Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—G8 summit, North Korea’s offer, ballons that beam internet

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What to watch for

G8 summit gets underway. The Group of Eight leaders try to build consensus on military intervention in Syria at their summit in Northern Ireland. Also on the agenda: tax evasion, trans-Atlantic trade pacts and Abenomics.

Dog fight lands in Paris.  Airbus and Boeing battle for jet orders at the Paris Air Show.  Airbus is flying high after last week’s maiden flight of its new A350 XWB.

Czech mate. Czech prime minister Petr Necas says he plans to resign amid a bribery and spying scandal. That means the automatic departure of his entire cabinet.

Zero is a good number. Investors await clues on the strength of the US recovery from manufacturing and home construction data. Economists expect (paywall) June’s manufacturing index to inch up to 0 from -1.43 in May.

Over the weekend

Ready to talk, sort of. Pyongyang proposed high-level talks with the US, but Washington says that must involve North Korea taking steps to scrap its nuclear weapons.

We’re not the bad guys. White House chief of staff Denis McDonough says president Obama does not believe that government surveillance violated American’s privacy rights. He adds that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s whereabouts were unknown.

A new dawn in Iran. Moderate cleric, Hassan Rowhani, who supports greater personal freedoms and softer foreign policy, was elected president by a large margin.

Clean up or pay up. China ordered companies in its most polluting industries to cut emissions by 30% over the next four years. Factories found responsible for excess pollution will be penalized.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on why demographics may doom Abenomics. The Japanese are aging faster than any country on the planet. The overall population began shrinking in 2005, while its working population peaked in 1995 (pdf, p.6). No amount of deregulation, essentially what Abe is proposing, is going to offset that demographic shift. Read more here.

Matters of debate

Free markets to the rescue. Monetize your personal data to protect your privacy.

Detroit’s unlikely saviors? Hedge funds and private equity firms can help Detroit avoid bankruptcy.

New clause in your contract. Corporations must purge the “every man for himself” philosophy.

Surprising discoveries

Postage stamps can make you rich. The GB250 rare stamps index has outperformed most other major investments since 1995.

It’s a bird, a plane, the internet! Google’s solar-powered balloons may bring internet to world’s remotest regions.

A swallow’s nest from the future. Taiwan dreams up a Mobius strip arts and literature center.

America’s love affair with guns. Smith & Wesson’s gun sales hit an all-time high.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, rare stamps, and ways to monetize your mother’s maiden name to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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