#Trump’s #NAFTA about-face, #Venezuela’s OAS withdrawal, security robot assaulted

Good morning, Quartz readers!


The European Central Bank weighs in. With the French election imminent, the ECB is not expected to make any major moves, but traders will be watching for any shifts in tone of the bank’s assessment of the euro zone economy and hints about future tapering.

A big day for tech earnings. Analysts expect Alphabet, Google’s parent company, to post an impressive 21% increase in revenue to $20.02 billion, though they’ll also be watching for signs (paywall) that advertisers are abandoning YouTube. Microsoft and Amazon will also report quarterly results.

Shinzo Abe sits down with Vladimir Putin. North Korea will be on the agenda when the Russian and Japanese leaders meet in Moscow—but so will sea urchin and scallop cultivation in the islands off the coast of Hokkaido that are claimed by both countries.


Trump pulled a 180 on NAFTA. After media reports surfaced stating that Trump would issue an executive order ending US participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement, the president stated that the White House would merely “renegotiate” its terms with Canada and Mexico. The announcement comes one day after Trump imposed tariffs on Canadian lumber shipped to the US.

Venezuela announced it would exit OAS. After members of the Organization of American States voted to hold a meeting to discuss the country’s plight, Venezuelan foreign minister Delcy Rodriguez said the regime would begin the withdrawal process from the organization. Violent protests against the Maduro regime, which has brought its citizens to the brink of starvation, have been waging in Caracas for over a week.

A North Korean official warned his nation would “never stop” its nuclear tests. His comments followed a joint statement given by secretary of state Rex Tillerson, defense secretary Jim Mattis, and director of national intelligence Dan Coats saying Washington will manage North Korea’s nuclear threat “by tightening economic sanctions and pursuing diplomatic measures with our allies and regional partners.”

Samsung Electronics had its best quarter in three years. The company reported operating profits of 7.68 trillion won ($6.8 billion), driven by a strong components division that has compensated for its lagging mobile phone unit. It also stated it would not re-structure into a holding company—something US-based activist investors, hungry for more dividends, have rallied for.

“Canada’s Donald Trump” withdrew his political bid. Kevin O’Leary, the outspoken businessman and star of the reality TV showShark Tank, ended his bid for leadership of Canada’s Conservative Party. O’Leary stated he dropped out of the race because his unpopularity in Quebec would make it difficult to beat prime minister Justin Trudeau in the 2019 election.


Katherine Foley on how science got it wrong about fat. In an article published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (an affiliate of BMJ) on April 25, researchers from the UK and California reviewed all the existing studies about cholesterol and heart disease. Based on all the published literature, “the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong,” they write. Read more here.


Trump’s tax plan: Something / For everyone. And a lot/ For the very rich.


Kim Jong-un is acting rationally. He’s doing what it takes to stave off a military coup or a popular uprising—both of which would upend the regime.

Queens are more likely to wage war than kings. And married queens are more bellicose than unmarried ones.

Pre-muddied expensive jeans are a symptom of “the war on work.” For $425, the wealthy don’t have to get their hands or pants dirty.


Quartz Index indicator of the day: $4.1 billion. That’s the projected size of the iris recognition market in 2025 (it was $670 million in 2016). Fingerprint recognition is already mainstream; is iris scanning next? 👀 for yourself at the new Quartz Index.


Donald Trump has a special red button to request a soda. The Oval Office device is not to be confused with the one that could start a nuclear war.

A security robot was assaulted in Silicon Valley. An intoxicated man knocked over the Knightscope K5 and was promptly arrested by (human) police.

Amazon’s new gadget judges your fashion sense, or lack thereof. The $200 Echo camera uses machine learning to analyze your daily clothing choices.

Humans may have arrived in the Americas 130,000 years ago.Controversial research posits that people lived in California 115,000 years earlier than is commonly accepted.

Baby whales whisper to their mothers. The faint squeaks and grunts are designed to prevent eavesdropping by predatory orcas.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, red buttons, and whale whispers to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.

