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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Gap on Bangladesh, Bernanke on QE, IMF on UK, pigs on drugs

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

What to watch for today

Has Chinese productivity stalled? China watchers will be looking for continued signs of sluggish growth in the manufacturing index released by HSBC.

What will the Gap say about Bangladesh? The American retailer reports earnings. And it will probably have to answer questions about why it’s not signing on to an agreement to improve worker safety after a fire in Bangladesh.

More disappointing news for the euro zone. Economists expect Europe will show manufacturing and services continuing to shrink.

US economy by the numbers. The Commerce Department will report new home sales for April while the Labor Department will unveil weekly jobless claims. A realtors association already showed US home sales were at a three-year high.

While you were sleeping

Be careful what you say. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke rattled markets when he told Congress that bond buying could taper off if economic conditions were right. But Bernanke also said that cutting off support for the markets too early would be damaging.

The IMF told the UK to spend more. The IMF thinks the UK should borrow money to pour into infrastructure and other projects that would spur growth. But it didn’t repeat its April message that called for an end to austerity measures.

Twitter made itself safer. Users can now turn on two-step authentication—a password, plus a text message to a phone—after high-profile Twitter accounts suffered a spate of hackings.

Hewlett Packard’s slow turnaround. The PC maker reported that second quarter profits fell by 32%, but that still beat analyst expectations.

British soldier killed in London. The gruesome knife attack by two assailants could be a terrorist act, according to prime minister David Cameron.

Quartz obsession interlude

Zachary Seward on the emails showing Steve Jobs’ hard-nosed negotiating tactics. ”The US government’s price-fixing lawsuit against Apple goes to trial next month in New York. Ahead of its court date, the US released emails that purport to show Apple was the ”ringleader” in a scheme to set artificially high ebook prices with some of the largest American publishers, which have already settled the case. The emails have mostly been viewed in the context of the lawsuit, but they also provide an extraordinary view of high-stakes negotiation between the leaders of two powerful firms, Apple and News Corp.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The talks to end the conflict in Syria should be held in private, not in the public eye.

American presidents always disappoint. Part of the problem is the high expectations.

Al Jazeera is the best thing to happen to journalism. Or maybe not.

Why Thomson Reuters doesn’t stand much of a chance displacing Bloomberg’s chat service. 

Surprising discoveries

Dining on a piece of floating ice can be dangerous

Penguins gave up flying for swimming. They became so good getting around in the water that swimming became their specialty.

A Belgian racing pigeon is worth almost $400,000. At least to a Chinese businessman.

GIF creator Steve Wilhite sets the record straight. It’s pronounced “jiff.”

Marijuana makes pigs hungry, too. Now people know what to do with the leaves and stems that they don’t smoke.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, racing pigeons and Steve Jobs emails to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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