Quartz Daily Brief—Americas Edition—Japan stops deflating, a four-star Edward Snowden, three-person IVF

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What to watch for today

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

Does anyone want the new BlackBerrys? The smartphone maker will divulge sales numbers for its new touchscreen Z10, an all-or-nothing bet to revive its fortunes.

German inflation. Europe’s largest economy will report inflation statistics for June, and analysts expect a 1.8% rise in the consumer prices index from a year ago. Retail sales rose 0.8% in May, beating expectations and adding to signs of a recovery.

Obama visits Mandela’s former prison cell. The US president will visit Cape Town and the former prison at Robben Island, Nelson’s Mandela’s home for nearly 20 years. Mandela’s condition, though still grave, has reportedly stabilized.

While you were sleeping

Japan stopped deflating. The consumer price index was flat in May compared with a year earlier. Other good signs for Abenomics: the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%, and retail sales rose 0.8% after four straight months of year-on-year declines.

John Malone tries, tries again. Rebounding from Liberty Media’s failed attempt to buy Kabel Deutscheland, the cable mogul is exploring ways to combine his 27%-owned Charter Communications with the much larger Time Warner Cable.

Acts of unsanctioned journalism. China shut down 31 news websites, some of which were supposedly “editing false information for blackmail and extortion.”

A four-star Edward Snowden? James “Hoss” Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is a target in the criminal investigation over the leaking of the US-Israeli “Stuxnet” cyber-attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Vatican bank scandal. Vatican accountant Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, along with a secret service agent and a financial broker, were arrested for trying to move  20 million euros illegally into Italy—part of Pope Francis’ internal investigation into the secretive Institute for the Works of Religion.

Quartz obsession interlude

Steve LeVine on why you shouldn’t get too excited about the UK’s shale gas reserves. ”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

Social networks and blogs do more harm than good,says internet impresario Sean Parker, who is really mad about coverage of his wedding.

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.

The most potent protest song ever recorded. The Specials’ “Nelson Mandela,” made by chippy former pop stars, has no business being this happy, this celebratory, and this powerful.

Surprising discoveries

Midnight madness. Inside the epic all-night Goldman Sachs scavenger hunt featuring brainteasers and lasers.

The FBI had a Wikileaks insider. A most un-Bond-like cherubic 18-year-old. 

Mom and Dad plus one. The UK backs three-person IVF.

Curing cocaine addiction with Ritalin. A single dose of the ADHD drug may normalize addicts’ neural pathways.

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

Do you take this brick? A wedding dress made out of Legos.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, favorite protest songs and unusual wedding dresses to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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