Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—China’s GDP, KFC’s woes, IMF warns Europe, elephant swimming pools

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What to watch for today

The Bank of Japan’s monetary policy. Analysts expect the central bank to keep interest rates and stimulus efforts unchanged, but investors will be on the lookout for updates on inflation and economic growth.

Janet Yellen testifies before Congress. The Federal Reserve chief may have to field some tough questions about a leak of information about the Fed’s bond-buying plans, which is now the subject of a criminal investigation.

A trading update from Burberry. The British maker of $1,600 trench coats will offer some insight (paywall) into the strength of the global luxury market. China’s slowing economy, a sanctioned Russia, and the Greek crisis all suggest slower growth is likely.

More blue chip US earnings. Delta, Netflix, Bank of America, Intel, BlackRock, PNC, and Kinder Morgan report their results.

While you were sleeping

China met its GDP target… The economy grew 7% in the second quarter from a year earlier, better than expected and better than proxy indicators suggest it ought to be, raising questions about how accurate China’s economic data is. That’s still at its lowest pace in six years, amid a wobbly housing market and a large-scale corruption crackdown.

…And other data is positive for the year ahead. China’s retail sales rose 10.6% in June (paywall) from a year earlier, and industrial output rose by 6.8%. Both figures beat expectations and increased from May.

Yum Brands marked a year of falling sales. Second-quarter net income for the owner of KFC and Pizza Hut was down 30% from a year earlier, at $235 million. That follows a 10% drop in same-store sales in China, the company’s biggest market—it is still recovering from a wave of food safety media reports last year that turned consumers away.

Celgene announced a $7.2 billion biotech buyout. The US-based biotech company will pay cash for fellow biotech medicine company Receptos, furthering a wave of consolidation in the healthcare sector. Celgene, which makes cancer and anti-inflammatory drugs, recently also injected $1 billion into a partnership with drugmaker Juno.

The IMF warned Greece may need more debt relief. European creditors may need to take measures “far beyond” what they have been willing to consider so far, after bank closures hurt Greece’s ability to repay debts even more, the International Monetary Fund said in a report. The New York-based institution estimated Greece’s debt could reach 200% of GDP by 2017.

Quartz obsession interlude

Marc Bain on Nike’s newest sneaker, which was inspired by a teen with cerebral palsy. ”Most people have the luxury of not having to think about the complex motor skills required to put on and tie their shoes in the morning. But for people with disabilities that impair their hands, including those with cerebral palsy or who have suffered strokes, that task can pose major challenges.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The Iran deal was the work of many, not just those in the spotlight. It’s a rare example of foreign policy shaped by the people.

Fears of contagion from China’s stock turmoil are exaggerated. The impact is more likely to be psychological.

Obama should grant clemency to every marijuana offender. There’s a lesson to be learned from past presidential pardons.

Stop the femininity police in sports. Body shaming of female athletes is all too common.

A hamburger should have no salad, and no mustard. Heaping half-steamed vegetables into a burger bun is not the way to go.

Surprising discoveries

Germans are obsessed with Native American culture. It lets them delve into a past where the bad guys are not their grandparents.

The Swiss post office is testing delivery drones. They are meant to operate like bicycle couriers.

The “Game of Thrones” dragons are made in India. A Mumbai subsidiary of Prana Studios digitally created the fire-breathing beasts.

Spotless leopards actually have plenty of spots. You just have to look at them in the right kind of light.

Japanese elephants got a swimming pool of their own. They eat much more after a few laps.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Swiss drones, and Indian dragons to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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