Quartz Daily Brief—Americas Edition—Waiting for the Fed, Brazil protests grow, royal babies

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What to watch

Great expectations. The US Federal Reserve starts a two-day meeting amid fevered speculation about when it will start to “taper” its $85-billion-a-month asset purchase program. Investors will have to wait till Wednesday to find out.

Libor crimes. Tom Hayes, a former UBS and Citibank trader, will become the first individual in the UK to be criminally charged for playing a role in manipulating the key lending rate.

The Battle for Brazil. Over 200,000 people turned out in eight cities across Brazil for protests that began over a public transportation fare hike but expanded to include complaints about the violent police reaction, poor public services and high costs for the World Cup.

The Ascend P6 handset. will be presented in London with all the pomp and circumstance associated with rival releases by Samsung and Apple.

Will the good run last? US housing starts and consumer prices for May are due. Will the recent run of strong economic data continue?

A-Z earnings. Adobe will report its second-quarter numbers. Analysts expect the software maker to post a 54% decline in profits. On a more relaxing note, La-Z-Boy, maker of the iconic reclining chair, is expected to report growth.

While you were sleeping 

The road to Damascus. Presidents Obama and Putin clashed over Syria, raising the possibility of a proxy war as the US arms rebels and Russia arms the Assad regime. (They also clashed over who gets to use the hotel gym.)

UK inflation. Consumer prices rose 2.7% in May, up from April’s 2.4% and a smidge higher than forecasts of 2.6%. The central bank’s target is 2%.

Airplane sales galore. EasyJet will buy 35 Airbus A320s and 100 of the A320neos for an undisclosed amount. Boeing said it had 102 orders for its new 787-10 passenger jet from five buyers, including 20 from United Airlines.

Safety in numbers. The top three global shipping companies, responsible for 37% of container capacity, are joining forces in an operational alliance to compensate for overcapacity and low demand.

M&A maneuvers. Liberty Global tried to trump Vodafone with a €7.5 billion ($10 billion) counter-offer for Kabel Deutschland. Sprint Nextel filed a lawsuit against Dish Network for attempting to “fool” and “coerce” the shareholders of Clearwire. Third Point’s Dan Loeb stepped up pressure on Sony to spin off its entertainment division, raising his ownership stake to 6.9%.

Quartz obsession interlude

Josh Meyer on why mobile payments might be the next big conduit for money laundering. “M-payments are most popular in countries with weak laws and enforcement against financial fraud and money-laundering. Customers often need little in the way of identification. The whole process often bypasses a country’s financial reporting system.” Read more here. 

Matters of debate

“The worst year in history.” A record number of young Chinese will graduate this year, and the timing is not great.

Dropout nation. Americans entering the workforce today are less educated than those retiring from it.

Weaponized memes. Chinese web users reveal officials’ sexual misdeeds and fancy watches, but also extort them with Photoshopped evidence.

Nuke number crunching. The economic case for nuclear power is weak.

Turkish deception. Turkey’s economic growth numbers mask underlying frictions.

Surprising discoveries

Revolutionary cuisine. This top chef is resisting terrorism in Mogadishu, one prawn at a time.

Canadian sex toys are patent protected. The US trade commission banned the sale of infringing “two-armed vibrators.”

We self-censor what we see. People often miss what is right in front of their eyes.

Royal baby mania! The birth of the royal heir could give the UK’s economy a $400 million boost.

The price of success. An enthusiastic response to a Kickstarter project cost a man his house.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, IP-compliant sex toys and photoshopped pictures of Chinese officials to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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