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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Yahoo’s Alibaba update, Confederate flag ban, Obama’s trade win, airplane snack rage

By Svati Kirsten Narula
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

Yahoo’s Alibaba spin-off update. Marissa Mayer will face more questions from shareholders about the creation of a new company to house Yahoo’s $33 billion stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The US government is planning to change how it taxes such transactions, though Mayer claims Yahoo’s spin-off will not be affected.

Fiat Chrysler launches a new Alfa Romeo. The debt-laden automaker is counting on its century-old Alfa brand to compete against German rivals BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. Fiat Chrysler is also pursuing a possible merger with General Motors.

NATO gets together. Defense secretaries meet in Brussels to discuss Russian threats in eastern Europe. The US plans to send heavy weapons to the area to deter aggression by Vladimir Putin.

Europe and Greece are close to a deal. Policymakers seem to finally realize the cost of derailing a long-awaited economic recovery.

Monsanto’s M&A plans. Analysts are forecasting a 27% increase in quarterly earnings per share for the US seed and chemical company, which is doggedly pursuing a takeover of Swiss agribusiness firm Syngenta. Monsanto executives say they are also considering going after Germany’s Bayer AG.

While you were sleeping

Ebay and Amazon banned sales of Confederate flag merchandise. The online retailers’ decisions coincide with similar moves by brick-and-mortar stores following last week’s massacre in South Carolina. The flag, considered by many to be a symbol of racism and oppression, may also soon come down from the South Carolina statehouse and disappear from several states’ license plates.

Barack Obama got closer to sealing a controversial trade deal. The US Senate narrowly voted to end debate (paywall) on a bill that would give the president ”fast-track” authority to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership, almost certainly ensuring that the measure will become law.

Russia dethroned Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier. Russia sent almost 930,000 barrels a day to China in May, a 21% rise from April. Analysts said the surge was attributable to oil-for-loan deals that China has signed with Russian oil producers.

A French ferry strike spiraled into an illegal migration free-for-all. Striking French workers blocked train traffic beneath the English Channel, creating gridlock in Calais, France. Amid the chaos, migrants tried to break into vehicles in order to stow away for passage to the United Kingdom.

Boeing got a new CEO. Chief operating officer Dennis Muilenburg will succeed W. James McNerney, who has reached the aerospace giant’s mandatory retirement age of 65. The changing of the guard (paywall)—largely expected though a bit earlier than anticipated—will leave McNerney as chairman of the board.

Quartz obsession interlude

Zach Seward introduces Atlas, Quartz’s new platform for charts. “We’re calling this Atlas because, while once atlases were used to figure out where everything was, the way we understand the world now is with data … You can now download the data behind our charts, embed our charts elsewhere on the web, grab an image of our charts, and of course share our charts on social media.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

You should buy smaller fruit. It allows drought-stricken California farmers to use less water.

Dating apps are a blessing and a curse for LGBT youth. They have fewer opportunities for traditional courtship behaviors.

The Confederate flag should not come down because it’s offensive. It should come down because it is embarrassing to all Americans.

Cities should just say “no” to the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee leaves a mess wherever it goes.

Slack’s days of fun are nearly over. The office chat software needs to meet strict reporting requirements to serve financial industry clients.

Surprising discoveries

Another reason to loathe skinny jeans. A woman fainted and lost feeling in her feet after wearing the constricting denim pants.

The US Navy is really attached to Windows XP. It’s paying Microsoft $9 million to support the obsolete operating system.

For sale: the world’s largest plot of land. An Australian cattle dynasty is seeking $325 million for 23,000 square km (8,880 square mile).

A passenger’s demand for snacks forced a massive travel delay. The United passenger wanted unlimited nuts and crackers.

Linkin Park runs a venture capital fund. The band created a diversification strategy with the help of Harvard Business School.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, skinny jean ailments, and rock band VC strategies  to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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