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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Kentucky and Oregon primaries, Tim Cook in India, dung beetle GPS

  • Quartz
By Quartz

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This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

Kentucky and Oregon primaries. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is expected to do well in both contests, but Hillary Clinton’s nomination still looks certain. Republican front-runner Donald Trump is set to win Oregon and progress to an official nomination.

Tim Cook makes a surprise visit to India. Cook will meet with prime minister Narendra Modi, sources say, during his first trip to the country as Apple’s CEO. The company has enjoyed a nice bump in sales in India this year, but is struggling to launch its own stores in the country.

Home Depot reports first-quarter earnings. Analysts expect strong results from the bellwether for the housing and construction sectors. The chain has benefitted from falling unemployment and perky property markets, leading to Americans spending more on remodeling.

While you were sleeping

Pfizer scooped up an eczema specialist. The $5.2 billion takeover of Anacor Pharmaceuticals gives the group ownership of an eczema gel, currently under review by regulators, with potential sales of around $2 billion. The purchase suggests Pfizer is bolstering its portfolio ahead of a sale or spinoff of its generic medicines business.

ICBC bought a massive gold vault in London. The Chinese bank, which is the world’s largest by assets, will purchase the vault from Barclays for an undisclosed sum as part of its strategy to grow its precious metals business. The vault can hold up to 2,000 metric tons of gold and other metals. 

Vodafone reported a recovery. The UK-based wireless carrier posted a small jump in fiscal-year sales, boosted by operations in South Africa, Egypt, and Turkey. The company recently completed a major network overhaul and returned to growth in Europe for the first time since 2010.

The Alberta wildfires moved toward major oil-sands facilities. Both Suncor Energy and Syncrude Canada evacuated workers from camps outside of Fort McMurray after the massive fires suddenly shifted north. Some 4,000 workers were relocated.

A top Chinese official visited Hong Kong. Thousands of police were mobilized as Zhang Dejiang, the chairman of the National People’s Congress, began a three-day visit. Zhang is the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit Hong Kong since tens of thousands demonstrated for democracy in 2014.

Quartz obsession interlude

Madhura Karnik on plans for an Indian space shuttle: “The Indian space agency’s track record is quite solid: In Sept. 2014, India became the first country to reach the red planet in the first attempt. The Mars Orbiter was also the cheapest-ever Mars mission, with a total expenditure of about $74 million.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Beijing is Silicon Valley’s only serious competitor. Chinese startups are fast, cheap, and unconcerned with perks.

We shouldn’t think of Mars as a backup planet. Inter-planetary exploration and preservation of Earth are part of the same goal.

Corruption is a tool for Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin doesn’t want to purge corrupt elites—it wants to nationalize them (paywall).

Surprising discoveries

Amateur divers discovered a huge haul of Roman artifacts. The priceless objects, dating back to the 4th century AD, were found off the Israeli coast.

A gun-toting, Trump-supporting Chinese immigrant is running for US Congress. Sue Googe is running in North Carolina—and using a font that looks a lot like Google’s logo.

Beyoncé’s “celebrate every woman” clothes are allegedly made in a sweatshop. Her company says its Sri Lankan factory follows ”rigorous” ethical standards.

An Australian pharmaceutical company is making Zika-proof condoms. They’re coated with an anti-viral gel, and will be given to Olympic athletes at the upcoming Rio Games.

Dung beetles have stellar navigational skills. They use photographic memories to store a mental map of the stars.

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