Made-in-China aircraft carrier, #Trump’s tax plan, an aurora named “Steve”

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Donald Trump unveils the blueprint of his tax cuts… The US president reportedly wants to apply a 15% tax rate on both mom-and-pop companies and large corporations, which currently face a much higher rate. The slashed rate would also apply (paywall) to entities like his own real estate conglomerate—opening a line of attack for his opponents.

…And briefs the US Senate on North Korea. All 100 senators have been summoned to a rare joint meeting at the White House with the president and senior cabinet officials to discuss Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

Earnings, earnings, earnings. Among the many companiesreporting results (pdf) are Twitter, PayPal, PepsiCo, Hershey, Boeing, and Procter & Gamble. The day could be especially painful for Twitter, which is expected to report a revenue drop amid struggles to find new users and advertisers.


China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier. The nation could eventually have a fleet of up to six as it tries to project power further afield. For Chinese president Xi Jinping the launch was a chance to bolster his commander-in-chief credentials ahead a key Communist Party meeting later this year.

AT&T lost wireless customers for the first time last quarter.Admitting it was slow in reacting to competitors offering unlimited data plans, the US carrier said it lost 191,000 postpaid subscribers (those who pay bills monthly), versus expectations it would add about 100,000. Customers want to stream video without worrying about exceeding a cap.

McDonald’s dropped plans to sell shares in its Japan unit. It said early last year it might sell the business, which had been struggling after a series of food scandals. But last month the unit reported same-store sales rose almost 17% from a year ago. Shares in McDonald’s hit an all-time high yesterday after the company reported a strong quarter.

Australia notched its highest consumer price inflation since 2014. Petrol, education, and health care all got more expensiveDown Under. The news was welcome in a nation worried about deflation, but at just over 2% the quarterly figure still underwhelmed—meaning don’t expect to see interest rate hikes anytime soon.


Tim Fernholz on Donald Trump’s war on Canadian lumber socialism. “The lumber debate between the US and Canada began in 1982. It is driven by fundamental factors: In the US, much timber land is privately owned and competitively priced. In contrast, Canada’s vast timber reserves are mostly owned by the government and leased over the long term to producers.” Read more here.


The mystery of / business success in three words: / “All-Day McMuffins.”


French politics have moved beyond left and right. Instead, the far-left and far-right are converging.

People are scared of artificial intelligence for all the wrong reasons. Robotic cars are far less dangerous than AIs making decisions about policing and health care.

The 😬 emoji is the best emoji. It allows us to acknowledge the low-key stress and anxiety we feel every day.


Astronomers are investigating an aurora named “Steve.” The purple-green streak was created by a ribbon of ionized gas over Alberta, Canada.

Researchers created an artificial womb for livestock (and soon, for humans). Fetal lambs lived in the fluid-filled sack for four weeks.

Apple wants the cool kids to hang out at its stores. Retail chief Angela Ahrendts is overseeing a revamp featuring “Genius Groves” and lots of foliage.

Brazilian bandits stole $40 million from a heavily guarded vault in Paraguay. The gang killed one police officer in its overnight raid on a cash storage facility.

A dead woman’s Fitbit led to her husband’s murder arrest. It showed she was alive after he claimed she was shot by an intruder.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, anxious emoji, and telltale Fitbits to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.

#LePen and #Macron runoff, #Obama re-emerges, mole rat secrets

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Barack Obama holds his first public event since leaving the White House. The former US president will lead a conversation with young people on civic engagement and community organizing at the University of Chicago.

Protests by Russian truckers resume—and spread. Despite theKremlin downplaying (paywall) the situation, thousands of long-haul truckers are demanding the repeal of a tax hike on the use of federal highways. An opaque company with ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin is behind the electronic toll scheme.

ISS commander beats the 534-day record for time spent in space by an American. Peggy Whitson, 57, is in the midst of her third long-duration mission. She will receive a congratulatory phone call from US president Donald Trump, and will remain on the International Space Station until September.


