Quartz Daily Brief—Americas Edition—US jobs report, Europe’s gloomy forecast, Indian rate cut, tweets from Omaha

May 3, 2013
May 3, 2013

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

US jobs report. Consensus prediction is 148,000 jobs created in April, but it could be lower, due almost entirely to actions by the US federal government.

Glencore-Xstrata start trading today. After months and months of trying to get together, the two companies are finally united and start life as a new entity today. But “not one glass of champagne will be opened,” according to the CEO; lots of job cuts are coming. Who sells champagne in sealed glasses anyway?

Berkshire Hathaway hoedown. Come on down to Omaha, y’hear? For the annual shareholder’s meeting hosted by Warren Buffett, featuring, what else, a cookout. The main event is Saturday. You might also follow Buffett on Twitter—he just started tweeting this week.

Malaysia votes this weekend. And it’s going to be an epic battle. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has his best shot at defeating Barisan National, a coalition that’s ruled Malaysia since it gained independence from Britain—in 1957.

While you were sleeping

The European Commission released its forecast for growth and unemployment in the EU. And it’s even worse than expected. Euro zone GDP will shrink 0.4% this year, more than 0.3% as previously forecast, and the second year running of contraction. Unemployment will rise to 12.2% from 11.4%.

Britain’s anti-Europe party made significant gains in local elections. The United Kingdom Independence Party, a right-wing, more-conservative-than-Conservative party with a logo that looks like it belongs to a discount supermarket is winning an average 26% share of votes.

Reserve Bank of India cut rates again. Trying to revive the economy, India’s central bank cut rates to 7.25%, even though it admits that previous rate cuts have done nothing.

The Boston bombers wanted to strike on July 4. But they finished making their bombs faster than expected, investigators have discovered.

BlackBerry is secure enough for the US Department of Defense. The devices can now be used on the DoD’s networks. Apple has not yet been cleared.

Earnings winners: Australia’s Westpac bank booked record profits of A$3.3 billion ($3.4 billion) for the first six months to March 31, up 11%; the bailed-out, state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland finally returned to profit, making £826 million ($1.3 billion) in the first quarter; Adidas quarterly profits rose to €308 million from €289 million euros on better marginsEarnings losers: Profits at BNP Paribas slipped 45% in the first quarter to € 1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) but still beat analyst estimates; losses widened at Air France-KLM, from €379 million to €630 million, and Korean Air, at 300.6 billion ($274 million) won from 64.2 billion won.

Quartz obsession interlude

Josh Meyer on how a Mexican drug lord is the master of global supply chains. “Initially, Guzman went outside of Mexico in response to the crackdown by former president Felipe Calderon that led to all-out war on the streets and more than 70,000 deaths. But, emboldened by success, he embraced a strategy of expansion and domination based on the principles of ‘deviant globalization.’” Read more here.

Matters of debate

If you want to improve working conditions in Bangladesh, boycott the Gap. They’re one of the manufacturers who refused to sign labor protection agreements.

If the immigration bill goes through, the US will have fewer immigrants, not more. 

Early adopters of Google Glass are damaging its brand. Google has to reign in these guys—and they’re all guys—before they make “Segway for your face” into a pejorative with teeth.

Is Iraq falling apart again? Killings hit a peak not seen since June of 2008.

Fracking is not going to get the US out of the Persian Gulf. Let’s get over “energy independence,” shall we?

Surprising discoveries

China has troops in India and no one knows why. In their defense, the border they crossed is unmarked.

79% of Americans get less than the recommended 2.5 hours of exercise a week. File this under unsurprising discoveries.

Many lipsticks contain lead. The average lipstick user is getting 20% of their daily recommended intake of heavy metals.

Commenters on federal regulations are exactly like internet commenters. At least this guy is short and to the point.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, recommendations for the best phone-finding app, and love letters for the Fed to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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