’s gravity—of just 2cm (0.8 in).

We’re raising a generation of kid with eye problems. Myopia is on the rise because young people around the world aren’t spending enough time outdoors (paywall).

Keep track of your assets. An elderly homeless man discovered he had a bank account that’s been collecting a pension for years.

Don’t say you haven’t wanted to do this. A man got fined for shooting eight bullets into his malfunctioning computer. He said it felt “glorious.”

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, gigantic mouse traps, and computer repair manuals to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.