Quartz Daily Brief—Europe Edition—Snowden checks out, SoftBank sweetens Sprint offer, new Apple gadgetry

Quartz

What to watch for today

Edward Snowden in the wind.  The NSA whistleblower left his hotel in Hong Kong just steps ahead of pursuing reporters, and the United States began preparing charges against him—a necessary step before extradition proceedings.

Air traffic controllers on strike. The French lead the way in protest against a European Commission plan to speed up the centralization of air control powers to Brussels. Significant disruptions are expected.

Was the ECB’s bond-buying scheme legal? Germany’s constitutional court will consider whether the policy violated Germany’s sovereign right to decide its own budget.

Immigration overhaul. The US Senate will start debating immigration legislation that has split the Republican party. Democrats, moderates Republicans and the White House are pushing for a vote before the July 4 recess.

An action plan for the EU steel industry. The European Commission will lay out its plan (paywall) to help steel producers.

While you were sleeping

SoftBank raised its bid for Sprint Nextel. The new offer is 7% higher, at $21.6 billion, and came just before a Sprint shareholder meeting was set to vote on the deal. Meanwhile, rival Dish Network hasn’t given up.

The Bank of Japan left interest rates unchanged. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has pledged to avoid “incremental” steps after unveiling unprecedented easing in April.

AstraZeneca agreed to buy Pearl. The $1.15 billion purchase will expand the drugmaker’s portfolio of respiratory-disease treatments.

S&P got optimistic about the US. The ratings agency upgraded the outlook on the US government’s debt from “negative” to “stable” in a vote of confidence for US politicians’ ability to reach a deal on the debt ceiling later this year. We’re a little skeptical.

Apple’s modest bag of tricks. There were no big surprises at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference as the company unveiled iTunes Radio, a free music streaming service. It also introduced a new version of its mobile operating system, iOS7, which presages the fusion of desktop and mobile software.

Facebook, the next blue-chip stock? The tech firm’s stock rose 4.5% in a day on rumors that it might be joining the S&P 500 next year. This is why.

Lululemon lost its leader. CEO Christine Day stepped down for “personal reasons”—supposedly unrelated to the company’s recent fracas with too-transparent yoga pants, which actually did less damage to its earnings than expected.

Quartz obsession interlude

Lily Kuo on two Thai billionaires and their $27 billion of acquisitions fueled by cheap credit. “The deals are worrisome for several reasons. Some of Dhanin and Charoen’s loans are precariously tied to real estate and the stock market. Also, Thai consumer spending would need to continue growing rapidly to justify these deals, Standard Chartered analyst Nirgunan Tiruchelvam told Reuters. And that’s unlikely to happen.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Edward Snowden: hero or villain?

Apple’s streaming radio is a lame duck. On demand play is the key.

Can Aung San Suu Kyi complete the transition from prisoner to politician? Lessons from Havel, Walesa and Mandela.

Dropped out of college with a load of debt? Fear not.

A strong yuan is bad for China. It gives state-owned companies too much buying power.

Americans are an anxious lot. Here’s how to manage a jittery workforce.

The secret to finding a job when you’re olderStart solving people’s problems.

Surprising discoveries

Verizon customers are already suing Uncle Sam. The first of many.

But 56% of Americans think that the NSA tracking phone calls is acceptable. Attitudes on email monitoring haven’t changed much either.

Nor is the US isn’t the most snooping of states. Just look at India, Italy… and Canada.

Twitter’s latest starHer name is Hillary

Want to keep your pet in shape? Get this app.

Napping at work can cost youAsk this German banker.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Edward Snowden asylum locations and pet fitness videos to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter herefor updates during the day.

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