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Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Sudan’s nuclear deal, Spotify’s red ink, rise of the “grolar” bear

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

Europe and the IMF spar over Greece. The euro zone’s finance ministers are expected to approve €10 billion ($11.2 billion) in new loans that will stave off a potential default in July. But they are at odds with the International Monetary Fund, which wants to give Athens “upfront and unconditional” debt relief (paywall).

Justin Trudeau meets with Shinzo Abe. The sharp-elbowed Canadian prime minister will talk with his Japanese counterpart ahead of this week’s G7 meeting. Trudeau is also expected to lobby Japanese automakers to open new factories in Canada.

A fresh batch of earnings. Best Buy, DSW, Kirkland’s, AutoZone, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise all report quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

Spotify’s financials sent a mixed message. The streaming music company’s annual loss widened slightly last year compared to 2014, as revenues rose 77% to $2.1 billion. Almost 90% of revenue came from the 30% of users who pay for a premium subscription, highlighting the difficulties of making money from advertising.

Sudan signed a deal for its first nuclear reactor. Its electricity ministry agreed to a framework for a project with China National Nuclear Corp. Construction is slated to begin in 2021, followed by commercial operations in 2027.

Facebook said it will tweak its Trending Topics feature. After allegations that the service deliberately suppressed conservative views, the company will, among other changes, no longer rely on a top-10 list of websites to determine whether a subject is newsworthy. But it still denied the allegations.

North Korea rejected the idea of Donald Trump meeting Kim Jong-un. Last week the US presidential hopeful said he was open to talks with the North Korean leader about nuclear weapons. The nation’s UN ambassador dismissed the statement as nothing more than political posturing.

Toyota announced a recall for 1.6 million more vehicles in the US. The carmaker said the vehicles have potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators, as with 4.7 million other vehicles it’s recalled in the US. Over a dozen other carmakers will issue reports on Takata-related recalls this week.

Quartz markets haiku

Whipping in the wind,
First one way, then another
Red mountain banner

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Phillips on why Vietnam is globalization’s last big fan: “A 2014 survey by Pew Research noted that ‘the Vietnamese are the most enthusiastic backers of both trade and investment’ among the nations included in the Trans Pacific Partnership… Some 95% of Vietnamese respondents said that ‘trade is good,’ with high percentages concurring that trade both creates jobs and raises wages.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Your brain is not a computer. The ubiquitous metaphor is based on faulty logic.

Your Facebook feed is keeping you from making the world better. Social media stymies our ability to understand others.

Breakfast is not that crucial. The cereal industry is responsible for most of the studies that claim otherwise (paywall).

Surprising discoveries

Climate change is creating interspecies romance for bears. “Grolor” bears are popping up where grizzly and polar bears share the same turf.

Paramount won’t sue its biggest fans, after all. The studio will let a homemade movie live long and prosper.

An ancient Indian remedy is the hot new hipster drink. Turmeric lattes are being hailed for their purported health effects.

Scientists have uncovered the genetics of nose shapes. Width and pointiness are determined by four separate genes.

Allergies might actually be a good thing. An emerging theory suggests they protect against harmful environmental toxins.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, hybrid bears, and trendy lattes to You can download our iPhone app or follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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