Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—US jobs, Greek bailout showdown, Indian noodle recall, angry Canadian mermaids

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What to watch for today

OPEC meets in Vienna. The cartel of energy-exporting nations normally influences the price of oil by adjusting supply, but with US shale oil flooding the market, its grip on prices is weakening. Expect OPEC to maintain a production target of 30 million barrels a day. Separately, the group will reinstate Indonesia as a member, boosting trade and support with the country.

The US releases its latest jobs report. Hiring has slowed since last year, and the Labor Department’s monthly data dump could offer clues as to whether this is just a blip or something more worrying. The indicators to watch are the pace of hiring, wages, and the overall unemployment rate.

Greece’s prime minister briefs parliament on bailout negotiations. Alexis Tsipras will face anxious lawmakers after the cash-strapped country delayed an IMF loan repayment due today, instead opting to bundle its four payments due to the fund in June into one lump sum at the end of the month.

A much-needed monsoon approaches Kerala. Amid a heatwave that has killed over 2,500 people in India, the rains are already five days late. As a result, forecasters fear that annual rainfall may be much weaker than usual.

While you were sleeping

The US government’s HR department was hacked. The Office of Personnel Management suffered a “massive data breach“ that may affect every federal agency and millions of employees. Officials said the hackers were based in China.

Nestlé recalled Maggi noodles across India. Testing discovered up to seven times the permitted amount of lead in the company’s popular instant noodle packs, although Nestlé says they remain safe. Maggi noodles are so popular in India they are considered a staple alongside rice and lentils; some consumers are finding black market sources for their fix.

Vodafone discussed an asset swap. The British telecom company is in early talks with Liberty Global, a London-based telecom and TV business, about exchanging assets, Bloomberg reported. Earlier reports suggested a possible merger, but Vodafone dismissed this option.

The capsized Yangtze cruise ship was righted. Only 14 of the 456 people on board the Eastern Star are known to have survived before the the ship was brought upright, marking an end to the search for survivors and the beginning of a search for bodies. It is the deadliest maritime disaster during peacetime in modern Chinese history.

The euro zone’s engine revved up. Germany’s Bundesbank expects the economy to grow by 1.7% this year, up from its 1.1% forecast in December, with exports boosted by a cheap euro. Separately, German factory orders rose 1.4% in April, compared with expectations of a 0.5% increase.

Quartz obsession interlude

Marc Bain on how the NBA finals are not just about basketball—but also about sneakers. “Just as they do for LeBron James and Stephen Curry—the king and the upstart—the finals offer a head-to-head matchup of sorts for their sponsors, another king and another upstart: Nike and Under Armour.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

It’s scary to be a professor these days. The fear of offending liberal students is overwhelming.

We have no idea how many rape claims are false. Any group claiming it knows is absolutely wrong.

Don’t be fooled by Jeb Bush’s friendly face. He is more ruthless and conservative than he seems.

I would pay for Facebook if it didn’t track me online. A proposition worth considering (paywall).

Qatar and Russia shouldn’t host the World Cup. Let’s take another look at those corrupt FIFA decisions.

Surprising discoveries

The middle-aged and elderly are committing more crimes. Some theories blame loneliness, others poverty.

Google Street View has an underwater version. It lets you explore the world’s seabeds.

“Hellboy” roamed the world 68 million years ago. Scientists discovered an incredible new dinosaur fossil.

Sony makes a light bulb that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker. Let there be light… and sound!

Mermaids are banned from Canadian swimming pools. And they are not happy about it.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, underwater walking tours, and hellacious archeology to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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