Quartz Daily Brief—Europe Edition—G8 summit, Czech PM scandal, NYU’s China kowtow

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What to watch

G8 summit gets underway. The Group of Eight leaders try to build consensus on military intervention in Syria at their summit in Northern Ireland. Tax evasion, trans-Atlantic trade pacts, and Abenomics are also on the agenda; Google’s Eric Schmidt thinks corporate taxes should be too.

Showmanship and deal-making in Paris.  Airbus and Boeing battle for jet orders at the Paris Air Show. Airbus is full of confidence after last week’s maiden flight of its new A350 XWB and may have already secured an order for 10 or more double-decker A380 jets, worth over $4 billion.

Greece’s reeling leaders. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his three-party ruling coalition have been split by opposition to the planned closure of state broadcaster ERT. They meet on Monday to try to resolve their differences, but some analysts are talking of any early election.

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

Chen Guangcheng claims NYU kicked him out. The Chinese dissident was offered a fellowship after fleeing to the US, but says the offer was terminated because the university was concerned that Beijing would make things difficult for its new Shanghai campus. NYU denies the connection.

It’s not over in Turkey. Police and demonstrators fought in Istanbul on Sunday while PM Tayyip Erdogan rallied supporters, saying unrest had been manipulated by “terrorists.”

Ready to talk, sort of. Pyongyang proposed high-level talks with the US, just days after cancelling similar plans with South Korea. Washington said that North Korea must take steps to scrap its nuclear weapons before any talks can occur.

Carving up Smithfield. The world’s biggest pork producer is under pressure from an activist investor to split up its business rather than accept a buyout from China’s Shuanghui.

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. Western diplomats say they intend to push nuclear negotiations by August.

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; enforcement will be mostly left to local governments.

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

HR departments don’t have a clue about hiring. Here are 10 examples of things they don’t understand.

Ego complex. Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon are vying build the best HQ. But history shows that trophy buildings don’t always breed success.

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.

The boss stops here. A nonhierarchical workplace lets the whole office vote on hires, fires, and raises.

Surprising discoveries

The center of the airline industry is in rural Poland. Mathematically, anyway.

No licking required. The GB250 rare stamps index has outperformed most other major investments since 1995.

Messiah or Mammon? The new Superman movie is being marketed to churches; it also holds a record for the most product placements.

Is it a bird, a plane? No, it’s an internet balloon! Google’s solar-powered high-altitude 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.

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