Voter anger has the power to move markets. From globalization to immigration, political upheaval has far-reaching economic implications. These research insights examine what economies and markets can expect if global politics continue to shift dramatically.


France’s next president will be a former banker or a far-right populist. The first round of voting winnowed the field to Emmanuel Macron, who has never before run for office, and Marine Le Pen, who wants a Frexit. The runoff vote is on May 7.

Saudi Arabia restored financial perks for public sector workers. It also rescinded salary cuts for ministers. Authorities said the moves reflected the improved fiscal position of the government, which has seen its finances undermined by low oil prices—and grumbling from a population used to generous subsidies and benefits.

Angela Merkel’s party saw a turnaround in German polls. Support for the German chancellor has risen to 34% in the country’s most populous state, the highest since 2015. That figure draws her Christian Democratic Union party even with its main opposition, the Social Democrats.

American Airlines dodged a scandal by quickly apologizing for an onboard incident. Reacting to footage of a flight attendant supposedly grabbing a stroller from a woman, hitting her, and just missing her baby, the company swiftly launched an investigation anddenounced the employee’s lack of empathy and patience.

Scientists and their fans took to the streets around the world.They devised clever signs for the March for Science on Saturday: A baby held one reading, “Remember polio? Neither do I. Thanks, science!” One with a blow-up dinosaur read, “Ask how climate change went for me.” Kids in New York held one saying “Make America scientific again.”


Paul Smalera on Fox’s business incentive for dropping Bill O’Reilly—his age: “Nothing about the way Rupert Murdoch has ever operated suggests he is interested in overpaying celebrities of his own creation to work through their declining years, while putting his business interests at risk. He has shown us who he is over and over, and we should, as the saying goes, believe him.” Read more here.


It’s time to break up Google. Tech monopolies like Google and Facebook are stymying innovation, costing millions, and must be regulated (paywall)—either by limiting acquisitions, treating them like public utilities, or removing the “safe harbor clause.”

Japan is saying “no thanks” to political change. Voters are just fine without the kind of turbulence they see in Europe, the US, and South Korea.

Relationships work best when partners don’t have too much in common. Different personalities, interests, and religious views canbroaden perspectives and deepen love in a way similarities can’t.


Quartz Index indicator of the day: €29,750 . That’s the average amount a financial firm would spend in housing and office space per employee if they relocated them to Frankfurt, one of the cheapest real estate markets in the EU. Learn which European cities are looking especially nice post-Brexit and explore other indicators at the new Quartz Index.


Prince had over 2,000 pairs of shoes. The late musician had a preference for ankle boots with three-inch heels.

A 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara sparked the modern US environmental movement. Residents discovered there were few laws to help them clean up the mess and protect the environment from future disasters.

The farthest you can get on Earth from a Trump property is an island off the coast of Angola. But with just one largely abandoned town, Baia dos Tigres isn’t the safest getaway (paywall).

Larger-sized clothes fit badly for a painfully obvious reason.Designers ineffectively “scale up” the dimensions of each piece, instead of simply fitting clothes on larger models.

Naked mole rats can survive without oxygen for nearly 20 minutes. Enzymes in their hearts and brains convert fructose into energy.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, celebrity footwear, and postcards from Baia dos Tigres to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.

Weekend edition—France’s new politics, the happiness experiment, how Google Books died

Good morning, Quartz readers!

The point is approaching in the populist era when left- and right-wing parties become so extreme that they end up meeting, as if someone had grabbed the two ends of the political spectrum and bent it into a loop.

France is already there. For the first time in the country’s modern political history, candidates from both its mainstream parties are bracing to be knocked out of the presidential election, of which the first of two voting rounds is on Sunday.

The two front-runners are from outside the mainstream: far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who has lured disenchanted voters from both left and right with her protectionist mantra, and Emmanuel Macron, a pro-market centrist who melts the hearts of urban progressives.

