Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Australia GDP, new PM in Pakistan, and the latest acquisition for IBM

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What to watch for today

Australian growth. Analysts expect GDP down under to have grown at 0.7% (according to Factset estimates) in the first quarter of 2013. The economy has suffered from flagging commodities prices and a flood of foreign investment that’s made the Australian dollar expensive.

New leadership in Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif is sworn in as prime minister today. It will be his third time in the job, after serving two stints as the head of government in the 1990s. He faces numerous challenges—in particular, an energy crisis.

First look at the US jobs picture. The ADP employment report will provide the first look at how the US did on the jobs front in May. Data on non-manufacturing business activity in May and factory goods orders in April will also hit the tape.

Output in service sectors around the world. Markit will report its latest read on output in services industries in countries across the world. Analysts will be paying particular attention to those data in the euro zone, where manufacturing output didn’t fall by as much last month as economists expected.

Less building in Canada. Analysts think building permits issued in Canada will have fallen sharply in April, as the country teeters on the edge of a housing slump.

While you were sleeping

A better look at the shadow. US regulators designated three non-bank mega-firms—GE Capital, Prudential Financial, and AIG—as systemically important.

Another gang-rape in India. A 30-year-old American tourist was sexually assaulted by three men—the latest in a string of high-profile gang-rapes in India.

IBM picks up more cloud. The technology giant announced that it was acquiring cloud computing firm SoftLayer. That’s the company’s biggest acquisition so far under its new CEO, Virginia Rometty, who took the helm last year.

Amazon gets Dora, SpongeBob, and Blue. It will pay “hundreds of millions of dollars” to license children’s shows like Dora the ExplorerBlue’s Clues, and SpongeBob SquarePants from Viacom after the latter’s licensing deal with Netflix expired. Our Zach Seward highlights a few takeaways.

US government wages war on patent trolls. The White House announced a slew of executive orders and legislative recommendations meant to discourage massive firms from suing entrepreneurs and stifling innovation. Here’s why it won’t do much.

Quartz obsession interlude

Josh Meyer on why the global warrior elite is recognizing “deviant globalization” as the next big geopolitical threat. ”Now Adm. James Stavridis, one of the foremost creative thinkers among the global warrior elite, is talking up the concept, which he has also dubbed “criminal convergence.” Forget Iran, North Korea, the insurgency in Afghanistan, civil war in Syria or even cyberthreats, chemical weapons and terrorism, wrote Stavridis in a recent op-ed in The Washington Post. Deviant globalization is more worrisome.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The epitome of everything wrong with Silicon Valley. Sean Parker’s $10 million destruction of a clearing in a Redwood forest.

Inside Angela Merkel’s head. The German leader expounds on everything from austerity to the arms trade.

Why Erdogan has nothing to fear. Half of Turkey supports him, the other half is scared of him.

The high cost of unemployment. Yet another argument for why austerity isn’t the answer.

The truth about US college tuition fees. They aren’t growing as fast as you think.

Facebook and your bank account. How a Trojan working through Facebook can drain your finances.

Surprising discoveries

Finnish babies sleep in a box. And it helped bring down the country’s infant mortality rates.

A US Navy SEAL reveals a secret: His transgender life.

Who is the Tank Man? 24 years after the Tiananmen Square protests, the most iconic activist is still unknown.

Dog poo mail and a remote-controlled turd on wheels. Just part of a Spanish town’s innovative plans to get puppy droppings off the streets.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, tank man theories, and remote-controlled turd sightings to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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