Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—BlackBerry sales, Bernanke’s successors, Bangladesh slapped, PayPal in space

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What to watch for today

A defense of Abenomics. All eyes in Japan will be on a speech by finance minister Taro Aso on “Abenomics and the outlook of Japan’s economy.” It comes as the country’s institutional investors cut their holding of Japanese shares to a historic low. Also worth watching: data on Japanese unemployment and retail sales for May.

Good, bad or ugly? US economy-watchers will keenly await the consumer sentiment index for June and Chicago PMI for May, after US GDP was revised down this week.

First peek at demand for new BlackBerrys. The smartphone maker will divulge information about sales of its new touchscreen BlackBerry Z10, the all-or-nothing bet to revive its fortunes (paywall).

A new dawn for News Corp. The media giant completes the spinoff of its media and publication division into a new company that retains the News Corp name. The film and TV entertainment business will be called 21st Century Fox.

While you were sleeping

US immigration reform cleared the Senate. The US Senate voted 68-32 to approve an overhaul of immigration laws that would give millions more immigrants work visas and citizenship. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives, where its odds are longer.

The hunt for the new Bernanke has begun. The White House has reportedly started assembling a list of potential candidates for the Federal Reserve chairmanship (paywall). The formal nomination is unlikely before fall.

Europe agreed to make investors pay for bank failures. The deal by finance ministers won’t take effect until 2018, but means taxpayers will pick up less of the tab for bailouts in future.

Winner’s curse? Myanmar awarded mobile telecom licenses to Norway’s Telenor and Qatar’s Ooredoo. The duo will get access to one of the world’s last untapped markets, but the going won’t be easy.

Bangladesh got slapped on the wrist. The US is reportedly looking to suspend trade privileges for Bangladesh over concerns about employee safety in that country’s garment industry. But the lure of cheap labor will survive.

No barter for Snowden. President Barack Obama said there will be no “wheeling and dealing” in US attempts to extradite NSA intelligence leaker Edward Snowden. Meanwhile, Ecuador broke a trade pact with the US in protest at pressure from Washington to deny Snowden asylum. He, meanwhile, appears to still be in a Moscow airport.

Quartz obsession interlude

Steve LeVine on why you shouldn’t get too excited about the UK’s new finding of shale gas reserves. ”In its announcement, the Geological Survey said that the Bowland shale contains about 1,300 trillion cubic feet (40 trillion cubic meters) of natural gas ‘in place.’ The tricky metric—after you know the resource in place—is the ‘recovery rate,’ the percentage that can actually be extracted, and here is where the hyperbole has appeared.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Rising interest rates aren’t necessarily bad. They’ll help encourage savings, reduce leverage and spur diversification.

Keeping Afghan women out of politics. Attempts are underway to erase the gains made by women in the post-Taliban era.

The BRICs got suckered into big-league sport. In the pursuit of national prestige, the needs of the common man were forgotten.

It’s an unequal world. US CEOs now earn 273 times the average worker’s pay.

Surprising discoveries

Midnight madness. Inside the epic all-night Goldman Sachs scavenger hunt that raised $1.4 million for charity.

Paypal shoots for the stars. Paypal is venturing into a new business: space payments.

Royal real-estate secrets. How the Queen beats the UK property market. (Answer: diversification.)

Japan’s obsession with robots. It’s using them as astronauts, as rock musicians, as friends, and as really cool weapons-suits.

How not to report on floods. A TV journalist gets fired after sitting on the shoulders of a flood victim to avoid getting wet.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, space business plans, and real-estate tips to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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