But a close challenger for third place brings the country’s extreme views full circle. In recent weeks, far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a tech-savvy admirer of Mao Zedong and Hugo Chávez, has shot up in the polls. His tirades against free trade and clubby elites are eerily similar to those of his far-right rival. Bankers, Mélenchon said at a campaign rally (paywall), are “parasites” on society who “produce nothing.” In an interview, Le Pen called for a return to “real economies, not Wall Street economies, but rather factories and farmers.”

Both candidates are pro-worker and anti-EU and favor chummier ties with Russia. The only major difference between them boils down to xenophobia. Le Pen, whose fear-mongering implicates French Muslims in the rise of ISIL, wants a blanket ban on immigration, while Mélenchon, born and raised in Morocco, preaches compassion for refugees (link in French), but better control over those who have yet to arrive.

The merging of their ideals speaks to the unraveling of left and rightcategories everywhere, as voters contend with the forces of globalization in everyday life. In France, the burning question is how to root its cherished culture in a destabilized world. The answer it comes to will transcend borders, setting a course for Europe, global markets, and modern politics for years to come.—Roya Wolverson


The Happiness Experiment. In a special series this week we examine happiness through lenses like economics and evolutionary psychology. Highlights include Nikhil Sonnad on how the Wikipedia page defining happiness has evolved, in a kind of Socratic dialogue, through thousands of edits; Meredith Bennett-Smith on why being grumpy in the workplace can make people more energetic and creative; and Michael Coren on the philosopher who is teaching Silicon Valley moguls to stop trying to optimize their lives.

The South American protestors who took Europe’s space program hostage. A protest movement against conditions in French Guiana blocked satellite launches in an attempt to attract France’s attention—and succeeded. Peter D’Auria reports from Kourou.

The enigma of Bashar el-Assad. Even now, Syria experts and former friends of his cannot fully agree on how the baby-faced, shy opthalmologist became one of the 21st century’s leading villains, as Max de Haldevang discovers.

America explained for foreigners. Wikitravel, the free, crowd-sourced travel guide, offers tips on speaking to women, coping with massive food portions, dealing with the police, and talking about politics. Thu-Huong Ha picks out the gems in a revealing look at the US through the eyes of other cultures.

California’s six-year drought is finally over. Governor Jerry Brown largely lifted the state of emergency on April 7, but its impact will live on, as David Yanofsky shows in 93 maps and two charts.

How to game your airline. Airlines oversell seats on the expectation that some passengers won’t show up. But what if overbooked passengers band together to make the airline pay? Play our interactive game created by Emily Withrow and Adam Pasick to find out what happens next.

Iran’s remarkable transgender rights policy. The Islamic Republic is actually an accepting place for transgender people to live, as long as they get sex reassignment surgery. Neha Thirani Bagri explores trans life in Iran.

Children are learning about sex through porn. In the internet age, there is little parents can do to control what their children watch.Cassie Werber delves into how governments around the world are struggling to regulate this.


Why are we all so obsessed with happiness? Quartz reporters go beyond platitudes and quick fixes to try to answer this question in our latest special series, the Happiness Experiment. Explore happiness’s relationship with money, evolution, and history, as well asthe case for being the workplace grump.


The end of Google’s first “moonshot.” Google once aimed to scan every book in the world and make them searchable. James Somers in the Atlantic traces the history of the modern-day Library of Alexandria that became Google Books, and the legal battles from authors and publishers that thwarted it. He writes, “Google did that thing where you ask for forgiveness rather than permission, and forgiveness was not forthcoming.”

The last thing about Rachel Dolezal that you’ll ever need to read. Dolezal is a white woman who famously lied about being—and continues to identify as—black. In a piercing interview with her, black writer Ijeoma Oluo concludes that Dolezal’s efforts to coopt blackness are the ultimate mark of white privilege.

