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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Iranian elections, human gene patents, UPS’ mind-boggling math

  • Quartz
By Quartz

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

What to watch for today

Iran’s presidential election. Iranians will vote to elect a successor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has accused critics of attempting to undermine the election, and severe restrictions have been imposed on the media.

Funny business with US  economic data. The producer price index and industrial production will be reported. But we’ll be watching the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index, a key economic gauge whose early release to high-frequency traders has mired Thomson Reuters in controversy.

Europe on the mend? Inflation and employment data for the euro zone will be released. Investors will look for further signs of recovery following April’s manufacturing surprise.

Before the Chinese came calling. Pork producer Smithfield Foods, which recently concluded an acquisition by China’s Shuanghui Group, will report its earnings.

While you were asleep

Human genes cannot be patented. The US Supreme Court struck down two patents held by Utah-based company Myriad Genetics, on two genes related to higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer. But the ruling wasn’t all bad news for Myriad.

Syria crossed Obama’s red line. The US has determined that the Syrian regime did use chemical weapons against its people. President Obama has said that would trigger US military aid to the rebels. But the White House hasn’t yet decided what kind, or whether it includes a no-fly zone.

Time for some television. US newspaper chain Gannett struck a deal to buy broadcaster Belo for $1.5 billion. The deal will make Gannett the country’s fourth largest TV station operator.

Google’s advertising juggernaut. eMarketer data for 2012 showed that Google cornered 31.5% of the $116.82 billion digital advertising market. Meanwhile, the FT reported (paywall) that European anti-trust authorities are investigating Google’s Android licensing deals.

Rupert Murdoch filed for divorce. The head of News Corp is splitting from his third wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, who famously defended her husband against a pie-throwing assailant.

Eddy Cue kept it short. Apple’s head of deal-making didn’t give out too many clues when testifying about Apple’s alleged collusion with publishers to fix e-book prices.

Quartz obsession interlude

Simone Foxman on why Nicaragua just decided to build a rival to the Panama canal. “The idea of building a canal in Nicaragua is nothing new. For most of the 19th century, experts considered a Nicaraguan canal more feasible than one through Panama or another proposed route through Mexico. US tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt led a project to carry goods across Nicaragua by stagecoach and steamship as a prelude to building a canal, for which he even won a concession.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Ultimate puppetmaster. A ban on “homosexual propaganda” is the Kremlin’s maneuver to isolate the liberal opposition.

Copycat capitalism. Attempts to emulate China’s growth model will be risky.

The need for meat. Meat production has increased seven-fold since 1950, but the world will need much more.

Triumph of the technocrats. Why central bankers are still in charge.

Video-game wars. The lawsuit-filled breakup of video-game publisher Activision and Call of Duty designers.

Brazil is getting squeezed. Because people are drinking less orange juice.

Surprising discoveries

Kanye West is the real deal. The hip hop star is even more important than he thinks he is!  

Flying comfortably is bad for the environment. First class passengers have a carbon footprint six times as big.

Delivering the numbers. The mind-boggling math behind UPS’ delivery system.

Happy Birthday belongs to nobody. A lawsuit aims to have the song’s copyright annulled.

MySpace is back from the dead. And there’s a $20 million ad campaign to prove it. 

Surviving a shipwreck. A Nigerian cook survived two days under the sea.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Iranian exit polls, and amazing survival tales to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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