Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Charleston shooting, Danish elections, Ramadan begins, visa temples

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What to watch for today 

Euro zone finance ministers meet about—what else—Greece. The ministers are meeting in Luxembourg to try, and probably fail, to finalize an aid-for-reforms deal. Meanwhile, the ugly war of words continues.

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

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.

Fitbit steps up. The fitness-tracking firm’s shares will begin trading in New York, after the company raised $731.5 million in an IPO, giving it an opening valuation of about $4.1 billion.

A “Fifty Shades of Grey” sequel goes on sale. The new book, entitled “Grey,” is expected to become an instant bestseller, a welcome bit of good news for the publishing industry. Early reviews suggest it is “the raunchiest yet” in the series.

While you were sleeping

A white gunman attacked a black church in South Carolina. He killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. The city’s police chief called the shooting a hate crime. The gunman remains at large.

Hong Kong rejected Beijing’s election plan. The policy would have allowed citizens to vote for their leader for the first time, but required that candidates be vetted by a pro-Beijing committee. In the end, only eight out of 70 legislators voted for the package; Beijing will reportedly impose the policy on Hong Kong regardless.

The US will put a woman on the $10 bill. Which woman will be decided later, but starting in 2020 she’ll share the banknote with Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first treasury secretary and creator of its monetary system.

Norway cut rates to a record low. Its central bank said that even after trimming its benchmark rate to 1%, more cuts are probably necessary as low oil prices put a dent in the country’s energy-heavy economy.

New Zealand’s economy slowed more than expected. GDP grew by just 0.2% quarter-on-quarter during the three months to June, its slowest rate in two years.

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 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.

There are special temples for visa seekers. Indians looking to go abroad pray at certain sites for divine help getting the right papers.

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

Donald Trump is paying for support. The Trump for President campaign offered actors $50 to cheer at a rally.

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

Correction: Yesterday’s email incorrectly reported that Starbucks’ entire Evolution Fresh business would be closed. Only the Evolution Fresh retail outlet in San Francisco will be closed.

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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