Quartz Daily Brief—Americas Edition—Snowden checks out, Softbank raises Sprint bid, Turkey police retake Taksim, spicy food genes

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What to watch for today

Edward Snowden in the wind.  The NSA whistleblower left his hotel in Hong Kong just steps ahead of pursuing reporters, and the United States began preparing charges against him—a necessary step before extradition proceedings. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s top executive met with Mayor Michael Bloomberg on a trip to New York, but supposedly Snowden was not discussed.

The end of News Corp as we know it. The shareholder vote on whether to split into the firm into separate entertainment and publishing arms is largely a formality, but how many investors will maintain holdings in both companies? Here’s a handy graphic describing the new entities.

Was the ECB’s bond-buying scheme legal? A constitutional court will consider whether the policy violated Germany’s sovereign right to decide its own budget.

Immigration overhaul. The US Senate will start debating immigration legislation that has split the Republican party. Democrats, moderates Republicans and the White House are pushing for a vote before the July 4 recess.

While you were sleeping

Turkish police stormed Taksim Square. Tear gas and water cannons were used on a few dozen demonstrators in an early morning raid in Istambul.

SoftBank raised its bid for Sprint Nextel. The new offer is 7% higher, at $21.6 billion, and came just before a Sprint shareholder meeting was set to vote on the deal. Meanwhile, rival Dish Network hasn’t given up.

The Bank of Japan left interest rates unchanged. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has pledged to avoid “incremental” steps after unveiling unprecedented easing in April.

Samsung’s slump. Shares in the South Korean electronics maker continued to drop for a fourth day as more analysts forecast slower sales for the flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone. 

Good news for beleaguered Britain. Industrial output in April rose 0.1% from the previous month, an unexpected upturn.

Quartz obsession interlude

Lily Kuo on two Thai billionaires and their $27 billion of acquisitions fueled by cheap credit. “The deals are worrisome for several reasons. Some of Dhanin and Charoen’s loans are precariously tied to real estate and the stock market. Also, Thai consumer spending would need to continue growing rapidly to justify these deals, Standard Chartered analyst Nirgunan Tiruchelvam told Reuters. And that’s unlikely to happen.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Edward Snowden: hero or villain?

Apple’s streaming radio is a lame duck. On demand play is the key.

Can Aung San Suu Kyi complete the transition from prisoner to politician? Lessons from Havel, Walesa and Mandela.

Dropped out of college with a load of debt? Fear not.

A strong yuan is bad for China. It gives state-owned companies too much buying power.

Surprising discoveries

Napping at work can cost youAsk this German banker.

The tragic death of a maverick chocolatier. Mott Green was electrocuted installing solar panels on his farm in Grenada.

Why some people love spicy food. It’s because of their “trigeminal system.”

George Orwell, top of the charts? Sales of 1984 are up nearly 400% in the last week.

The US isn’t the biggest snooper. Just look at India, Italy, and Canada.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Edward Snowden spottings and curry recipes to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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