Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Obamacare upheld, Nike’s big leap, France’s enraged cabbies, alligator water dances

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What to watch for today

Pivotal rulings from the US Supreme Court. Closely-watched decisions on same-sex marriage and government regulation of power plant emissions are due by the end of the court’s term, and could arrive either today or Monday. It’s also the anniversary of two landmark Supreme Court cases that struck down laws banning gay and inter-racial marriage.

A seven-nation confab on Iran’s nuclear deal. Officials from the US, France, Russia, China, Britain, and Germany are joining Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna to finalize about limits on Iran’s nuclear program. The goal is to hammer out a deal for Iran to give up some of its nuclear ambitions in exchange for lifted sanctions before June 30.

The Apple Watch goes on sale in Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. It’s also the first day of Apple Watch sales in Italy, Mexico, Spain, and Switzerland.

While you were sleeping

Obamacare survived a major legal challenge. The US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that ambiguous wording in the Affordable Care Act does not invalidate government subsidies that have allowed some 6 million poor and middle-class Americans to buy more affordable health insurance. Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” wrote chief justice John Roberts.

Nike out-ran estimates. Fourth-quarter net income rose 24% to $865 million, or $0.98 per share, well ahead of analyst expectations of $0.83 per share, US sales in particular benefitted from the shift to casual “athleisure” apparel; Nike shares were up 2.7% in after-hours trading.

Greek bailout talks floundered. Europe’s finance ministers couldn’t agree on anything regarding bailout plans for Greece. They will likely meet again on Saturday, which may be Athens’ last chance to strike a deal.

French taxi drivers raged against Uber. Striking cabbies flipped over cars and burned tires to protest the recent expansion of the car service app in Paris and other cities. Car traffic surrounding airports was blocked, and the riot police had to use tear gas against the protesters.

Univision dropped Donald Trump’s beauty pageants. The biggest US Spanish-language channel won’t air the Miss USA or Miss Universe pageants to protest comments by their owner, mogul and long-shot presidential candidate Donald Trump, who recently said Mexican immigrants bring drugs, crime, and rape to the United States.

An online dating giant is going public. Barry Diller’s Interactive Corp is spinning off the unit that owns Tinder,, and OKCupid to capitalize on the boom in online and mobile romance seekers. Tinder, which lets users quickly approve or dismiss a potential date, receives a reported 16,000 swipes a second.

Quartz obsession interlude

Max Nisen on Facebook’s diversity update. “After following Google’s lead and releasing diversity statistics last year, Facebook provided its first update today. The good: There’s been some improvement. The bad: It’s clear that changing hiring practices and becoming more diverse is going to be a long process in Silicon Valley.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Iran is about to become a free-for-all. Oil companies and other firms are preparing for the pariah country to reopen for business.

Thank Google for your fast broadband. The tech company’s investment in fiber-optic lines spurred cable companies to follow suit.

The US needs new nukes. Its current weapons arsenal is rotting, after all. Also, Russia.

American fast food doesn’t need fancy lab-grown meat. It just needs this veggie burger.

Obamacare deserves to live, because it’s working. US health care inflation has dropped markedly since its inception.

Surprising discoveries

Bright lights can trigger big sneezes. The reflex is embedded in our DNA.

Germany is bringing back its deathtrap doorless elevators. Citizens complaining about the “nanny state” demanded their return.

Lululemon is recalling 300,000 workout tops that may attack your face. Hard-tipped elastic drawcords have injured seven people. 

Alligators like to make waves during breeding season.  Their sub-audible vibrations create “unique wavy patterns” know as a “water dance.”

A fashion model went rogue on the runway. He unfurled a “Kill Angela Merkel” sign and was later punched by designer Rick Owens.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, homicidal hoodies, and alligator water dances to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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