Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—FIFA’s election, Swiss GDP miss, Silk Road sentencing, mankinis

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What to watch for today

FIFA chooses its president. FIFA’s 65th congress is underway in Zurich and despite the corruption scandal that’s rocking global soccer’s governing body, a vote on the group’s president will go ahead. Embattled incumbent Sepp Blatter is running for a fifth four-year term against Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan. The results are expected to come in around 11am ET.

A bunch of big countries report GDP growth. The US Commerce Department will release revised data on the first quarter, which initially showed a 0.2% gain. Analysts expect that the revision will show that the economy actually shrank during the quarter. Brazil’s economy probably contracted as well, but Canada is expected to eke out a small gain in economic growth. India’s first look at GDP for the three months to March is expected to show 7.3% growth, marking the second consecutive quarter that its economy outpaced China’s.

Silk Road’s “Dread Pirate Roberts” is sentenced. Ross Ulbricht has been convicted of running the online black market 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.

Today’s earnings: Bank of Nova Scotia, Big Lots, Cencosud, Genesco.

While you were sleeping

The Swiss economy shrank. Switzerland’s GDP fell by 0.2% in the first quarter, its biggest contraction since 2009. Exporters have been hit hard by a stronger franc after Switzerland scrapped its cap on the currency’s value versus the euro in January.

Greek banks shed deposits. New data showed that nervous savers yanked nearly €6 billion ($6.6 billion) from the country’s banks last month, dropping deposits to their lowest level in a decade.

Japan’s labor market improved. Japan’s jobless rate declined to 3.3% in April, its lowest level since 1997, and job vacancies reached their highest level in 23 years. Domestic consumption, a key driver for the country’s economic revival, is still weak: household spending fell 1.3% in April instead of rising 3% as economists expected.

South Korea’s Daum Kakao is buying Path. The South Korean operator of the chat app Kakao Talk said it is acquiring the messaging app Path, founded by former Facebook employee Dave Morin, for an undisclosed amount. The sale gives Kakao a foothold in Southeast Asia where Path is popular, especially in Indonesia.

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.

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

Britain’s plan to limit welfare for foreigners won’t reduce immigration. Migrants are drawn by jobs, not benefits (paywall).

Tiger Mom or Cat Dad? China is debating the merits of various parenting methods.

FIFA can always count on Gazprom. And Blatter on Putin—but it comes at a price.

Misogyny can lead to suicide among young women. Globally, suicide is the main cause of death among 15 to 19-year-olds.

Surprising discoveries

You can become less sexist and racist while you sleep. These are among the many benefits of a good nap.

Use this trick to tell if someone is lying. Groups are better at detecting lies than individuals.

About that study claiming chocolate helps you lose weight. It was faked to show the hypocrisy of the diet industry (and the laziness of the media).

Borat’s swimsuit makes people behave badly. A British beach town says banning the “mankini” helped reduce crime and other anti-social behavior.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, subconscious self-help strategies, and sensible swimwear to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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