Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Denmark elections, China’s new millionaires, Fitbit IPO, witches of Etsy

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What to watch for today

Denmark goes to the polls. Prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the first woman to run the country, is in a neck-and-neck race to keep her Social Democrat-led coalition in power.

Europe’s finance ministers wring their hands over Greece. They’ll try, and probably fail, to finalize an aid-for-reforms deal. Meanwhile, the ugly war of words continues.

Fitbit steps it up. The fitness-tracking device maker is poised to raise more than $600 million in its highly-anticipated IPO, which would give it a valuation of about $3.7 billion.

Ramadan begins for many of the world’s Muslims. The closely-watched moon-sighting committee in the United Arab Emirates announced that the holy Islamic month starts this morning. But many countries and territories have their own committees, and they don’t always agree.

The St. Petersburg Economic Forum kicks off. Under pressure from the United States, many Western business leaders are skipping the event.

While you were sleeping

AT&T was fined $100 million for putting sneaky limits on “unlimited” data plans. The US Federal Communications Commission ruled that the wireless provider misled customers by slowing download speeds to a crawl after subscribers passed certain data thresholds. AT&T vowed to contest the record-setting fine.

Asia’s wealth surpassed Europe’s. A million new Chinese millionaires were created in 2014, according to new data from the Boston Consulting Group, thanks to the country’s booming stock markets. The new tally pushes the collective wealth of the Asia-Pacific region past Europe, and puts Asia on track to surpass North America in 2016.

US banks tallied up their profits on ATM fees. In the first quarter of 2015, the biggest consumer banks collected a total of $437.7 million in surcharges on customers’ cash withdrawals.

Starbucks ditched its bakery chain.  The US-based coffee chain will shutter its 23 La Boulange bakery outlets as well as two manufacturing plants that supply them. Starbucks will also close an Evolution Fresh outlet in San Francisco, part of the business it purchased in 2011 for $30 million.

FedEx and Oracle delivered disappointing results. The shipping giant’s revenues came in at $12.1 billion, short of the $12.3 billion analysts were expecting. Oracle’s shares plunged after fourth-quarter revenues of $10.7 billion fell well short of consensus estimates.

Quartz obsession interlude

Jenni Avins on the brand invading Gap’s global retail niche. “One needs only to glance inside a Uniqlo store in Manhattan—its flagship there claims to be Fifth Avenue’s biggest store—to see that there are still many customers for affordable, relatively undecorated clothing that flies stylishly under the radar. It’s just that increasingly, they’re probably buying that clothing at Uniqlo instead of Gap.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Facebook owns your face. The social network has detailed biometric data on its users, and is using it to create invasive new products.

You don’t have to boycott Nutella. Greenpeace says its use of palm oil is environmentally sustainable.

Rough-housing with Dad is good for kids. Fathers also tend to score well on a measure called “The Laughing Test.” (paywall) 

The middle class can’t have much fun at Walt Disney theme parks. There’s no such thing as an affordable Disney vacation anymore.

Elaborately staged marriage proposals are the worst. Making a show of popping the question just proves you’re a narcissist.

Surprising discoveries

Cat videos are good for you. Watching clips of funny felines boosts energy and positive emotions.

Iceland’s Muslims have to fast for 21 hours. That’s how long a day lasts in far northern latitudes during Ramadan this year.

The witches of Etsy are unhappy. The online marketplace has banned the sale of magical spells.

European beachgoers are unfazed by migrants crawling ashore. The onlookers appear chillingly blasé.

There are some new Mark Twain stories to read. A cache of the author’s early work was unearthed in California.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, medicinal cat videos, and hand-crafted spells to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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