Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Apple hails Didi, TTIP review, Facebook’s teenage hackers

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What to watch for today and over the weekend

Barack Obama hosts Nordic leaders. Leaders from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden will visit Washington. Russia is the elephant (or is it bear?) in the room: Moscow has been increasingly aggressive toward its Nordic neighbors and performed a provocative fly-by of US ships in the Baltic last month.

EU trade ministers review the TTIP. Meeting in Brussels, they’ll go over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations with the US, amid negative perceptions about the deal across Europe.

Nigeria hosts a regional security summit. The leaders of Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria will be joined by French president Francois Hollande on Saturday in Abuja. They’ll discuss ongoing threats posed by the militant group Boko Haram.

The latest data on industrial production and retail sales in China. The economy’s state-driven manufacturing spree is expected to have slowed a bit in April. Retail sales and investments likely increased a bit—good signs that the government’s stimulus measures are working, at least if you trust the official figures.

While you were sleeping

Apple invested $1 billion in Uber’s Chinese rival. The hardware company contributed to a fundraising round for Didi Chuxing, which leads the ride-hailing wars in China. The investment comes just as Apple faces slowing sales and government pressure in the Middle Kingdom.

Brazil got a new government after president Dilma Rousseff’s suspension. Acting president Michel Temer took over, appointing a former central bank chief as his finance minister and promising to turn around Brazil’s struggling economy. Rousseff called Temer’s government illegitimate, and vowed to fight accusations that she illegally manipulated government finances.

The US is planning a month of immigrant deportation raids. Reuters broke the news: The 30-day sweep will target undocumented mothers and children to deter more immigrants from illegally crossing the border. It will likely be the largest series of raids ever by the Department of Homeland Security; a two-day raid in January resulted in 121 detentions.

A senior Hezbollah commander was killed. Lebanese media reported that Mustafa Amine Badreddine died in an Israeli airstrike near the Damascus airport. He’s believed to have been behind the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, whose death ultimately spurred the withdrawal of Syrian troops from the country.

The Obama administration weighed in on transgender bathrooms. The US department of education announced it will send out guidance to public schools ordering them to let transgender students use the restroom of their choice. While the letter carries no legal weight, it implies that schools that don’t comply will risk losing federal funding.

Market haiku

Barely a ripple
No breeze, becalmed sailboats bob
Dead flat day for stocks

Quartz obsession interlude

Alice Truong on the most common startup killers. “A surprising takeaway is that startups with large amounts of funding were outcompeted. This was not a problem cited by bootstrapped startups or companies that raised less than $1 million, but it was prevalent among those that raised $10 million or more.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The word “strategy” doesn’t belong in job titles. The gap between strategy and execution is unfathomably wide for most executives.

Globalization means every cuisine is open to interpretation. Italians don’t get to dictate how the world eats pasta, for example.

Fossil fuel corporations are the arsonists behind Canada’s wildfires. Climate change enables mega-fires, so oil giants should foot the bill.

Surprising discoveries

Cellists are the rowdy rock stars of classical music. They have always been rebels compared with their string and woodwind peers.

Donald Trump’s former butler allegedly wants Barack Obama to be lynched. He’s posted vitriolic comments about the US president on Facebook.

A party drug might be a great antidepressant. Ketamine, the animal tranquilizer better known as Special-K, can relieve symptoms in as little as two hours.

Facebook is having middle schoolers perform essential hacking tasks. The company is struggling to find adults as security engineers.

Drones drive elephants crazy. Researchers think it’s because they sound like bees.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, elephant-friendly drones, and raucous cellists to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.