Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Snowden on the run, Vodafone in Germany, extreme-weather architects

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Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Snowden makes tracks across the globe. US surveillance files leaker Edward Snowden fled Hong Kong for Moscow, with WikiLeaks claiming credit for aiding him. The former US government contractor has now requested asylum from Ecuador, which has been sheltering WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in its London embassy for the past year.

Vodafone’s German push. The UK telecom giant has reportedly reached a preliminary deal to buy Kabel Deutschland holdings for €7.7 billion ($10.1 billion.) Both boards are meeting to sign off on the deal after Vodafone agreed to raise its bid to €87 a share from the original €80. That would top a competing bid by Liberty Global for the cable company, Germany’s largest with 8.5 million households.

The cost of living in Brazil. The Brazilian central bank will publish its quarterly inflation report, as protests demanding better public services and less corruption enter their third week.

A week of high-stakes legal rulings in the US. The Supreme Court is expected to issue decisions on politically explosive issues like same-sex marriage, affirmative action, and voting rights.

Over the weekend

The Bank for International Settlements warned that more bond buying by governments would delay the global economy’s return to health. The consortium of the world’s top central bankers also said that stimulus efforts of central banks were taking the pressure off governments to actually reform their economies and reduce debt.

China and Britain inked a currency deal. The three-year swap line will allow the Bank of England to draw up to 200 billion yuan ($32.6 billion) from the Chinese central bank in the event of a shortage of yuan funds in the UK. It could boost London’s position as a center for issuing bonds denominated in China’s currency.

EU split on bank bailouts. Euro zone finance ministers failed to reach a new deal on how to rescue troubled banks. The bone of contention: whether taxpayers bear the cost of bailouts.

Quartz obsession interlude

Steve LeVine on the profession of extreme-weather architect: ”The emerging class of architecture suggests the onset of a global design-and-construction industry worth tens of billions of dollars in the coming years. Places such as the Netherlands have had to build around environmental- and weather-related challenges for years. But to the degree that extreme-weather architecture and construction moves to the mainstream, it would become one of the biggest infrastructure businesses on the planet, straddling US, Europe, Asia and Latin America.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The global middle class is revolting, and that’s a good thing. The wave of protests in Brazil, Turkey, and elsewhere is an essential check on government excess.

Having swallowed bitter medicine, Portugal is now ready to grow. Its secretary of state for finance outlines why investors should give the country another look.

The BRICS were coined using superficial indicators. The BROOMS are the real frontier markets.

Conflict produces innovation. Managers can learn to use tension to create breakthrough products.

The Arctic is an emerging epicenter of industry and trade. As the ice melts, governments need to make the region an economic and foreign policy priority.

Selfies are not an ideal tool for self-reflection. The self-portraits shot on smartphones are edited to fit the boundaries of who we think we are.

Surprising discoveries

Barack Obama personally chooses gifts for his inner circle. The US president gave one former press secretary a framed necktie.

Software billionaire Larry Ellison owns an airline in Hawaii. And the Oracle CEO may be interested in buying a second one.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Snowden leads, and presidential gift ideas to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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