Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—HSBC’s headquarters, Apple’s music, confident Aussies, space tortillas

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

Where will HSBC base its headquarters? The bank gives its investors an update in which it is expected to say whether it will keep its HQ in the UK, where it faces high taxes, or move it elsewhere—for instance, to Hong Kong, its original home.

The FDA decides on cholesterol drugs. Advisers to the American food and drug regulator will decide whether to recommend two strong anti-cholesterol drugs this week, starting with Sanofi today.

Lululemon reports its earnings. The Canadian yoga-wear maker has tried to expand its customer base to young girls and men, in an attempt to overcome a major recall in 2013. Today’s earnings will show how well that’s going.

General Motors holds its annual meeting. On Monday, two more claims against the company regarding deaths related to faulty ignition switches were approved, bringing the total to 111. Investors will hear about the company’s plans to bolster investments, and vote on a proposal to change the leadership structure.

While you were sleeping

Apple announced its new music-streaming service. The Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off Monday with a number of announcements from Apple, including a new music-streaming service called Apple Music, and updates to its computer, mobile-phone, and Apple Watch systems.

Dozens of US air transport workers were found to have possible terror links. The Department of Homeland Security criticized the Transportation Security Agency for clearing 73 workers for sensitive positions despite “possible terrorism-related information” in their backgrounds. That comes a week after it was found the TSA failed to detect 95% of weapons in passenger luggage.

Fiat Chrysler stepped up its General Motors merger attempt. CEO Sergio Marchionne contacted activist investors to persuade General Motors to agree to a tie-up between the two companies, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). Marchionne believes the auto industry needs to consolidate to manage the investments required to develop cleaner vehicles.

Another MERS death in South Korea. The death toll from the respiratory disease climbed to seven, a day after the country’s health minister suggested the spread of the disease might peak. Thousands remain in quarantine and schools are closed; concern is beginning to focus on the effect it could have on the country’s economy.

China saw another round of deflationary pressure. Consumer prices rose 1.2% in May from a year earlier, lower than April’s 1.5% increase and short of expectations. Factory gate prices fell 4.6%, extending a near 40-month stretch of declines; the figures highlight weak demand for goods in China, and will likely mean further economic stimulus.

Australian business confidence got a boost. National Australia Bank’s gauge rose four points to +7 in May, a nine-month high, on record-low interest rates and confidence around the government’s new budget. But the NAB warned that the domestic economy is still threatened by a slowing mining industry.

Quartz obsession interlude

Marc Bain on the US-China polyester wars.“Those polyester pants on the rack at the fashion chain down the street may owe their existence to China’s nefarious manipulation of the world’s cotton supply.” Read more here. 

Matters of debate

Greece is at risk of losing control of its narrative. Confrontations with the IMF threaten to hijack the ongoing Greek drama.

We’re all guilty of climate change denial. We’re hardwired to forget about existential threats.

US politics needs more like Joe Biden. The vice president is “at heart a salesman” (paywall), and his skill at backroom politics needs to come back into fashion.

You’re probably swimming wrong. If it doesn’t feel like “weightless gliding,” you almost certainly are.

Surprising discoveries

Scientists finally figured out why Greenland’s lakes disappear. It’s because ice behaves like Silly Putty.

Hong Kong has a wild boar problem. They’re growing in number and “fear no man.” Last month, one crashed through the ceiling of a children’s clothing store and bit a mannequin.

You can eat tortillas in space. An astronaut explains it’s not all about freeze-dried food.

Kate Moss was ordered off an EasyJet flight. She called the pilot a “basic bitch.”

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, space tortillas, and pilot putdowns to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.