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Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—New Time Warner bids, HP beats expectations, Iraq’s Shia militias, incorrect emoji

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

Ireland votes on gay marriage. The majority-Catholic country holds a referendum on whether to change the constitution to allow people to marry “without distinction as to their sex.” Recent polls show that around 70% of voters support gay marriage.

Janet Yellen speaks in Rhode Island. Markets are anxiously awaiting any hints the Federal Reserve chair might drop about the timing of the central bank’s next rate hike. Minutes released from the Fed’s April meeting suggest that an increase won’t come before July (paywall).

Inflation data. Incoming from Mexico and Brazil.

Who’s up, who’s down: Footlocker and Campbell Soup both report quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

Charter upped its bid for Time Warner Cable. The cable and internet company is in talks over a bid worth far more than the $170 per share previously expected by analysts, according to the Wall Street Journal. Charter Communications offered $132.5 per share last year; France’s Altice is also currently in talks with Time Warner Cable.

Hewlett Packard beat expectations. The 75-year-old computer company reported fiscal second quarter net profit of $1 billion, down from $1.3 billion a year earlier but better than expected on an adjusted basis. HP forecast lower-than-expected earnings for its third quarter as it splits itself into two businesses and struggles with falling revenue.

The Bank of Japan declined to expand its stimulus. The central bank bet that organic growth, coupled with its existing stimulus measures, will be sufficient to push inflation levels higher. First-quarter GDP grew at a better-than-expected annualized 2.4%.

New Zealand’s consumer confidence dipped. The survey from ANZ, a bank, indicated a slight fall to 123.9 in May, from 128.8 in April, but that’s still well above the 100 mark that signifies general optimism. ANZ itself remained optimistic; it expected 3% GDP growth this year, and healthy job creation.

Moody’s cut Puerto Rico’s credit rating. The ratings agency cut its assessment of the US territory’s bonds and other items further into junk, claiming it is unlikely to be able to access cash before a crucial June 30 deadline. The cut comes despite the Puerto Rico government issuing a new, austere budget (paywall).

Quartz obsession interlude

Peter Schwartzstein on how Iraq is losing control of its Shia militias. “The Iraqi government narrative suggested they would disperse when the Sunni jihadists were finally defeated. But the militias’ role in the fighting has emboldened them. And few are now betting against the militias’ longevity—especially after the key city of Ramadi fell back into ISIL hands a few days ago.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Donating to Nepal is good for business. You’ll want to be among those who helped save the country’s economy.

ISIL taking Palmyra could be a propaganda win for Syria. If militants destroy the city’s ancient artifacts, president Assad will begin to look like a lesser evil.

Schizophrenia is often misunderstood. Treat it right and it’s nothing to fear.

Silicon Valley is turning into Hollywood. It’s now a dream factory where investors throw around money to create a brave new world.

Trigger warnings are not just a tool of political correctness. They are related to how we process traumatic stress.

Surprising discoveries

Many hit lyrics are at a third-grade reading level. Beyonce’s score particularly low on “song intelligence.”

We were using emoji all wrong. That teary face is actually supposed to be sleepy.

An adorable, origami-inspired drone. It fits in your pocket and could be a lifesaver.

The Large Hadron Collider just smashed an energy record. Some 13 trillion electronvolts.

Don’t litter in Hong Kong. The DNA you leave with it will be used to publicly shame you.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, emoji guidelines, and folding drones to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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