Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Sweet-talking Europe, Carly for president, McDonald’s turnaround plan, cocaine bananas

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What to watch for today

Greece keeps sweet-talking Europe… Government ministers are meeting European officials in Frankfurt and Brussels to continue discussing an interim deal between the country and its creditors. Things are apparently going much better since Greece demoted its combative finance minister, Yannis Varoufakis, from the leadership of its negotiating team last week.

…and so does China. Officials will host the EU’s foreign-policy chief, Federica Mogherini, in Beijing, at the outset of a diplomatic push to bolster China-EU ties. China’s been pretty successful at roping European countries in to membership of the AIIB, the development bank aimed at challenging US influence.

Kellog and Disney earnings. Analysts expect the cereal maker to post a year-over-year drop in revenue and earnings. Disney’s earnings report was moved to Tuesday so that employees could attend the Monday funeral of SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg, whose wife Sheryl Sandberg is on Disney’s board.

Forecasts for the European spring. An important indicator of the bloc’s economic health, the European Commission’s forecast will include all 28 EU members as well as candidate countries and trading partners. Everyone is looking good, perhaps except for Greece.

John Kerry in Djibouti. He will be the first US secretary of state to visit the country, where he will discuss evacuating civilians from Yemen and visit a military base. Kerry was in Kenya on Monday where he pledged new aid for the country and support in its fight against terrorism.

While you were sleeping

Italy passed a big election reform. The new measure aims to eliminate the instability written into the Italian political system, with its ever-changing coalitions and governments. The party that wins the most votes in an election will henceforth get an automatic majority in parliament.

Carly Fiorina punted for the US presidency. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO, who has never held public office, is officially seeking the Republican nomination. A long-shot candidate, she’s presented herself as someone who understands how to create jobs and can also play the gender card against the Democrats’ Hillary Clinton.

Angela Merkel defended Germany’s spy agency. In her first public comments on what’s become a big domestic scandal, Germany’s chancellor stood up for the BND but said she’d cooperate with a parliamentary investigation into how it helped the US National Security Agency spy on European officials and companies.

McDonald’s announced a turnaround plan. Following the news that it would shut hundreds of restaurants after poor results last month, the burger chain announced a restructuring that involves reorganizing its worldwide operations, making more restaurants into franchises, and firing a lot of middle managers.

Cisco got a new CEO. Chuck Robbins, senior vice president of worldwide operations at the computer-networking company, will leapfrog over company president Rob Lloyd and step into the CEO role on July 26, succeeding longtime leader John Chambers.

The world welcomed Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Two days after the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to her second child, Kensington Palace announced the baby girl’s name, a favorite among British bookies. Cue a proliferation of baby Charlottes in the coming months: the birth of Prince George propelled his name into the top 10 baby boy names in the UK.

Quartz obsession interlude

Leo Mirani asks whether Europe hates America or hates Google. “There is no doubt, whether in Brussels, Washington D.C., or Mountain View, California, that the Google antitrust case has taken on a political hue. But accusations of anti-Americanism in the context of this case would appear to be unfounded.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The “smart” gadget bubble will inevitably burst. There’s no room for all the smart forks, frying pans, shoes, and fart detectors (paywall).

Putin’s paternalism may be his undoing. In response to economic pressures, Russia is cutting the social spending that made the president popular.

Banks need to treat their coders better. Goldman Sachs sabotaged itself—and the finance industry—in its aggressive case against a former tech employee.

Israel has a racism problem. Its discrimination not just against Arab-Israelis, but also against Ethiopian Jews, is systematic.

What caused the Baltimore riots? Americans are divided, in part by party affiliation and race.

Surprising discoveries

There’s a lake of bubbling lava on one of Jupiter’s moons. That makes Io the most active volcanic body in our solar system.

Cocaine bananas, anyone? Staff in supermarkets around Berlin found $17 million worth of cocaine in boxes of bananas from Colombia.

Microsoft is getting sassy. The company is the first to introduce a middle-finger emoji, coming to you with the latest update of Windows 10.

There are some really weird drawings in patents. Behold the wearable table, the gun-shaped remote control, and what appears to be a child kissing a rabbit.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, drug-laced bananas, and bizarre patent sketches to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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