Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—China’s dodgy GDP, Yellen testifies, another biotech buyout, pools for elephants

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What to watch for today

Alexis Tsipras pitches austerity to parliament. The Greek prime minister must pass a set of laws, such as changes to the country’s pension system, by today in order to qualify for an €86-billion ($94.7-billion) bailout package. But his party is fundamentally against the measures—even Tsipras himself admits he doesn’t believe in them (paywall).

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.

How much longer can Netflix grow? Analysts and investors will be watching to see how many subscribers the TV and movie streaming company added in the past three months. Some believe US subscribers will reach 42 million, a sign that rapid growth—at least in the US—is coming to an end.

More blue chip US earnings. Delta, 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. The latest figure is still its lowest pace in six years.

…while other data was 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.

Burberry sales growth slowed. The British maker of $1,600 trench coats said same-store sales grew 6% in its fiscal first quarter, in line with expectations but down from last year’s second half growth of 9%. Democracy protests in Hong Kong, where it earns 10% of its sales, hurt its revenue, as did currency fluctuations.

Japan decided against further stimulus. The central bank kept its quantitative easing at 80 trillion yen ($648 billion) per year, despite lowering its inflation forecast for the fiscal year to 0.7%, from 0.8% earlier. The Bank of Japan is instead relying on improvements in wages and the labor market to drive inflation to its target rate of 2%.

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.

Toshiba’s CEO resigned. Hisao Tanaka will exit his post as head of the Japanese electronics manufacturer in September, after an independent investigation into an accounting scandal suggested that past profits could have been overstated by as much as 170 billion yen ($1.4 billion).

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, elephantine paddling pools, and salad defenders in the hamburger wars to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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