Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Google’s radical restructuring, Swedish IKEA stabbing, robot jazz band

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

Hopes for a Greek bailout deal. Greece aims to conclude talks and reach an agreement on a bailout deal of up to €86 billion ($94 billion) in exchange for a package of new reforms. Greek officials were optimistic about the negotiations after meeting with the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund yesterday.

Japan reopens a nuclear reactor. The country will reactivate its first nuclear reactor since the Fukushima power plant meltdowns in 2011. The reactor restart, which will take place under new safety regulations, is a controversial victory for prime minister Shinzo Abe.

Australia announces its climate goals. The government will reveal just how much it will cut carbon pollution ahead of the United Nation’s climate summit in Paris later this year. Australia is reportedly leaning toward a 15 to 25% emissions reduction by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.

Earnings of the day. Symantec, Computer Sciences Corporation, Aercap, Tata Steel, Hindustan Petroleum, and Prudential report their quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

Google announced a corporate restructuring under a parent company called Alphabet. Co-founder Larry Page said the new structure will separate the revenue-generating Google business from R&D efforts like Google Ventures,  Life Sciences, and Google X. Page will serve as CEO of Alphabet, while head of product Sundar Pichai will become CEO of Google. Shares of the company rose more than 5% on the news.

Warren Buffett made his biggest deal ever. Berkshire Hathaway confirmed that it is buying Precision Castparts, which makes airplane parts and other industrial components, for $32.4 billion. The deal is Berkshire’s largest acquisition ever and the latest in a string of megamergers this year.

The Russian economy downsized. The country’s Federal Statistics Service announced that the gross domestic product declined 4.6% in the second quarter, the biggest dip since 2009. The recession has been made worse by slumping oil prices and Western sanctions.

Missouri braced for more unrest after another police shooting. St. Louis county announced a state of emergency after an 18-year-old was shot and seriously wounded by police during a demonstration commemorating the death of Michael Brown one year ago. Prosecutors filed assault charges against the teen, who allegedly fired a gun at a police car, prompting civil rights demonstrations with several high-profile arrests.

Two people were killed in a stabbing spree at an IKEA in Sweden. A man and a woman were killed in the city of Västerås, outside of Stockholm, and another man sustained life-threatening injuries, according to local news reports. Police took a suspect into custody.

Quartz obsession interlude

Tim Fernholz on how the US rocket program has veered off track, again.  “The US government just had to re-up its embarrassing contract with Russia to take astronauts to the ISS—a $66 million extension through 2017, for a total cost to US taxpayers of $490 million. Yes, that’s almost half a billion dollars the US government is paying the Russian government, even as their geo-political relationship has gotten increasingly testy.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Real-life “Star Wars” could be nigh. China, Russia and the US are all developing space war capabilities.

Norway is facing a potential financial crisis. The culprit is $50 oil.

Your salary should not be your only income. Everyone needs a side hustle.

Serena Williams may be the best athlete of her generation. With a career in fashion waiting, she still has history to make.

The trick to overcoming stress is embracing it. It means your body is preparing for a challenge.

Surprising discoveries

A rare white whale was spotted off the Australian coast. Paging Capt. Ahab.

Refugees from Syria celebrated their arrival in Greece with a selfie-stick. Sunbathing tourists were watching from the beach.

Was Shakespeare a stoner? Scientists found traces of marijuana in the Bard’s “tobacco” pipes.

Robots may soon be able to play jazz. The DARPA-backed improvisational system “will be able to jam.”

Container ships are for tourists, too. Many ships take on passengers: A container for two with a view, please?

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, robot jam sessions, and stoner sonnets to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.