Quartz Daily Brief—#China ferry disaster, #Abercrombie discrimination, #US surveillance, anti-fish disco bubbles

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

US auto sales rev up. Demand for new vehicles has been been flat, but May could see a rebound as lower gas prices encourage customers—particularly those looking to buy trucks and SUVs. Many Americans kept their cars during and after the financial crisis, bottling up demand.

The EU and US meet in Riga. Officials including US attorney general Loretta Lynch will meet in the Latvian capital to talk about terrorism, migration, and information security—and perhaps about FIFA, the target of a major corruption investigation by Lynch’s office.

A check-up on the Mexican economy. The country’s central bank releases a survey of economists on how they see future growth and inflation. The bank already cut its own growth forecasts for 2015 and 2016 after a decline in oil production.

The US Senate considers a new surveillance bill. A provision permitting the mass collection of phone records expired on Sunday night. Lawmakers will soon vote on a new bill, which is likely to pass, but due to complicated Senate rules, it may take a while. (paywall)

Earnings: Dollar General, Medtronic, Cracker Barrel, and Guidewire Software all report quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

A Chinese ferry carrying 458 people sank in the Yangtze. A passenger ship full of elderly Chinese tourists sank in the Yangtze River on Monday night during a storm. Only about a dozen people have been rescued so far, including the ship’s captain and engineer.

Japan’s economy showed strength. Wages grew faster than inflationin April, for the first time in two years, and the benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index is nearing an 18-year high. Meanwhile the yen broke through the 125 per dollar barrier, a first since 2002.

The US Supreme Court ruled that Abercrombie discriminated against a Muslim woman. The US high court ruled in favor of Samantha Elauf, who was refused a job at an Abercrombie & Fitch store in Oklahoma because she was wearing a hijab. The retailer argued that the headscarf would have breached its “look policy.”

An ISIL “suicide tank” killed 38 Iraqi policemen. Islamic State militants drove a tank filled with explosives into a base near the city of Samarra in central Iraq, killing 38 and injuring 46. Iraqi forces captured the base from ISIL several days ago.

Netflix experimented with advertising. Despite CEO Reed Hasting’s vow that the company was not interested in ad revenue, the company has been testing out short in-house video commercials that run before and after its original programs.

Intel agreed to buy Altera for $17 billion. Intel is paying an 11% premium to buy the maker of programable logic semiconductors. The deal is part of a wave of defensive consolidation in the semiconductor industry, as established players prepare for an extended period of slower growth.


It’s time we stopped talking about the cloud. As an industry we still regard cloud computing as an emerging trend, we talk to our customers about a “new” way of doing things—but the reality is, with the presence and predicted growth of “the cloud” we can no longer pretend that this is the future—it is our present.

Quartz obsession interlude

Oyindamola Olofinlua on how mobile internet killed off internet cafes in Nigeria. “In most developed countries cyber cafes were a blip in history as most people soon had relatively satisfactory internet connections in the privacy of their homes. In many Nigerian cities these were much more important as they opened the rest of the world to us in a way that even satellite television was unable to do.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Education is not all it’s cracked up to be. For starters, it’s not sufficient as an economic growth strategy.

Driverless cars will require an entirely new vocabulary. Get ready for “nanny mode,” “trailer trashing,” and “shy distance.”

The US and Saudi Arabia are not friends. The relationship has a long and troubled history.

The “population bomb” prediction was wrong. But Paul Elrich got some things right.

Evolution is telling you to get off Facebook. Humans are social beings, not socially networked beings.

Surprising discoveries

Turkey’s president was accused of having a golden toilet. Recep Tayyip Erdogan refuted the claim of an opposition leader.

Not all rare bourbon is delicious. The tick-borne Bourbon virus can cause fever, acute muscle and joint pain, and other nasty symptoms.

One person’s ancient computer is another’s treasure. A woman dropped off an Apple 1 computer worth $200,000 at a recycling center.

Stopping fish from swimming into power plants requires strange methods. It’s all about the disco bubbles (paywall).

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, golden toilets, and Apple 1 computers to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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