Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY AND OVER THE WEEKEND
Donald Trump holds a day of meetings with Xi Jinping. The US president and his Chinese counterpart are expected to discuss trade and foreign policy issues in detail today at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Both men need a big win: Trump to erase his health-care debacle and Xi to look good ahead of a crucial party conclave.
The US releases its March jobs report. Economists are eager to see if the labor market can maintain its momentum, with an average of 236,500 monthly jobs added in January and February. Hourly earnings and the number of people looking for work will also be closely watched.
Saudi Arabia starts its $10 billion sukuk roadshow. The oil-rich country has hired Citigroup, HSBC, and JP Morgan to coordinate its sharia-compliant bond offering, and will start meeting with potential investors on Sunday. The Saudis are raising funds to diversify their finances and plug a budget hole caused by low oil prices.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Trump ordered missile strikes on a Syrian airfield. The action, involving dozens of cruise missiles fired from two US warships in the Mediterranean, reduced the ability of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to order chemical-weapons attacks against civilians, as he allegedly did this week from the same airfield. Trump called that attack a “disgrace to humanity.”
Samsung Electronics forecast its best quarterly profit in over three years. It said its first-quarter operating profit was likely $8.8 billion—beating expectations—and that it’s on track for record annual earnings thanks to demand for memory chips. That will help the company get past last year’s product-recall debacle with the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.
US Senate Republicans deployed “the nuclear option.” GOP lawmakers rewrote parliamentary rules to overcome a Democratic filibuster, which will enable them to confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to a lifetime appointment. The change is seen as a symbol of increasing partisanship and rancor.
Twitter sued the US government. Citing the right to free speech, it said it cannot be compelled to reveal the identity of who’s behind the account @ALT_USCIS, which is purportedly controlled by current or former federal employees and has criticized the Trump administration. US officials sent a summons to the company last month demanding the information.
Lyft capitalized on Uber’s recent woes. The second-largest US ride-hailing company, which has gained new riders due to its rival’sPR disasters, raised at least $500 million in new funding at avaluation of $7.5 billion. That’s well above its previous round’s valuation, but below the $9 billion price tag it reportedly sought in buyout talks last summer.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Marc Bain on a new breed of even-faster fashion: “British fashion retailers ASOS and Boohoo are able to conceive, design, produce, and have clothing ready for shoppers on the sales floor quicker than Zara and H&M… and the two millennial-focused, social-media savvy brands are enjoying the rewards.” Read more here.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Entrepreneurs love their companies like children—and not in a good way. Brain scans reveal a pervasive bias that discourages outside perspectives.
The world’s craving for chocolate and coffee is damaging Africa’s forests. Demand for the commodity crops is leading to more industrial plantations.
It’s OK to interrupt people as long as you’re listening to them.We all differ in how long we expect conversational pauses to be.
MESSAGE FROM OUR PARTNER
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It’s now illegal in Russia to share pictures of Putin as a gay clown. The popular meme was placed on a list of “extremist materials,” and violators could spend up to 15 days in prison.
Trump thinks he’s had “one of the most successful 13 weeksin the history of the presidency.” He has only been the US president for 11 weeks.
The paleo diet included eating other humans. But a new study concludes that they weren’t a very good source of cannibal calories.
Gig economy startups have a list of forbidden words.Mentioning “employees,” “uniforms,” or “hiring” could lead to legal problems.
“Young poo” may fight old age. Research shows that older fish live longer when they’re fed microbes from the feces of young fish.
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