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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas Edition—China remembers May 35th, splitting RBS, Disney inflation

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

What to watch for today

The fate of RBS. A parliamentary commission is set to recommend breaking up the troubled state-owned bank, but Chancellor George Osborne wants it privatized instead.

Protests broaden in Turkey. Unions began a two-day strike as demonstrations against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued in Istanbul, Ankara, and beyond. A woman in a red dress became a viral symbol of the protests. Turkish stocks rebounded from yesterday’s fall.

Tiananmen Square anniversary. Chinese are marking the date of the infamous 1989 crackdown with a planned 100,000 person vigil in Hong Kong and carefully disguised messages on social media (May 35th = June 4th). Increasingly sophisticated censors have banned certain emoticons and the word “today.”

Brazil reports industrial production for April. The latest data on manufacturing output amid sluggish economic growth.

Russian inflation watch. Economists believe consumer prices increases probably accelerated to 7.3% in May—vindicating the central bank’s decision not to cut interest rates, despite government pleas to do so.

While you were sleeping

Euro zone deflation. Producer prices fell 0.6% in April as energy costs plunged—the biggest drop since July 2009.

“It’s a small world” inflation. Disney raised prices at its US theme parks by 6.7%—more than five times the rate of inflation.

Billabong issued its third profit warning in six months. Shares in the Australian surfwear company declind to 19 Australian cents, their lowest ever.

North Korea goes fission. A US monitor says that it is almost ready to restart a nuclear reactor at Yongbyon.

A French minister called Amazon the “destroyer of bookshops” and accused it of dumping in order to create a quasi-monopoly. There will be repercussions.

Quartz obsession interlude

Leo Mirani on why China is running in the wrong space race. “It is true that America—the state—is no longer capable of putting people into space. But Americans—the people—are racing to be able to do what is presently the preserve of sovereign nations. Three companies—Boeing, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and Sierra Nevada Corporation—hope to carry astronauts to the International Space Station before the end of its life. SpaceX is already ferrying payloads back and forth… So China may look like it’s on the way to winning the space race. But increasingly, China’s race is one that hardly anyone else is taking part in.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

NATO’s next war will be in cyberspace. Says its secretary general.

Reducing the number of suicides is easy. Just change drug packaging.

The disruption bubble. Silicon Valley only makes stuff for people who live there.

How to finally get along with your spouse: Get divorced.

Down to the pennies. A precise salary request will net you a thicker wallet.

Surprising discoveries

Ignore that chronic. Washington state re-trains police dogs to no longer sniff out (now-legal) marijuana.

Solar power is cheaper than you thought. And getting cheap enough to compete with fossil fuels.

Your iPhone is not safe. It can be hacked through its charger.

The customer is always right. Not only does Al Qaeda have HR issues, but a complaints department too.

Thinking inside the box. That’s where Finnish babies sleep.

China cracks down on jaywalking. Pedestrians’ poor manners or inattention to their rights?

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