Juicing the juicers. The internet reveled in Bloomberg’s revelation that food-tech startup Juicero’s $400 wifi-enabled juice press was basically pointless: The QR-coded juice packs could be squeezed by hand, serving up a potent metaphor for the tech boom’s glorification of disruptive but unnecessary products. Also: read thenote from Juicero’s CEO and make up your own mind.

The shaky future of the blue-blooded crab. The biomedical industry captures about 500,000 horseshoe crabs every year to extract their blue blood, using it to detect the presence of dangerous bacteria in drugs and implants. Caren Chesler visits a crab phlebotomy lab for Popular Mechanics, and explains how, with surging demand and no regulation to speak of, the 450-million-year-old species is now in dangerous decline.

How Russia handles its hackers. The US election hack and Yahoo’s massive data breaches were both sponsored by Russia, US intelligence agencies believe. But as Sheera Frenkel reports for Buzzfeed, what makes these hacks hard to pin down is the fluid, shifting relationship between the Russian state and cybercriminals it sometimes employs and sometimes pressures to help do its dirty work.

Our best wishes for a relaxing but thought-filled weekend. Please send any news, comments, blue crab blood, and definitions of happiness to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day, or download our apps for iPhone andAndroid.

#Venezuela’s “mother of all protests,” #Australia’s citizenship test, photobombing iceberg

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Donald Trump meets Italy’s “gentleman” prime minister. Prime minister Paolo Gentiloni visits the White House to discuss the upcoming G7 summit in Sicily, which will be the US president’s first overseas trip.

China’s launching its first cargo spacecraft. The unmannedTianzhou-1 takes off Thursday night at 7:41 PM local time from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Centre. It’s designed to resupply China’s space station, which is scheduled to be permanently manned by 2022.

Pakistan’s supreme court rules on the Panama Papers leak.Prime minister Nawaz Sharif could be deemed ineligible to hold office due to leaked documents that revealed his children’s ownership of offshore companies involved in an alleged money-laundering scheme.


Thousands gathered in Venezuela’s capital for the “mother of all protests.” Crowds in Caracas marched to demand the removal of president Nicolás Maduro, as the country suffers from a recession so severe that citizens face a chronic food shortage. Violent clashes erupted between the protestors and government troops, resulting in two deaths by nightfall.

Australia made it harder to become an Australian. Applicants for citizenship will take a test that assesses their integration into the local community and commitment to religious freedom and gender equality. The length of permanent residency required to earn citizenship was also extended, from one year to four. The changes come two days after prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announcedrestrictions on visas for foreign workers.

Rex Tillerson struck a tough tone on the Iran deal. Hours after the State Department confirmed that Iran was complying with the restrictions on its nuclear program, the secretary of state hosted a press conference and told reporters the deal “fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran.” He added that the administration is considering adding North Korea to its list of state sponsors of terror, in hopes of spurring Pyongyang to re-engage with Washington.

Exxon applied for an exemption to work in Russia. The oil giant is reportedly seeking a waiver from the US Treasury Department that would allow it to drill for oil in the Black Sea (paywall), and continue its relationship with state-run Rosneft. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson, a former Exxon CEO who helped create the partnership, has recused himself from the decision.

Fox News fired its top host amid a sexual harassment scandal.Rupert Murdoch and his sons said Bill O’Reilly—off-air since April 11—would not return to the network after an internal investigation of sexual harassment allegations against him. The move was precipitated by dozens of advertisers boycotting Fox News.


Marc Bain on Amazon’s patent for an automated on-demand clothing factory: “Standard operating procedure in the apparel industry goes like this: Make clothes, and then sell them. … But Amazon, the ecommerce giant steadily growing into the largest apparel seller in the US, has another idea.” Read more here.


IBM shares droop / So can Watson calculate / Warren Buffett’s loss?


The war in Syria has been great for North Korea. Pyongyang isgetting rich selling weapons to the Assad regime, and gaining valuable expertise on how to deal with a military conflict on one’s territory.

The big winner in the French election will be Vladimir Putin.Three of four leading candidates are pro-Putin populists.

