Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—The world loses Prince, Uber settles, California nut theft

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What to watch for today and over the weekend

World leaders sign the Paris climate agreement. The landmark deal, formulated last December, commits more than 150 countries to limit the global temperature rise to below 2℃. But scientists say it’s only a bare-bones approach (paywall), unlikely to avert serious consequences like heat waves, food shortages, and fast-rising seas.

Obama departs Britain for Germany. After dining with the Queen and meeting with prime minister David Cameron, the US president will travel to Hannover (paywall). He’s expected to meet with chancellor Angela Merkel and deliver remarks at Hannover Messe, the world’s largest trade show for industrial technology.

McDonald’s reports earnings. The fast food giant is riding high from the launch of an all-day breakfast menu. Investors will be looking to see if it’s able to sustain the trend, securing its recovery after a multi-year decline.

While you were sleeping

Uber agreed to pay up to $100 million to settle a class-action lawsuit. Posing a major challenge to the ride-hailing giant’s business model, the lawsuit questioned whether Uber drivers are employees or independent contractors. They’ll remain the latter, much to Uber’s relief.

Prince died. The 57-year-old superstar was hospitalized with flu symptoms earlier this month, but no further information was available about the cause of his death. The music legend, born Prince Rogers Nelson, was a supremely talented multi-instrumentalist who created countless hits out of rock, funk, and his own flamboyant charisma.

Daimler opened an exhaust emissions investigation. The owner of the Mercedes-Benz brand said it was conducting the probe—on how it certifies diesel exhaust emissions—at the request of the US justice department.

Japan’s manufacturing sector took a hit. The Nikkei-Markit manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 48 this month from 49.1 in March—the worst result since 2013 (paywall). A resurgent yen and earthquakes on Kyushu island, a manufacturing hub, contributed to the drop.

Alphabet fell short… Google’s parent company missed revenue and profit targets, sending shares down more than 5%. The company’s “other bets”—meaning everything but Google and Android—doubled in revenue, to $166 million, but their operating losses widened 4% to $657 million.

…And so did Microsoft. The company’s earnings failed to meet profit expectations, pushing shares down about 4%. Microsoft hopes to revive its fortunes by placing a big bet on software and mobile services delivered from the cloud, which is working—just not as well as investors might like.

Quartz markets haiku

Jobless claims lowest
since ’73! It seems
good news is bad news

Quartz obsession interlude

Alison Griswold on Silicon Valley’s collapsing unicorn fantasy. “In early 2015, Fortune pegged the billion-dollar startup club at 80 members. Those ranks have since doubled… But late last year everything changed. Startups began scrambling to get their finances in order. Layoffs mounted, perks vanished.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Office perks won’t save a miserable workplace. Ping-pong tables and office baristas don’t prevent unhappy employees from leaving.

Minimum wage is a lousy way to solve income equality. A $15 minimum wage in California and New York will act as a tax increase on the poor.

Corruption is just the pretext for impeaching Brazil’s president. Dilma Rousseff is the target of the rich and powerful who control the nation’s media outlets.

Surprising discoveries

Self-driving robots will soon be running your delivery errands. Six-wheeled drones from Starship Technologies are already rolling around the streets of London.

The newest thing in heists is stealing nuts. Sophisticated thieves have absconded with $10 million worth of California almonds and pecans.

Prince only put one song on Spotify. The artist fought tooth-and-nail for complete ownership of his work.

An Australian politician lost his job for writing a steamy sex scene. His party dumped him after a self-published novel was exposed.

Scientists discovered a new 600-mile coral reef. It’s at the mouth of the Amazon River, home to some of the world’s muddiest water.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Prince bootlegs, and pirated pecans to And download our new iPhone app for news throughout the day.qz_email_list_425047646_post_message