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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—US GDP due, earnings galore, possible MH370 discovery, Cecil and political beliefs

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

What to watch for today

Egypt issues a verdict on three Al Jazeera journalists. An appeals court will deliver a new ruling on three reporters arrested in December 2013, after it referred to their original sentencing as “hastily” made. The reporters—one of whom is now in his native Australia—have consistently denied charges of supporting the ousted Muslim Brotherhood.

Is the US economy rebounding? The Commerce Department releases a second-quarter GDP estimate, which is expected to have bounced back after a harsh winter and a West Coast port slowdown. The first-quarter GDP figure is also expected to be revised up slightly.

David Cameron vows deportations over Calais migrant crisis. The British prime minister said the UK will send back any of the “swarm” of migrants that make it across the Channel tunnel. The French have sent extra police and there are calls for the British army to get involved. More than 3,500 people have tried to cross the French side this week, and nine have died in the attempt in the past month.

The earnings season continues. Quarterly results are due from—take a deep breath—Colgate Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, L’Oreal, AstraZeneca, Alcatel-Lucent, Fiat Chrysler, LinkedIn, ConocoPhillips, Cigna, and even more.

While you were sleeping

Samsung missed expectations. Second-quarter operating profit fell to 6.9 trillion won ($5.9 billion), down 4% from a year earlier, mainly from difficulties maintaining the supply of its latest handset. The mobile division’s operating profit fell to 2.8 trillion won, from 4.4 trillion won a year earlier.

Royal Dutch Shell reported a painful quarter. The Anglo-Dutch oil company announced a second-quarter net income of $3.8 billion, down from $6.1 billion a year earlier but above expectations, after low oil prices continued to dent its revenue. Shell announced 6,500 job cuts, increased its planned asset sales, and promised further spending cuts.

Nintendo powered up… The Japanese console maker reported a second-quarter net profit of 8.3 billion yen ($67 million), up from a loss of 9.9 billion yen a year earlier. Nintendo is still trying to drum up sales for its Wii console; the success of a new game, Splatoon, has helped in recent months.

…and here’s the best of the rest. Royal Bank of Scotland posted a surprise profit (paywall) of $457 million, up 27% from a year earlier; Rolls-Royce posted a $685-million profit, down 32% from a year earlier but better than expected; Siemens reported a $2-billion profit, handily beating estimates and bumping up its share price; Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $4.2-billion profit missed expectations, sending its shares down; Nokia’s net profit was $383 million

Spain’s economic growth accelerated. Second-quarter GDP growth reached 1%, growing fast than in the first quarter and hitting 3.1% growth for the year. The eighth consecutive quarterly GDP increase failed to move the euro, but will be well-received by Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy ahead of a general election later this year.

India carried out a controversial execution. Yakub Memon was hanged for his involvement in terror attacks that killed hundreds in Mumbai in 1993. Hundreds of public figures, including senior retired judges, had appealed for his sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment; India’s ruling party said hanging is “imperative” as a deterrent for would-be terrorists.

Investigators searched Reunion Island for the missing MH370. A wing component believed to be unique to Boeing 777 aircraft—the same kind used by the Malaysia Airlines flight that mysteriously went missing last year—has been found washed up near Africa. Investigators are working to assess whether it belongs to the missing plane; here’s how it might have ended up there.

Quartz obsession interlude

Adam Epstein on Google’s program to provide free internet access using balloons. ”After test runs in New Zealand, Brazil, and the US, Project Loon is finally ready to… balloon. In 2016, Google will deploy balloons all over Sri Lanka, filling in its coverage gaps and effectively blanketing the entire island nation with broadband internet.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Cecil the lion has nothing to do with your politics. Stop using it to disgrace abortion or highlight police brutality.

Amnesty International is wrong on prostitution. It says prostitution is a right, but it’s not ready to support women.

Killing the leader of the Taliban helps ISIL. There are fence-sitters in the Taliban who can now defect freely.

Japan has to face its corporate demons. Good governance does not mean running a company like a personal fiefdom.

Surprising discoveries

Scientists have turned fat cells into lasers. Glowing squares of pig flesh could one day help track human cancer cells.

Charleston shooter Dylan Roof has an unlikely public defender. David Bruck is a longtime critic of injustice against black Americans.

A London skyscraper is knocking people over. The building known for a reflected “death ray” also creates a dangerous wind tunnel.

You can hack a “smart” sniper rifle. The weapon, equipped with wi-fi, can be tricked into firing at an unintended target.

Frequent flier miles can be used to pay for university. In Canada, at least.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, bacon lasers, and aggressive metropolitan skyscrapers to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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