Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY AND OVER THE WEEKEND
Heads of state convene in China for the Silk Road summit.President Xi Jinping will discuss Beijing’s poorly understood but undeniably ambitious “One Belt, One Road” infrastructure spending spree to connect Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
Germany posts its GDP for the first quarter. Analysts expect it to be up 0.6% compared to the previous quarter, outpacing growth from the UK and US. That could increase the likelihood that the European Central Bank will raise interest rates, which German banks have rallied for.
NASA prepares for its 200th spacewalk. Astronaut Peggy Whitson and flight engineer Jack Fischer will perform maintenance at the International Space Station. The planned 6.5-hour event will begin at 6:30am ET today, and will be broadcast on NASA’s website.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
The Trump administration inked a trade deal with China. US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross announced an agreement in which China will permit imports of US beef and liquefied natural gas, while the US will allow imports of cooked poultry from China. Ross called the agreement a “herculean accomplishment,” though the US Chamber of Commerce in Beijing gave the news a cooler reception(paywall).
Brazil declared the end of its Zika crisis. The country’s health ministry recorded a 95% reduction in cases from January to April this year compared to the same period one year ago, leading it to state the disease no longer constitutes a national emergency. Soon after the disease surfaced, Brazil launched a mosquito eradication campaign to help curb its spread.
Waymo’s lawsuit against Uber got the green light for a trial. US district judge William Alsup denied Uber’s request to move its trade dispute with the self-driving car maker into private arbitration, sending the case to a court with a jury. The judge has also ruled on whether an injunction will be placed on Uber in the run-up to the trial, though that decision has not been released publicly.
A Korean mobile games company rocked its IPO. Shares in Netmarble, a Seoul-based game publisher with Star Wars and Marvel-themed titles in its catalog, rose 9% upon the stock’s debut on the Korea Exchange, driving its valuation to 14 trillion won ($12.4 billion)—surpassing LG Electronics. Korea’s stock market hasenjoyed a rally of late due to optimism toward the leadership change in Seoul, as well as the global economy at large.
Thailand issued a warning to Facebook. Authorities reportedly told the social media giant it must remove over 130 pieces of contentit considers critical of the country’s monarchy, lest it risk facing legal action. The government has taken steps to curb the media ever since the military took power in 2014.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Dan Kopf on the economic errors in Trump’s interview with The Economist: “In the course of a wide-ranging interview that touched on trade, immigration, tax reform, and health care, Trump made three particularly strange statements that bely his misunderstanding of economics.” Read more here.
Brick-and-mortar sinks / No one wants to go shopping / But SNAP is on sale
MATTERS OF DEBATE
AI will rob companies of their best training tool. The apprenticeship model at firms like Deloitte won’t work if robots do the grunt work.
The rise of nationalism won’t stop. The populist frenzy in Europe and the US will soon arrive in the developing world.
Local newspapers can be saved. They should be much smaller, contain less filler, and make money through subscriptions.
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The Nordic green energy boom is fighting a cold snap.Temperatures just hit a 70-year low, putting the pinch on hydropower production.
People with HIV are starting to live as long as people without it.Life expectancy for HIV-positive Americans and Europeans is only about four years lower than average.
Researchers just completed the first bird census from space.Improvements in satellite imagery made it possible to count endangered albatross.
Robert Mugabe isn’t sleeping through meetings as his critics allege. The 93-year-old president of Zimbabwe is protecting his eyes from “bright lights,” according to his spokesperson.
India wanted to love Justin Bieber—but his lip-syncing got in the way. Fans said he didn’t even try to make his act believable.
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