Quartz Daily Brief—Egypt protests, NSA hacked the EU, China manufacturing cools

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What to watch for today

Bank of England’s new boss. Former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney will take over as head of the BoE, where he will take measures to improve transparency including issuing forward guidance on interest rates.

Egypt gripped by protests. Huge protests calling for President Mohamed Morsi’s resignation and early presidential elections are taking place in Cairo and other cities around Egypt. Over a million protesters took part on Sunday, the first anniversary of Morsi’s inauguration.

Manufacturing data: An Institute for Supply Management report is expected to show that US factory activity expanded in June after a surprise contraction in May. Manufacturing output for Brazil, the euro zone, France and Germany are also due.

Snowden’s blunder? NSA leaker Edward Snowden might have been better off in Hong Kong. Wikileaks’ Julian Assange said Snowden is “marooned” in Moscow without proper travel documents, and Ecuador President Rafael Correa said Snowden is “in the care of the Russian authorities,” and downplayed the chances of asylum in Ecuador.

Over the weekend

NSA accused of spying on the EU. Snowden may be marooned, but the leaks keep coming: German magazine Der Spiegel reported that the US 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.

China cools off. China’s official manufacturing index showed the sector expanded at the slowest rate in four months, and the unofficial HSBC PMI index showed the sector contracting. Separately, property prices surged 7.4% in June from a year earlier.

Hopeful in Japan. Manufacturers turned optimistic for the first time since September 2011 on the strength of Abenomics, despite market volatility. In South Korea, exports and imports fell in June as the economy maintained its 17-month run of trade surpluses.

A sea change. China agreed to begin multilateral talks with Southeast Asian countries over disputed islands in the South China Sea, ahead of a meeting this week of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Brunei that will also be attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Nokia to buy out Siemens. The two companies went 50/50 in a telecommunications equipment joint venture but Siemens wants out and Nokia may oblige, using a bridge loan to buy Siemens’ stake for somewhere under $2.6 billion.

Obama in Africa. President Obama announced $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

The miniseries is the future of television. Bite-sized chunks are easier to chew.

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.

Surprising discoveries

The US military is cancelling some July 4th fireworks shows. Some rockets are just too expensive.

Worried about NSA surveillance? Try this stealth clothing fashion line.

Be careful how you hold that glass. Drinking at Chinese business banquets has its own set of rules.

Why healthy people buy unhealthy food. Options like salads on a menu give people permission to get the french fries.

Gaming the vote. Japan 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.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, favorite miniseries and stealth clothing designs to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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