Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—US factory output, NSA faces heat, employees need social media, don’t count on flood insurance

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What to watch for today

On the manufacturing front: The Institute for Supply Management’s report is expected to show that US factory activity expanded in June after a surprise contraction in May. Manufacturing output for Brazil, China, the euro zone, France and Germany will also be published.

Tuition nightmare looms. Interest rates on subsidized government loans for 7 million US college students will double to 6.8% from 3.4%. Lawmakers can still retroactively alter the loan rates once the Senate reconvenes on July 10.

Bank of England’s new boss. The former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney will take over as the head of the BoE. Carney is expected to take measures to improve transparency including issuing a forward guidance on interest rates.

Much ado about nothing? South Korea, one of the most vocal critics of Japan’s stimulus measures, will report its trade data for June. So far, there haven’t been any signs of the yen devaluation undercutting South Korea’s export-driven economy.

Happy fiscal new year! Many companies and countries will reset their fiscal calendars on July 1. Unusual changes include everything from moving day in Montreal to the end of the metal admission buttons at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Over the weekend and while you were sleeping

NSA accused of spying on the EU. German magazine Der Spiegel reported that the US security agency bugged EU offices in Washington, and carried out cyber attacks against EU agencies. EU leaders have demanded that the US come clean on the allegations.

Egypt gripped by protests. Huge protests calling for President Mohamed Morsi’s resignation and early presidential elections took place in Cairo and other locales around Egypt. Sunday was the first anniversary of Morsi’s inauguration.

Onyx rejected $10 billion takeover proposal. The California-based drug maker said Amgen’s $120-a-share offer undervalued the company. Onyx has authorized its bankers to solicit other offers.

Obama goes to Africa. President Obama announced a $7 billion in aid to help combat frequent blackouts in sub-Saharan Africa. The US president also met with Nelson Mandela’s family and visited the prison where Mandela was jailed.

China tightened security in Xingjiang. China sent paramilitary forces into the streets and ordered 24-hour security patrols in the western province after 35 people died in sectarian violence earlier in the week.

Quartz obsession interlude

Steve LeVine on Russia’s options now that it has won the long battle of pipeline politics. “Russia has won a big round in an almost two-decade battle with the West over the flow of natural gas from the Caspian Sea. But the June 28 victory is a mixed one for Moscow, for it helps undermine the rationale for another Russian project—one that has been a key weapon in the country’s fight for energy dominance.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

A fresh bout of uncertainty. A new de-risking cycle for the financial markets may be at hand.

To have and not to hold. The US is wary of using cyber-weapons, which would make it a bigger target for cyber-attacks.

The coworker network. Encouraging the use of social media can help make communications between employees more transparent.

Good luck vetting Syrian rebels. There are simply too many groups, too little information, and too much bad blood.

Sub-Saharan spree. The spate of sovereign bonds Africa has issued as of late could turn into a financial disaster.

A dream deferred. America’s recognition of gay marriage came too late for many couples who were forced to leave the country.

Surprising discoveries

Gaming the vote. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe courts young voters using a smartphone game app.

Soap opera. An alleged money laundering scheme in Costa Rica was fronted by 10 million bars of soap.

The flood is coming. Rising ocean temperatures due to global warming could make some parts of the world uninsurable.

Vacation with Kim Jong-un. Kim has ordered the creation of North Korea’s first beach resort.

Yawn away. The highly contagious and often embarrassing yawn can actually help cool down your brain.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, political apps, pictures from North Korea to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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