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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—EU austerity waivers, drone strikes resume, Disneyland bomb

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

What to watch for today

A hardliner leads in Iran. Saeed Jalili, known for his anti-Western views, is the presidential frontrunner.

Canada’s central bank decision. Governor Mark Carney will probably keep the benchmark interest rate at 1%. Thailand lowered its rate by a quarter of a percent in an attempt to stem a currency rise, amidst a deepening Asian currency war.

More ethnic clashes in Myanmar. Brutal violence between Muslims and Buddhists has erupted in the previously calm northern city of Lashio.

Brussels eases up on austerity. The European Commission is expected to grant France, Spain, and the Netherlands (paywall) waivers on bringing their deficits within the EU limit of 3%.

While you were sleeping

A small bomb went off at Disneyland. Early reports suggest it was a dry ice device hidden in a trash can. No one was injured, but Toontown was evacuated

Bachmann bows out. Erstwhile GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann won’t seek re-election.

Drone strikes resume in Pakistan. Just days after President Obama said he would scale back their use.

Apple still has “incredible plans,” CEO Tim Cook said at a conference in California, including a “grand vision” for television and perhaps a wearable computer.

A man died in France from a SARS-like virus. A second man is critically ill, and Saudi Arabia has reported five new cases of the virus. The World Health Organization chief called it “a threat to the entire world.”

Facebook vs. hate speech. The social network reacts to complaints about content that encourages violence against women, which led Nissan to pull its ads.

Quartz obsession interlude

Tim Fernholz on US authorities shutting down payment network Liberty Reserve. “The Manhattan US Attorney is alleging that Liberty Reserve is a $6 billion money laundering scheme and has been authorized to seize its outstanding funds. In the indictment, prosecutors call Liberty Reserve ‘the bank of choice for the criminal underworld.’ By simply providing an e-mail address, Liberty Reserve customers could convert euros or US dollars into Liberty Reserve Dollars or Liberty Reserve Euros and transfer those funds to other real and digital financial institutions without a paper trail.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Chinese? Spanish? Arabic? Forget it. The second language your kids need is a computer language.

Do what you love is the wrong piece of advice (paywall) for soon-to-be university graduates.

Conspiracy theories come from feeling powerless. At least that’s what “they” want you to believe.

Luxury healthcare saves money. Why Walmart flies its cashiers to the Mayo Clinic for surgery.

Argentina’s lost decade. Ten years of the Kirchners.

Kenya is a model for green energy. Even if the whole country just went dark.

Surprising discoveries

Could a QR code save your life? Mercedes-Benz seems to think so.

Your next cell phone could be made of cement. It will even conduct electricity.

How do you catch graffiti artists red handed? By using drones.

But who was Joe? The origin of the common American slang name for coffee.

Al Qaeda has an HR department. It admonished a wayward jihadist for failing to file his expenses.

Get rich by getting drunk. How “Margaritaville” spawned a business empire.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, meta-conspiracy theories and HR terror tales to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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