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

Good morning, Quartz readers!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY

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.

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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.

OVER THE WEEKEND

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 It also rescinded salary cuts for ministers.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.”

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

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.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

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 ANNOUNCEMENT

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.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

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.

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