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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Twitter earnings, Cameron in Vietnam, Israeli spy paroled, Japanese moss craze

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

David Cameron says “good morning” to Vietnam. The UK PM’s swing through Southeast Asia is focused on expanding trade ties in a region where British companies do relatively little business. Cameron will also Malaysia in the midst of a deepening corruption scandal involving prime minister Najib Razak.

Facebook reports earnings. Bullish investors expect CEO Mark Zuckerberg to announce solid second-quarter growth, after a steep stock market climb that has made it more valuable than GE and Walmart. Revenue is expected to climb 38% to $4 billion due to stronger mobile and video ads.

Microsoft launches Windows 10. The operating system, released as a free upgrade, is winning largely positive reviews. Just for fun, the update includes a new version of the popular game Minecraft.

More earnings. Anthem, Barclays, Booz Allen, Fidelity, Hilton, Humana, Marriott, MasterCard, Metlife, and PG&E are due to report results.

While you were sleeping

Twitter won back some fans on Wall Street. The microblogging service posted higher-than-expected revenue, profit, and user numbers, sending its stock higher in after-hours trading. The company also said it would de-emphasize its chronological timeline in favor of a more curated format to attract new users.

Britain’s economy bounced back. The central bank announced second-quarter GDP growth of 0.7%, boosted by the financial services sector and oil and gas production, after a slowdown in growth in the first quarter.

The US paroled an Israeli spy. Jonathan Pollard, sentenced to life in prison in 1987, will be released on November 20. The move has widely been seen as an olive branch to Israel and its supporters, who are fiercely opposed to a US-brokered deal to ease sanctions on Iran.

The EU took aim at Disneyland Paris. Regulators launched a price discrimination probe to determine whether the theme park overcharges Brits and Germans while offering substantially cheaper deals to the French.

Tesco cut back on sugar. The UK grocery giant will only sell children’s drinks with no sugar added, starting in September. That means best-sellers Ribena and Capri-Sun could disappear from store shelves.

Quartz obsession interlude

Tim Fernholz on the 2014 crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. “Virgin Galactic built and designed SpaceShipTwo as part of a joint venture with Scaled Composites, an experimental aerospace company. The craft was designed to be carried to an altitude of about 50,000 feet on a conventional airplane before detaching and rocketing up to 100 kilometers of altitude.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

We have reached peak vinyl. The format’s unlikely resurgence has gone too far, and a downturn is imminent.

Robots are not taking everyone’s jobs. This is actually scarier than the alternative.

David Cameron’s call for transparency is hypocritical. The UK parliament is horribly corrupt.

Sepp Blatter deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. So says Vladimir Putin, who presumably appreciates Russia’s forthcoming World Cup.

Turkey’s Syria policy is a disaster. Its air strikes against ISIL and the Kurds are proof of its failure. 

Surprising discoveries

A Russian submarine was found in Swedish waters. It’s a wreck from World War I.

Give Donald Trump some credit. If nothing else, he’s superb at running profitable golf courses.

Conformity is the secret to ants’ heavy lifting. Scientists figured it out by watching the insects carry Cheerios.

The Vikings settled Greenland in search of ivory. Walrus tusks, not farmland, were the priority for the Nordic invaders.

Japan’s latest craze is moss viewing. The key to appreciating moss is getting down to its level.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, walrus tusks, and Ribena stockpiles to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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