Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
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.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
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.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
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?
MATTERS OF DEBATE
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.
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