Live crime is the beast Facebook can’t control. Relying on user reports has its limits.


Quartz Index indicator of the day: $5.8 million. That’s the average amount the 12 best-paid YouTube stars made in the year starting in July 2015. Learn why that number may fall for this year and explore other indicators at the new Quartz Index.


Silicon Valley invested $120 million in a juicer that does nothing. Juice packs for the Juicero can just as easily be squeezed by hand.

Amazon is using peer pressure to keep workers from calling in sick. German warehouse employees only get a bonus if their coworkers show up.

A massive traveling iceberg is photobombing a Canadian village. Newfoundland’s “iceberg alley” is hosting a record crop this year due to rising temperatures.

Southern California’s trees are dying rapidly. An infestation of polyphagous shot hole borer beetles could decimate 38% of the trees in the Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

China put Richard Gere out of work. The star of “Pretty Woman” says his outspoken advocacy of Tibet has led Hollywood to stop placing him in big-budget movies meant to reach audiences in China.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, tree-killing beetles, and superfluous juicers tohi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.

#UK snap election, #Facebook’s second act, runaway llama

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Today we’re launching The Happiness Experiment, which uses economics, history, and evolutionary psychology to understand how our notions of happiness have changed over time.


The UK parliament votes on a June 8 snap election called by Theresa May. The prime minister wants to bolster her mandate to guide the country’s exit from the European Union. Lawmakers look set to pass the motion, paving the way for even more arguing about Brexit in the weeks ahead.

The US, Japan, and South Korea discuss North Korea. The Defense Trilateral Talks take place annually, but this year’s event, being held in Tokyo, is particularly timely amid growing tensions on the Korean peninsula. Pyongyang may test another missile or nuclear weapon to mark a key military anniversary on April 25.

India’s finance minister visits the United States. Arun Jaitley has a packed schedule: He’ll be attending the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, participating in the G-20 meeting on the financial sector, and sitting down with US investors. He’s also slated to meet with US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and the editorial board of the New York Times.


Donald Trump called for fewer visas for low-wage foreign workers. The US president’s new executive order (paywall) does not fulfill his campaign promise to end the H-1B visa program, but will make it more difficult to hire foreign workers who make below-median wages for their industry.

Chevron sold its Canadian gas stations and a refinery for $1.1 billion. The US oil giant found a buyer in Alberta-based Parkland Fuel, a marketer of petroleum products. Chevron, which last year suffered its first annual loss since 1987, is working to sell up to $10 billion in assets.

Mark Zuckerberg said augmented reality is Facebook’s “Act 2.” The CEO announced plans to use smartphone cameras to display virtual items in the real world. His company also unveiled a beta for tools allowing outside developers to build AR applications for the platform. Rival Snapchat meanwhile rolled out 3D artwork users can add to their snaps.

IBM reported its 20th consecutive quarter of revenue declines.The company’s “big bets”—notably in cloud computing, where Amazon dominates—are still not growing fast enough to offset declining sales in its older businesses. Revenue fell 2.8% in the first quarter. The company’s shares fell more than 5% in after-hours trading.


Akshat Rathi on the UK’s general election Brexit re-do: “May’s Conservative Party looks set to increase its majority in parliament—it currently holds 330 seats in the 650-member parliament, and poll projections imply that it could gain 50 more in the upcoming vote… In reality, nothing is certain in today’s volatile political environment.”Read more here.


Being grumpy at work is good for you. That’s why corporate strategies to maximize worker happiness can quickly backfire.

Justin Trudeau is a disaster for the environment. His advocacy for new pipelines in Canada’s oil sands is an act of stunning hypocrisy.

Introverts make better CEOs. Extroverted corporate leaders aren’t better performers—they’re just better at schmoozing corporate boards (paywall).


Cologne is struggling to find a llama on the lam. It escaped with 13 other animals from a petting zoo.

United Airlines used to have men-only flights. They offered steaks, brandy, and cigars until 1970, when a lawsuit shut them down.

