What to watch for today
Toshiba’s top executives resign amid an accounting scandal. CEO Hisao Tanaka and his predecessor Norio Sasaki, now the electronics manufacturer’s vice chairman, are expected to announce they are stepping down after an independent panel found that Toshiba inflated its earnings by more than $1.2 billion over the last seven years.
Burundi holds a controversial election. President Pierre Nkurunziza is trying to win a third term, in a vote that opposition groups are boycotting because they say it is unconstitutional. Protests after Nkurunziza’s decision to run left at least 77 people dead.
Hermès gives an update on the Chinese luxury market. The French firm’s second-quarter results will provide a check-up on global luxury, especially the Chinese market that now spells the difference between success or failure (paywall) for the world’s fanciest retailers.
A new competitor for Amazon. Online retailer Jet.com is making a well-capitalized attempt to take on the reigning e-commerce champion. In a flashback to the original dotcom boom, the company is planning to incur massive losses as it competes with Amazon for customers.
A big day for earnings: Lockheed Martin, Verizon, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Chipotle, Bank of New York Mellon, United Technologies are due to report results.
While you were sleeping
Greece, no longer a deadbeat, re-opened its banks under strict limits. Greece is out of arrears with the IMF after receiving billions of euros in new loans from the ECB. Banks have re-opened after a three-week closure, but they aren’t offering much in the way of actual banking.
A suspected suicide bomber killed at least 30 people near Turkey’s border with Syria. Nearly 100 people were also wounded in a grisly attack in the Turkish town of Suruc. The bombing took place at a cultural center housing hundreds of young people who were working to rebuild the Syrian town of Kobane, and Turkish officials say evidence points the extremist Islamic State group.
A French girl cured of AIDS became the basis for a huge clinical trial. The girl, infected at birth and treated for only six years, is symptom-free at age 12; the virus remains in her body but is dormant. In a $5 million experiment with 100 patients, scientists will try to see if her treatment regimen can work for other people.
Lockheed Martin bought Black Hawk helicopter maker Sikorsky for $9 billion. The world’s largest military contractor beefed up its armory of fighter jets, ships, missiles, and satellites by acquiring Sikorsky from United Technologies. The deal may run afoul of the US defense department, which wants to preserve competition among military contractors.
The UN Security Council approved the Iran nuclear deal. The 15 members of the council also voted unanimously to approve a resolution that would eventually end economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the UN. The measure stipulates an option to “snap back” the sanctions in case Iran fails to stick with its commitments.
Gold miners and investors got hammered. An Asia sell-off and a disappointing update on reserves from the People’s Bank of China pushed prices to a five-year low and sent shares of miners like Barrick Gold (paywall) sharply lower. Demand from China has been propping up prices of the precious metal in recent years.
Quartz obsession interlude
Tim Fernholz on why Elon Musk’s latest rocket exploded. “Fixing the problem will delay the SpaceX’s launch schedule by at least a month, with no new flights until at least September. The company had previously scheduled its next flight is in early August. Musk says the delays will mean hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The Ashley Madison hack is a privacy disaster. More than 30 million marriages could be over if cheating users are exposed.
Samsung’s sham restructuring is a big problem for South Korea. It exposes the faults in the country’s rigid economic system.
It’s better to look for aliens than talk to them. A new $100 million search for extraterrestrials is in “listen-only” mode.
The European Union is based on fantasy economics. Leaders are paying a steep price for their impossible dream.
Radical transparency can combat gender inequality. Five percent of Google employees joined an unauthorized salary-sharing spreadsheet.
Queen Elizabeth is a royally impatient driver. The unlicensed monarch veered onto the grass to avoid a young family near Windsor Castle.
A deadly fungus is eating off the scales off North American snakes. It feeds off of keratin, also present in fingernails and rhino horns.
The World Bank broadcasts scared bird noises. The fake distress calls from its Washington headquarters are supposed to deter pigeons.
A Kazakhstan “sleeping sickness” mystery has been solved. Carbon monoxide from an old uranium mine was blamed for a village’s malaise.
Japan’s weirdest hotel has a robot dinosaur receptionist. It also delivers room service via drone.