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Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—UK election results, Monsanto’s big bid, Xi visits Moscow, midnight munchies explained

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

The UK counts its ballots. Exit polls showed the Conservatives making a better-than-expected showing in the UK general election, which should be enough to keep prime minister David Cameron in power. Ed Miliband’s Labour Party had a much rougher night, as it looked set to lose all of its seats in Scotland to the pro-independence Scottish National Party.

The US jobs report card. The US labor department will report how many jobs the country’s employers added in April, following meager results in March, when 126,000 jobs were added after a streak of monthly gains above 200,000. Analysts expect April’s numbers will bounce back to 222,500.

China’s president visits Moscow. Xi Jinping is expected to champion more energy deals between the two allies. The Chinese military will also take part in Moscow’s Victory Day parade, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

A Russian spacecraft will crash into Earth. The unmanned Progress 59P cargo vessel, which broke down on route to the International Space Station, will most likely fall in an unpopulated area.

US fast food chain Bojangles goes public. The $680 million chicken-and-biscuits restaurant is expected to raise $147 million. With 622 stores across the US and an old, unflappable menu, the chain is betting on investors’ hunger for restaurant stocks.

While you were sleeping

Monsanto made a bid for Syngenta. The world’s largest seed company’s bid valued the Switzerland-based crop chemical company at $45 billion, a 35% premium to its share price. Syngenta declined the offer but left the door open to a higher Monsanto bid.

Uber bid for Nokia’s map software unit. The ride-hailing service has bid as much as $3 billion for the Nokia mapping business Here, according to the New York Times (paywall). An acquisition could help Uber end its dependency on Google Maps, but it will first have to trump rival buyers including BMW and Audi.

Macquarie had a stellar year. The Australian invesment banking group reported a full-year net profit of A$1.6 billion ($1.3 billion), up 27% from a year earlier, as its expansion into retail banking paid off.

China’s trade data looked bleak. Imports fell by a worse-than-expected 16.2% in April from a year earlier, and exports sank by 6.4%, much lower than an expected 2.4% increase. The dismal data will add pressure on the central bank to expand its stimulus measures.

Fitbit filed for an IPO. The fitness-tracking wristband maker said it aims to raise $100 million on the New York Stock Exchange, becoming one of the first wearable tech companies to go public. Unlike many IPO-bound tech companies, Fitbit is already quite profitable—though it could face serious competition from the newly launched Apple Watch.

Yelp’s stock jumped after reports of a potential sale. The site that allows customers to review restaurants and other services has been in touch with potential buyers, the Wall Street Journal reported (paywall), sending shares up by more than 15%. Here are some of the suitors that could be interested.

Quartz obsession interlude

Leo Mirani on Norway’s too-good-to-last electric car incentives. “Electric cars are exempt from value added tax (VAT) and purchase tax, which on average in Norway add 50% to the cost of a vehicle. They are also exempt from road tolls, tunnel-use charges, and ferry charges. And they get free parking, free charging, and the freedom to use bus lanes. It seems silly to not buy an electric car.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Americans should be thankful for their two-party system. Look at the mess the multi-party UK is in now.

Museums are hoarding art behind closed doors. Public money is being wasted on artwork the public can’t enjoy.

The Greeks are playing chicken with Germany. The country’s debt strategy is to dare Germany to run it over.

Alibaba still has big shoes to fill. The IPO euphoria may be over, but its investors still have Amazon-sized dreams (paywall).

Surprising discoveries

The Golden Gate bridge was almost painted black and yellow. The US military was concerned it wouldn’t be visible in the fog.

Children trust their pets before their siblings. They are more likely to confide in them during times of stress and strife.

Blame your sleepy brain for the midnight munchies. We eat more at night because our brain’s reward system is desensitized.

An extremely ancient star makes aliens more likely. The distant system with five planets is 2.5 times as old as our solar system.

Don’t ask Quora which job to take. An engineer weighing his options on the Q&A site had one of the offers abruptly rescinded.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Golden Gate bridge paint jobs, and midnight munchie favorites to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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