Collectively, humans have watched Adam Sandler on Netflix for longer than civilization has existed. Never mind that his recent projects have bombed in theaters and been torn apart by critics.

Almost all Americans use their phones while driving. It’s no wonder that traffic deaths are on the rise.

Disabled gamers are hacking their own custom joysticks. Their inventions include input devices controlled by the head and foot.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Adam Sandler faves, and grumpy colleagues tohi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.

#Uber tipping option, #Netflix disappoints, #VR cocktails

Good morning, Quartz readers!


The IMF’s first post-Trump forecast. The International Monetary Fund will update its global growth forecast for the first time since US president Donald Trump moved into the White House. Last week, the fund warned that growing protectionism will pose a challenge for emerging economies.

Mike Pence visits Japan. The US vice president will discuss North Korea and trade with prime minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders in Tokyo. The visit follows Pence’s stop in South Korea, where he criticized a free-trade pact.

Goldman Sachs releases earnings. Following strong results from JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup last week, Goldman Sachs is poised to beat expectations on the strength of its fixed income, currency, and commodity trading businesses.

Orbital ATK launches a cargo vessel to the International Space Station. Also aboard the company’s unmanned Cygnus spacecraft: a fire experiment. After the resupply, materials will be set alight, with sensors recording how the fire spreads. The test will suggest which flame-resistant materials work best in space. Meanwhile NASA will provide a 360-degree video of the rocket launch.


The maker of Fruity Pebbles will swallow up Weetabix. Post Holdings will buy the UK breakfast brand for $1.76 billion, according to the Financial Times (paywall), in a deal that could be announced today. The US cereal maker has been on an acquisition spree to offset slow growth in packaged foods. Meanwhile foreign takeovers of UK companies are rising due to a Brexit-induced drop in valuations.

New York City might require an option to tip Uber drivers. Its taxi commission announced a proposal requiring car services that accept only credit cards to let passengers tip drivers using their cards. Other cities could follow suit, leading to a change in how the company operates in the US market. The lack of such an option has long been a sort point for drivers.

Donald Trump congratulated Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The US president’s Turkish counterpart is celebrating after voters narrowly passed a contested referendum that will grant him sweeping new powers. Trump’s call contrasted with the US State Department, which urged Erdoğan to respect his citizens’ fundamental rights and noted “irregularities on voting day.”

Netflix’s first quarter disappointed. The streaming giant’s earnings were better than anticipated but it fell short on subscriber growth and expected profits, causing its stock to fall about 4% in after-hours trading.


Peter D’Auria on the South American protesters who took Europe’s space program hostage: “For more than three weeks, French Guiana has been effectively shut down by protests and a general strike… Despite its crumbling infrastructure, the territory is home to some of the world’s most advanced technology. Last year, the Guiana Space Center was the second-busiest spaceport in the world.” Read more here.


United’s earnings / are up. Hard to change much if / you’re making money.


North Korea is like “a Cuban missile crisis in slow motion.” But the Trump administration’s aggressive policies may be speeding things up (paywall).

Philosophers are the original tech bros. From antiquity to the modern day, they are the archetypal “brilliant jerks.”

Losers are the new winners in China. More than 500 million people self-identify as diaosi (屌丝), which was originally used as an online insult.


Plants use good vibrations to find water. They listen for acoustic signatures that signal moisture, even if there is no trace of water in the soil.

A top Indian engineering school will teach an 8,000-year-old architectural science. Students at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur will be taught vastu shashtra, somewhat similar to feng shui.

CRISPR could fight bacteria, too. Researchers are using the versatile gene-editing technique as an antibiotic.

A London bar’s latest cocktail comes with a VR headset.Patrons can experience the Scottish Highlands as they sip 12-year-old whisky.

A Canadian river vanished in four days as a glacier receded.It’s the first known case of “river piracy” due to global warming.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, plant vibes, and vanished rivers to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.