Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—FIFA election, Silk Road sentencing, Kiwi confidence, cat dads

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What to watch for today

FIFA chooses its president. Despite the corruption scandal that’s rocking soccer’s governing body, the election will go ahead. Incumbent president Sepp Blatter will run against Jordanian Prince Ali bin al-Hussein. Some are calling for Blatter’s resignation, but he insisted he won’t quit and still enjoys strong support within the organization.

The Shangri-La Dialogue security forum has kicked off in Singapore. US secretary of defense Ash Carter is attending the annual summit, as are senior Chinese military officials. One topic that will come up: growing tensions over China’s creation of man-made islands in the South China Sea, which are seen as a bid to dominate one of the world’s most important waterways.

The US and Brazil release their GDP data. The US Commerce Department will report revised data on the first quarter, which initially showed a 0.2% gain. Analysts expect that the US economy actually shrank. Brazil’s economy probably contracted as well, owing to government austerity measures and high lending costs.

Silk Road “Dread Pirate Roberts” is sentenced. Ross Ulbricht has been convicted of running the online black marketplace and could face life in prison. US prosecutors have called for a sentence of longer than 20 years, pointing to deaths from drugs purchased on the website as well as murder-for-hire plots.

Earnings: The Bank of Nova Scotia, Big Lots, Cencosud, Genesco.

While you were sleeping

Kiwi business confidence faltered. Only 16% of New Zealand businesses surveyed are optimistic about the economy, according to the ANZ Business Outlook survey. That’s a 15-point drop from April and the lowest level since general elections last year.

Chinese shares stayed down. The benchmark Shanghai index slipped further in early trading hours, after plunging 6.5% on Thursday on investor worries of margin trading and a bubble.

The African Development Bank elected a new president. Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s agriculture minister, won a race to become the pan-African bank’s eighth president. He will take over from Donald Kaberuka, who leaves the post in September. Adesina was one of the favorites, coming from the continent’s largest economy and striking a populist tone in his campaign.

JP Morgan has apparently begun massive layoffs. America’s largest bank is planning to lay off more than 5,000 by next year, reports The Wall Street Journal. It wants to cut down on expenses, and reduce its ranks of human tellers as it automates more. The cuts will be smaller than last year’s, when the bank, which employs more than 240,000 people, eliminated 7,900 jobs.

Quartz obsession interlude

John McDuling on how self-driving cars are going to make some people sick. ”Humans rarely experience motion sickness while driving. It’s more commonly an ailment for passengers—and is heavily dependent on what the passenger is doing while sitting in the car (reading, watching videos, etc.)” Read more here. 

Matters of debate

Productivity is falling because of how executives are paid. The main culprit: bonus culture (paywall).

Tiger Mom or Cat Dad? China’s debate over parenting methods.

On extramarital affairs, with an app. And both spouses being cool with that.

FIFA can always count on Gazprom. And Blatter on Putin–but it can come at a price.

Misogyny can lead to suicide among young women. And globally, suicide is the likeliest thing that will kill them.

Surprising discoveries

A new HIV study could revolutionize treatment. The earlier, the better, scientists now say.

Research shows how to tell if someone is lying. Groups are better at detecting lies than individuals.

That study that said chocolate would help you lose weight? It was faked to show the hypocrisy of the diet industry.

The immoral effects of Borat’s swimsuit. One town says banning the “mankini” helped it shed its bad reputation.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, spare bonuses, and mankinis to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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