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Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Facebook’s F8, Tesla’s recall, hedgehog cuddling in Tokyo

What to watch for today

Tensions escalate between Taiwan and China. Taiwan has accused China of abducting a group of Taiwanese nationals, who were deported from Kenya after being accused of running illegal call centers. Another batch of Taiwanese are due to be released today.

Facebook’s F8 conference kicks off in San Francisco. The social network is expected to focus on chatbots for its popular Messenger app, which could help users order goods and services, at its annual developer conference.

The IMF releases its World Economic Outlook. The fund is expected to cut its growth outlook, after managing director Christine Lagarde warned of global economic instability.

While you were sleeping

China expressed anger over G7 comments on disputed islands. Foreign ministers of the group, including Japan, said they oppose “any intimidating, coercive or provocative unilateral actions” that could increase tension—clearly referring to China’s aggression in the South China Sea. Beijing said they should stop making “irresponsible” remarks.

Tesla recalled its Model X SUVs. The carmaker said all vehicles made before March 26 need to have their third-row seats replaced, due to a faulty part that could cause them to collapse in a crash. The news underscores Tesla’s production challenges as it faces an overwhelming number of orders for its Model 3 sedan.

Alcoa kicked off earnings season. Hurt by low commodity prices, the aluminum giant announced more job cuts after reporting that profits declined in the first quarter, though it beat estimates on earnings. Investors, meanwhile, are bracing for the worst quarterly earnings period since the financial crisis.

Brazil took another step toward impeaching its president. A Congressional impeachment committee voted 38 to 27 to proceed with a motion to remove Dilma Rousseff. That sets the stage for a lower house vote (likely this weekend) on whether to approve impeachment.

Business confidence surged in Australia. In a survey by National Australia Bank, last month the gauge on business conditions rose to their highest level since 2008. With mining and retail weak, the services sector was the key economic driver, complemented by a more upbeat manufacturing sector.

Quartz markets haiku

Inhale. Smell money?
The market doesn’t either
Which is why stocks fell.

Quartz obsession interlude

Frida Garza on how male gamers react when they have to play female characters. “The only objective in Rust, a popular online video game, is to survive in the wild. But now, some players will have no other choice than to survive as female characters. Plenty of fans, voicing their discontent on Reddit and video game forums, are not happy about it.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

“New York values” help everyone live longer. The city’s spending on social services improves life spans for rich and poor alike.

Did Putin leak the Panama Papers? Clifford Gaddy, an economist at the Brookings Institution, has a counter-intuitive conspiracy theory.

Occupational segregation is the real reason for the gender gap. Jobs dominated by women pay less than those dominated by men.

Surprising discoveries

Americanized Chinese food is popular in China. The hybrid cuisine draws in expats and locals alike with moo shu pork and General Tso’s chicken.

There’s a hedgehog cuddling cafe in Tokyo. People are lining up to play with the prickly mammals.

White people can be trained to not be racist. Overcoming their low tolerance for stressful discussions is key.

Scientists discovered a woman who lives in a “perpetual present.” It’s the first known case of “severely deficient autobiographical memory.”

There’s a BBC news website in China, but it’s not British. Though it looks a bit like the real BBC, it’s actually the Business Broadcast of China.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, autobiographical memories, and General Tso’s recipes to hi@qz.com. And download our new iPhone app for news throughout the day.qz_email_list_425047646_post_message

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