Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—EU slams Google, China’s GDP slows, Obama’s Iran compromise, space station espresso

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

The EU throws the book at Google. Brussels will accuse the US search giant of breaking antitrust rules by favoring its services over those of its rivals in search results—the capstone to a five-year investigation. The EU’s digital chief clearly isn’t a fan (paywall) of US internet companies.

Etsy prices its IPO. The online marketplace for artisanal goods is expected to IPO at between $14 and $16 a share. That would let the firm raise as much as $267 million (paywall) at a $1.8 billion valuation, making it one of the largest tech offerings expected this year.

Workers protest low wages in over 200 US cities. McDonald’s workers—including the 90% of US staff left out of the company’s recent pay raise announcement—will join Walmart employees and many others calling for a $15-per-hour minimum wage in the United States.

Narendra Modi takes the stage in Canada. Some 10,000 people are expected to hear the Indian prime minister speak at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. Modi is winding up a global tour with the first visit by an Indian head of state to Canada in more than 40 years.

While you were sleeping

China’s first-quarter GDP fell to 7%. The slowest annual growth rate in almost six years was in line with expectations, but data for the month of March still offered glum news. Retail sales, fixed-asset investment, and industrial output all slowed to multi-year lows, putting more pressure on China’s central bank to roll out new stimulus measures.

Barack Obama begrudgingly gave Congress a say in the Iran deal. The US president agreed to a bill that gives the Republican-controlled Congress the power to review an agreement that would limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions. Democratic support for the bill forced Obama to accept the compromise measure.

SpaceX narrowly missed landing its reusable rocket. The Falcon 9 tipped over on a seaborne landing pad after making a successful resupply mission to the International Space Station (including delivery of an “ISSpresso maker.”) Elon Musk’s space company has been trying to land a reusable rocket since January, and has another attempt planned next week.

Alibaba prepared for an online pharmacy boom. The e-commerce giant said it would combine its Tmall pharmacy business with Alibaba Health Information Technology, in a $2.5 billion deal that would raise its stake in the Hong Kong-listed subsidiary from 38% to 56%. The Chinese government is expected to approve online prescription drug sales later this year.

Intel’s results fell flat. The world’s biggest chipmaker’s first-quarter revenue was a lower-than-expected $12.8 billion, flat compared to the same period a year earlier. Intel, struggling with falling PC demand, also forecast its full-year revenue would be flat compared with 2014, and promised to cut spending.

Quartz obsession interlude

Jack Aldwinckle on open-sourced soda-bottle street lamps. “The lights’ beauty lies in their simplicity: A 3-watt LED lamp is connected to a controller and a battery pack, which is powered by a small solar panel. The light fixture’s protective casing is an old plastic soda bottle. Each lamp costs around 176,000 Colombian pesos ($70) to build, and nothing to run.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Videos of police killings are numbing society. Converting deaths into hashtags is not sufficient.

German luxury cars are too affordable. Booming sales of BMWs and Audis are eroding their exclusivity.

Yanis Varoufakis is over-reliant on his charisma. Greece’s finance minister desperately needs a actual coherent plan.

Being short is good for you. Despite research linking shortness to heart disease, short people live longer and healthier lives.

The humble aluminum can is a testament to human ingenuity. Superb engineering cranked out 15,000 times per second.

Surprising discoveries

87% of Americans think they’re ”middle class.” The label is aspirational, not economic.

In-flight refueling could make flying cheaper and greener. Using the military’s techniques would require much less fuel overall.

A breath test can detect stomach cancer. And catching it early would dramatically improve survival rates.

NASA is working on its own electric car. The golf cart-like vehicle has special wheels that let it pull off some impressive tricks.

Armadillos are bullet-proof. A gunshot ricocheted off one animal’s carapace and wounded the shooter’s mother-in-law.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, pay slips, and golf cart stunt videos to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.