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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—US spying lapses, Russia’s blacklist, leaving FIFA, illegal smokes

What to watch for today

The US gets less Orwellian—or does it? Politicians are squabbling over how much to spy on Americans after the Patriot Act’s surveillance powers expired at midnight ET. Congress could hold a vote this week on the White House-backed Freedom Act, which allows some spying but with more controls.

EU bigwigs talk in Berlin. The European Commission’s Jean-Claude Juncker meets with German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Francois Hollande, and industrial leaders to discuss economic reforms (paywall) for the euro zone and, as always, the situation in Greece.

A respite from the Indian heatwave. After the oppressive heat killed more than 2,200 people last week, thunderstorms are expected starting today for the north of India, including Delhi.

Economic data. The US reveals its latest personal income and ISM manufacturing data. Also, look for German inflation and Brazilian trade balance data.

Over the weekend

The euro zone’s factories kept humming. Although growth was “modest rather than spectacular,” Markit said that industrial orders continued to grow in May, with a small acceleration in France compensating for a slowdown in Germany.

China’s manufacturing sector weakened. May export orders at Chinese factories contracted at their fastest rate in nearly two years, the HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index showed, while factory output shrank, and factory employment dropped for its 18th month in a row.

Matteo Renzi had a bad day. Projections suggest that the Italian prime minister’s center-left party lost key seats in regional elections held yesterday. Rivals on both the right and left made inroads, complicating Renzi’s already difficult task of implementing aggressive reforms.

Beijing and Washington dialled back the rhetoric. The two powers have been trading barbs over China’s island-building in the South China Seas. But they managed to tone it down at a security conference in Singapore. “The atmosphere has calmed a bit,” said a Chinese delegate at the meeting.

Russia created an EU blacklist… The foreign ministry is banning 89 European politicians, military leaders, and other critics from entering the country. It’s said to have created a similar list of unwelcome Americans. The move deepens the rift between Russia and the West over Moscow’s role in Ukraine.

… and Ukraine named a Russia-baiter as governor of Odessa. Former Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili will run the region that separates the Crimean peninsula, now occupied by Russia, from Transdniester, another pro-Moscow enclave in Moldova. Saakashvili, who was granted Ukrainian citizenship, led his country to a disastrous war against Russia in 2008.

Quartz obsession interlude

Kabir Chibber on why we should get rid of FIFA as well as Sepp Blatter. “How would a breakaway work in soccer? Essentially, UEFA or some other body would have to put on an alternative World Cup, with anyone that wants to participate. The idea was mooted in 2011 because of—you guessed it—corruption allegations against key FIFA members.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Retailers have mishandled mobile payments for years. It’s time for them to give up in favor of tech companies.

ISIL’s impact on Baghdad food prices is even worse than its car bombs. The city is reeling from a barrage of economic blows.

The Magna Carta is the “the most important bargain in the history of the human race.” Its impact has been felt far beyond England (paywall).

Aung San Suu Kyi must speak out on behalf of Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya. So says the Dalai Lama.

Google proved a gender-inclusive tech event is possible. Its I/O event had a record number of female attendees.

Surprising discoveries

Cristiano Ronaldo may be responsible for a dengue fever outbreak. Venezuelans who visited his childhood home off Portugal may have brought it with them.

Forty percent of all long-distance relationships end in breakups. And those relationships last just four and a half months.

A rise of just a few degrees in temperature can cause severe disability. Your body cannot cope with a heatwave.

The robot uprising claimed its first victim. Enrique Iglesias sliced open his hand when he tried to grab a drone at a concert.

Latvians consume the highest share of illegal cigarettes in Europe. Slovakians have the lowest consumption.

Tipping in a restaurant where you won’t return is misbehavior. At least according to one respected economist.

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