Quartz daily brief—Asia Edition—Yuan-Aussie dollar, Family Dollar, slow food, baboon talk

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What to watch for today

What will North Korea do today? The hermit kingdom has made daily moves to show the world who is boss. Yesterday it warned foreigners to leave South Korea. The day before it shut down the Kaesong industrial complex. There is speculation that North Korea could be on the verge of another nuclear test.

 Yuan-Aussie dollar direct trading starts. The widely-anticipated move cuts transaction costs and brings relations between China and Australia closer.

What the Fed is thinking. The Federal Open Market Committee releases its minutes, which will show how the US central bank sees the economy and risks to its long-term goals.

French economy by the numbers. Industrial and manufacturing production numbers are out today. The weak economy (paywall) has been a headache for François Hollande.

How is Family Dollar doing? The discount store reports earnings, a guide to how well economic recovery is going for America’s less well-off. So do spirits maker Constellation Brands and home-furnishings store Bed Bath & Beyond.

While you were sleeping

Funeral set for the Iron Lady. British officials said Margaret Thatcher will be laid to rest on April 17. Queen Elizabeth and other dignitaries are expected to attend.

Fitch’s bad news for China. The ratings agency downgraded some of China’s debt, citing lack of transparency in local government borrowing.

Sir James Crosby no longer wants to be a knight. The former HBOS banking chief also decided to forego a third of his pension after a harsh parliament report.

Some embarrassing news for KPMG. The accounting firm resigned as the auditor for Herbalife and Skechers after firing one of its senior partners over insider trading allegations. Federal authorities are investigating.

Kenya’s new leader was sworn in. Uhuru Kenyatta officially took up his duties. The biggest challenge for Western countries is how to deal with a leader indicted for crimes against humanity.

Quartz obsession interlude

Naomi Rovnick on another mainland China fraud hurting US stock investors: ”Fu Yanbin, a Chinese real estate tycoon, is being taken to court in Hong Kong by lenders including Goldman Sachs for allegedly transferring assets out of their reach after his company, Rightway Group, earlier failed to repay them a $557 million loan. The lenders, however, have no idea if Fu will appear for the next hearing in the civil case on July 10 as they are unable to locate him, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Switzerland is an island of calm. And that offers lessons for Europe.

The US economy rules. It could even beat China.

If you waited to graduate before looking for work, you waited too long.

Slow Food, coupled with a slow life, is a better way to live.

Surprising discoveries

Baboon sounds are linked to the origins of human speech. Gurgling and lip smacking are key.

Three hundred taxis to the rescue. The motorcycle taxis lined up to illuminate an airstrip so an emergency flight could take off in Peru.

The dirtiest kind of match-fixing. A man has pleaded not guilty to bribing soccer officials with prostitutes. The officials are charged with “corruptly receiving gratification.”

Homeless lottery winner decides to remain homeless. He will buy a new tent.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, pictures of ferrets and recipes for Slow Food to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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