Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Theranos ban, drone racing, helper turkeys

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

EU lawmakers vote on sharing air passenger data to fight terrorism. Despite privacy concerns, they’re expected to approve a joint system for allowing police to access the data, covering all flights to and from the EU. Recent terror attacks in Paris and Brussels boosted support for the measure.

Deals between Australia and China. Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and a 1,000-strong contingent of business leaders are in Beijing discussing trade opportunities. Turnbull disagrees with plenty of Beijing’s policies, but Oz’s economy needs to cultivate China’s growing consumer class.

The Bank of England holds steady, yet again. Ahead of a June referendum on whether the UK should stay in the EU, the central bank is expected to hold off on changes to its benchmark interest rate, which hasn’t budged since 2009.

While you were sleeping

US health regulators proposed a ban on the controversial health startup Theranos. The formerly high-flying company has allegedly failed to fix major flaws at its laboratory. Officials want to revoke Theranos’s license (paywall) to conduct blood tests and ban CEO Elizabeth Holmes from the industry for two years.

It’s poaching season in Silicon Valley. Facebook hired Google’s Regina Dugan to head up a new research and development group focused on hardware. GoPro snagged veteran Apple designer Danny Coster, part of the close-knit team that developed the iPhone and Apple Watch under Jonny Ive.

Olympique de Marseille went up for sale. Billionaire Margarita Louis-Dreyfus announced she wants to sell the struggling French soccer club, citing commercial and political changes in the sport. She’s a controlling shareholder in the conglomerate Louis Dreyfus Group, which has been hit by falling commodity prices.

Assured Guaranty agreed to buy CIFG Holding for $450 million. The cash deal will add $5.6 billion to the company’s insured portfolio. Assured Guaranty, a bond insurer, serves as a major creditor to Puerto Rico, which it sued in January, challenging its move to pay some investors at the expense of others.

Quartz markets haiku

China stocking up
For another stimulus?
Stocks climb to year’s high

Quartz obsession interlude

Mike Murphy on the groundbreaking sport of drone racing. “What we may be witnessing is the birth of the first new sport of the internet age: A sport that isn’t bound by time or collective experience, but instead a sport that is atomized and doled out in digital chunks, like so many Snapchats, Instagrams, Facebook links and tweets before them.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Athleisure is stretched to its limits. As cheaper retailers expand in the market, Lululemon and Under Armour’s great run may be coming to an end.

Facebook’s has a noble goal and a fatal flaw. It threatens innovation and condemns the poor to a walled garden.

Is polygamy the next gay marriage? Courts may soon be forced to decide whether you can marry more than one person.

Surprising discoveries

A New Zealand octopus escaped from the national aquarium. Is this the opening shot of a cephalopod uprising?

Being married can help cancer patients live longer. White men benefit the most from matrimony.

A Russian jet buzzed a US destroyer like a scene out of “Top Gun.” The Russians were flexing their muscles in front of the Americans and Poles onboard.

Obama gets to watch “Game of Thrones” before everyone else. Valar morghulis, but being commander-in-chief has its privileges.

Outlandish “service animals” are at an all-time high. More than 24,000 were registered in the US last year, including “helper turkeys” and “support pigs.”

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, octopus recipes, and support pigs to And download our new iPhone app for news throughout the day.qz_email_list_425047646_post_message