Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Istanbul explosion, Murdoch gets engaged, Koch and the Nazis

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Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

An explosion in Istanbul has left at least 10 people dead. It went off at 10am local time (3am ET) in the Sultanahmet district, which is popular with tourists. At least 15 more were injured. Some unconfirmed reports have suggested it was a suicide bomb attack.

The US and the Philippines talk strategy on the South China Sea. During a meeting in Washington, the Filipino ministers for defense and foreign affairs will ask the US to keep patrolling the waterway to counter China’s territorial claims. Joint patrols by the US and its Asian allies may also be discussed.

Junior doctors strike in the UK. Almost 40,000 young doctors will refrain from performing all non-emergency treatments for 24 hours to protest proposed changes to their pay structure. Prime minister David Cameron called the strikes unnecessary and “damaging.”

Last call for Internet Explorer. Microsoft will officially stop supporting older versions of the web browser to encourage users to migrate to its new browser, Edge, instead. That could cause security and other issues for some companies.

While you were sleeping

An evacuation was called for in Syria. Hundreds of residents of the besieged town of Madaya must be removed from danger, said Gerard van Bohemen, New Zealand’s ambassador to the UN. Madaya and two other villages received much-needed food aid yesterday.

Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall announced their engagement. The media mogul and Mick Jagger’s ex-partner placed an ad in the Births, Marriages, and Deaths section of the Times—a newspaper owned by Murdoch’s News Corp. The couple have been together for just four months.

A deadline passed over Hong Kong’s missing booksellers. Chinese law states that, should mainland Chinese authorities detain a Hong Kong citizen in the mainland, Hong Kong police must be informed within 14 days. That deadline ended today (paywall), putting pressure on the Hong Kong government to take a stand against Beijing.

Asahi eyed two major European beer brands. The Japanese brewery said it might buy Peroni and Grolsch, both of which are expected to be sold by SABMiller ahead of its planned merger with AB InBev. The two brands could be valued at $3.4 billion, according to reports; Asahi’s share price fell on the news.

Dalian Wanda sealed a deal for Legendary Entertainment. The company owned by Asia’s richest man will pay $3.5 billion for the Hollywood film studio. The deal will offer China a stronger voice in the international movie industry, said Wang Jianlin, Wanda’s owner.

Starbucks planned to open 500 cafes in China this year. The coffee shop giant is betting against a slowdown among middle class spending at least. Despite fears of a nationwide economic rut, the company said it is yet to see warning signs in its own business.

Quartz obsession interlude 

Aamna Modin on value for money in the English Premier League: “Chelsea dished out £215.6 million in wages last season… At the other end of the table, financially, is Leicester City; its wage bill is £36 million. But this a topsy-turvy season; Leicester became the first team to be bottom of the league at Christmas one year and top the next last month and is currently in second place.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Violence between Muslim minorities and non-Muslim majorities is inevitable. As long as the Muslim world is conflicted, violence will spread outwards too.

Hunky men and funny women could save award shows. Otherwise, the proceedings are only barely tolerable.

Bubble tea is the new coffee. The business model for the Taiwanese treat has already been perfected.

Surprising discoveries

The Koch brothers’ father helped build a major Nazi oil refinery. It was a “critical cog in Hitler’s war machine” (paywall).

Italians are petitioning God for the soul of David Bowie. They want to bring the spaceman back to Earth.

A killer fungus is decimating frogs across the world. Scientists are struggling to find ways to stop it.

If a decision is unanimous, it’s probably wrong. The chances of everyone being correct is very small indeed.

Jean-Marie Le Pen is suing over a selfie. The founder of France’s nationalist party claims the photo of him sleeping cost him an election.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, litigious selfies, and more Koch family history to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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