What to watch for today
The French government faces a confidence vote. President François Hollande’s socialist government must win a majority in the National Assembly or resign en masse, after prime minister Manuel Valls used a constitutional directive to push through a controversial bill to overhaul labor law.
The EU parliament votes on China’s trade status. Politicians have been debating whether China deserves market economy status within the WTO, which would make it harder to level sanctions against the world’s second-biggest economy. EU officials are concerned (paywall) that China might use the status to undercut European manufacturing.
The US turns on a missile defense shield in Europe. The massive project has been in the works for years, and is billed by the US as a measure to protect NATO from Iranian nuclear weapons. Russia argues that it’s actually meant to neutralize missiles from Moscow, and violates a nuclear treaty that helped to end the Cold War.
While you were sleeping
A majority of Brazil’s senators said they will vote to suspend the president. It would mean Dilma Rousseff leaving office, and the end of a 13-year rule by her leftist Workers’ Party. With the vote slated for today, Rousseff has instructed her ministers to not help with the transition, as she views her impeachment as illegal.
Zalando expanded its tech investments. Europe’s biggest online fashion retailer acquired German software company Tradebyte, which specializes in digitizing warehouse stock. Berlin-based Zalando also reported its first-quarter results, blaming a chilly start to the year for a 30% drop in its earnings.
China’s Cosco Pacific invested in Europe’s busiest container port. Amid an overseas expansion drive by Chinese companies, the container-terminal operator said it will buy 35% of another such operator, Euromax Terminal Rotterdam.
Toshiba turned a corner… The Japanese conglomerate said it’s expecting to post an operating profit of $1.1 billion for the current financial year, after a $6.6 billion loss last year thanks to massive writedowns and restructuring costs. Last year a $1.3 billion accounting scandal forced it to cut 14,000 jobs and sell off its medical equipment and white goods businesses.
… And Sharp went out with a whimper. The Japanese electronics giant reported a huge operating loss—$1.5 billion—for its final fiscal year as an independent company. Founded in 1912, it accepted a takeover bid from Taiwan’s Foxconn in March, the first foreign takeover of a major Japanese electronics firm.
Quartz obsession interlude
Marc Y. Rosenberg on Apple’s battle with Chinese authorities. “No matter how popular their products or how ‘borderless’ their services, technology’s brave new world will increasingly clash with the older realm of borders and governments. As a result, both financial and physical costs will increase for tech companies and their customers.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Don’t waste money on graduate school. Unless you want to be a lawyer, doctor, or academic, it doesn’t make financial sense.
No one really ever trusted Facebook. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has its own biases.
The US Federal Reserve made the poor even poorer. Inequality rose because of tight monetary policy.
Old iPods are now expensive collectibles. An in-box second-generation iPod Classic could be worth $20,000.
The world’s most expensive tea will be auctioned online for the first time. E-bidders will be able to buy the coveted Darjeeling tea from West Bengal.
An Indian right-wing group is asking Hindu gods to help Donald Trump win. Hindu Sena supporters believe the Republican candidate can save humanity from Islamic terror.
It took 43 years to build America’s newest nuclear plant. Due to safety concerns and fluctuating demand, it’s the first new plant in two decades.
A Uzbekistan city paid teachers in chickens. Authorities in Nukus forced teachers to take freshly hatched chicks as payment due to a lack of money in the country’s banks