Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Migration debate, VW conference, translating meows

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What to watch for today

The European Parliament debates the EU-Turkey migration deal. Under the deal, struck last month, Turkey would take back migrants who arrive in Greece in return for aid money and the possibility that its citizens could travel visa-free to the bloc. The deal hinges upon that last bit, Turkey insists, but the EU’s lawmaking body could veto it.

Volkswagen holds its (delayed) media and investor conference. Last month the company put off the annual event in Wolfsburg, Germany until today, in light of the scandal involving its deliberate cheating on emissions tests. Management will face questions on its handling of the issue, among much else (paywall).

Amazon looks to the cloud for growth. The online behemoth is expected to post slightly higher revenue for its retail business, while Amazon Web Services could grow by 50% or more. As is the norm for Amazon, analysts think its profit will be relatively modest.

While you were sleeping

Facebook’s quarterly results soared. The social media giant demolished analyst expectations with a 51% increase in revenues, thanks to its expanding mobile and video advertising businesses. The company also announced a new shareholding structure designed to keep CEO Mark Zuckerberg in control.

Elon Musk announced a target date for reaching Mars. SpaceX will start sending its Dragon spacecraft to the red planet as early as 2018. The mission, which will take about six months, is intended to gather data that will lay the groundwork for human colonization.

The Federal Reserve kept interest rates steady… It’s the third time this year that chairwoman Janet Yellen and her colleagues decided to keep the benchmark rate unchanged, due to fears about the volatile global economy. But in a “slight hawkish tilt,” the central bank left open the possibility of a rate hike in June.

… And Japan’s central bank followed suit. The Bank of Japan held off on more stimulus and cut its inflation and growth targets. That surprised many economists who thought the strengthening yen would prompt some action, but the bank wants more time to assess the impact of the negative interest rates introduced earlier this year.

Police investigated a death at Apple’s headquarters. Details are still emerging, but local news media report that a male employee was found dead in a conference room, with a gun nearby. Officials believe it was an “isolated incident.”

Quartz markets haiku

There’s a reason that
A group of doves is known as
a “piteousness

Quartz obsession interlude

Steve LeVine on Donald Trump’s big foreign policy moment. “His speech was a polished, re-packaged version of his familiar threats and bombast. But they were delivered with uncharacteristic presidential trappings—read from a teleprompter at a non-Trump hotel in Washington, DC.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Trade with China is making US politics insane. Lost manufacturing jobs have pushed voters to ideological extremes.

What online misogynists really want is silence. Men who send rape and death threats to women online don’t just disagree with them, they want them to disappear.

The Theranos debacle isn’t Silicon Valley’s fault. Experienced investors noticed many red flags (paywall) at the health care startup.

Surprising discoveries

The NSA can’t say how many Americans it’s surveilling. It’s “working on” providing an answer.

Scientists want to teach humans to speak cat. A project called “Meowsic” is translating meows, purrs, and hisses.

In a real lightsaber duel, your body would be vaporized. The Star Wars weapons are not laser swords, but rather blades of plasma.

A third of Italy’s pizza-makers are immigrants. A surprising number hail from Egypt.

McDonald’s is making a more natural McNugget. The current version has 32 ingredients, most of which are not chicken.

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