Scotland votes, Tesla triumphant, hazardous cicadas

Good morning, Quartz readers!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY

Scotland heads to the polls…. Voters are expected to re-elect first minister Nicola Sturgeon and her Scottish National Party. The SNP has vowed to renew the campaign for Scottish independence—especially if Great Britain votes to leave the European Union.

…And London selects a new mayor. After weathering the financial crisis and overseeing the 2012 Olympics, Boris Johnson’s tenure is at an end. He is due to be replaced by either fellow Conservative Zac Goldsmith or Labour’s Sadiq Khan.

Alibaba earnings. Jack Ma’s e-commerce giant has been expanding in rural China and is expected to report higher quarterly profits, despite China’s economic downturn. Analysts are predicting $3.6 billion in revenue, up nearly 30% over the last year.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

Europe abandoned the €500 bill. In an attempt to hamper nefarious crash transactions, the European Central Bank announced plans to phase out the bill by 2018. It’s a favorite among terrorists and criminals, who sometimes refer to it as the “bin Laden” banknote.

Turkey’s prime minister is stepping down. Ahmet Davutoglu, president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s handpicked successor, has beencaught up in a power struggle with Erdogan for months. The dissolution of their alliance sent the Turkish lira into a tailspin.

Tesla got even more ambitious. Elon Musk’s electric car maker posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss and said it could produce 500,000 cars annually by 2018, two years ahead of schedule, sending its shares up nearly 10%. Tesla also announced the departure of two senior manufacturing executives, who were reportedly linked to some of the company’s recent production woes.

Donald Trump completed his Republican takeover. Ohio governor John Kasich, Trump’s last rival standing, dropped out of the presidential race, hours after Texas senator Ted Cruz did the same. Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who leads him by a wide margin in the polls, has already launched two attack ads that use Trump’s words against him.

Tribune Publishing rejected a buyout offer. The owner of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune refused to let Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, buy it. The offer of over $388 million understated its true value, the company said, and was an “opportunistic proposal.”

Well Fargo reported a 62% jump in problematic loans. The loans were mainly to oil and gas companies, according to the US bank’s first-quarter regulatory financial filing. Sharply lower oil prices have made it difficult for energy companies to repay their debts.

QUARTZ MARKETS HAIKU

Productivity
Is down, bad news for profits
The market hates that

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

Corinne Purtill talks to a Lego master builder about his job.“Master builders must have a solid grasp of math and physics concepts like ratios, scaling, and load-bearing. They also need an artist’s creativity and aesthetic eye.” Read more here.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

Stealing food is not a crime if you’re poor. Italy’s top court just freed a starving homeless man jailed for stealing $4.50 worth of cheese and sausage.

A gap year can teach you more than school. Life skills are more important than rushing into a university education.

China’s Baidu should have higher standards than Google. The search engine is the only way many Chinese citizens get information online.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

KFC made nail polish that tastes like fried chicken. The chain is trying to make its “Finger Lickin’ Good” motto quite literal.

Opioid addicts are abusing some very unlikely drugs. Over-the-counter diarrhea medicine is the “poor man’s methadone.”

Cicadas are so loud that they’re hazardous to your health.“Brood V,” set to hatch in a few weeks, may cause “physical and psychological strain.”

Medical errors are now the third-leading cause of US deaths.They have surpassed accidents and respiratory diseases.

Malaria during pregnancy is a lot more dangerous than Zika.The virus kills an estimated 10,000 mothers and 100,000 newborns a year.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, chicken-flavored nail polish, and gap year ideas tohi@qz.com. And download our new iPhone app for news throughout the day.

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