Quartz Daily Brief—Europe Edition—Markets continue to plunge, China liquidity injection, fake cow pyramid scheme

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What to watch for today

Nowhere to hide. Markets the world over are still selling off after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments that the bank’s easing program will taper off.

What’s up Kuroda’s sleeve? Investors are keyed into Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s remarks at a Japanese bankers’ conference, alarmed at signs Abenomics might be faltering. Kuroda’s own lack of PR savvy hasn’t helped.

Brazil’s numbers better be good. Brazil will release its inflation data even as hundreds of thousands continue to protest despite a government concession on bus prices.

Tesla’s into swapping. The electric car-maker will demonstrate swapping out a used battery for a charged one, a technology hitherto dominated by Tesla’s bankrupt rival Better Place. Tesla has relied on charging batteries fast, but swapping would be even faster.

A Midsummer Night’s Google Hangout. On the summer solstice, the Royal Shakespeare Company begins its three-day, interactive production of the bard’s most beloved play. You can follow along or take part on Google+.

While you were sleeping

China relents on liquidity. The People’s Bank of China added 50 billion yuan ($8.2 billion) to the financial system, easing sky-high money market rates. But the question remains: Why did policymakers engineer a credit squeeze?

Better bailouts. Eurozone ministers agreed on a framework for bailing out banks using a dedicated rescue fund. There are quite a few conditions, though.

First batteries, now oil. Boeing’s beleaguered Dreamliner 787 is experiencing more difficulties, as the second aircraft in three days was diverted with an oil-related problem.

Plugging future leaks. USIS, the US government’s most-used contractor for security background checks (including Edward Snowden’s), has been under investigation for over a year for “systematic failure to adequately conduct investigations.” Separately, it emerged that Snowden’s latest employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, found discrepancies in his resume.

Facebook saw Twitter’s six seconds and raised it. Facebook introduced a video sharing service on its Instagram app to rival Twitter’s Vine. Clips can be 15 seconds long, to Vine’s six seconds. Why? Well, that happens to be the length of many TV commercials.

Quartz obsession interlude

Lily Kuo on how exporting higher education is the next phase of China’s global soft power push. China’s Soochow University, based in the eastern city of Suzhou, is raising money to build a satellite campus in Laos where it will enroll around 5,000 students. Other Chinese universities have announced plans for campuses in Malaysia and in the UK. Read more here. 

Plus: A midsummer day’s chart bonanza. The cost of everything in the world, the global trade in bull semen, what metadata reveals about us, the relationship between violence and foreign investment, and more: Quartz staffers chose their favorite charts of the first half of 2013.

Matters of debate

Men over 40 should think twice about triathlons. The grueling slog to the finish line could be their last.

The US Supreme Court favors big business over consumers. It has consistently dismissed the little guy.

The signal and the noise. The debate about inequality must keep up with the times.

The rise of sectarianism. Ordinary social connections, a basis for democracy, are breaking down in Arab countries.

Surprising discoveries

A higher plane of existence. Scientists have discovered bacteria living at 33,000 feet.

Don’t forget to wave. NASA will take a detailed photo of Saturn in July. In the background, about the size of one pixel, will be Earth.

Social mobility. Sao Paulo residents’ choice of smartphone tells you all you need to know about wealth distribution.

A pyramid of beef. A Japanese company perpetrated a $4.34 billion fraud using fake wagyu cows. 

Spot the skyline.Shocking images from the smog in Singapore.

Fines from the fashion police. Wear too silly a hat at the horse-racing gala Royal Ascot, and you’ll have to pay up.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, stratospheric bacteria and rejected Royal Ascot hats to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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