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Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—G7 in Japan, space-station expansion, Taj Mahal pests

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What to watch for today

G7 leaders meet in Japan. Leaders from the world’s largest industrialized democracies will discuss security threats and ways to kickstart the global economy. Japan favors a coordinated stimulus package, while Germany is pushing for structural reforms.

French nuclear workers go on strike. Their union will lead national protests against the government’s proposed labor law reforms, and 19 nuclear power plants will be affected. Three-quarters of French electricity comes from nuclear power, but no blackouts are expected.

Astronauts inflate a new kind of room at the International Space Station. They will study how the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module stands up to the rigors of space over the next few years; bigger versions could follow. NASA will provide a video stream of the event starting at 10:30am London time.

India woos China. Indian president Pranab Mukherjee is meeting with Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders to encourage more investment in South Asia’s biggest nation. China, meanwhile, is sweating over prospects of the G7’s criticism of its aggressive stance in the South China Sea.

While you were sleeping

New Zealand said it anticipates budget surpluses for the next four years. Robust migration, construction activity, and tourism are helping the economy, even as it faces heightened external risks, including China’s slowdown. The nation expects to post a NZ$668 million ($641 million) surplus in the year to June 2016.

US Foods notched the second-biggest US IPO of 2016. The food distributor raised just over $1 billion. It became only the third private equity-backed IPO to have raised more than $1 billion since the start of 2015.

Exxon shareholders issued a split decision on climate change. The oil giant’s investors approved a rule change that could enable a climate expert to join its board, but struck down a measure requiring it to address the business risks of climate change. Exxon banned some news organizations from the meeting for their “lack of objectivity about climate change.”

US states sued the White House over its transgender bathroom policy. Governors of 11 states argued that Barack Obama has turned schools and government offices “into laboratories for a massive social experiment” by requiring open access to bathrooms based on gender identity.

Hillary Clinton was criticized for sloppy email security. An investigation by a US government watchdog concluded that the former secretary of state did not seek permission to use a private email server. The report will add fuel to a controversy that has shadowed Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Quartz markets haiku

Crude back near fifty
Moscow, Riyadh, and Tehran
All breathe easier

Quartz obsession interlude

Josh Horwitz on Xiaomi’s drone conundrum. “If consumers flock to it for the low price it could finally popularize household drones. Xiaomi would earn some short-term profits. But once again, Xiaomi will face a wave of hardware commoditization—more players will enter the market and offer competing drones at even lower prices.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

One-percenters have a new weapon to silence critics. Peter Thiel’s stealth legal battle against Gawker threatens the freedom of the press.

Hip-hop is an essential tool for dissent and free expression. So said Barack Obama in Vietnam.

Bonuses should go to burger flippers, not CEOs. Straightforward jobs are much easier to evaluate (paywall).

Surprising discoveries

One of life’s biggest mysteries may have a solution. We might owe our existence to the violent solar flares that warmed the young Earth.

More young Americans live with their parents than with their partners. It’s the highest percentage since the Great Depression.

Insect poop is turning the Taj Mahal green. Pollution is killing the fish that normally eat the defecating pests.

Your Zodiac sign is probably wrong. Constellations have drifted significantly over the past 2,000 years.

If you want your book to be a bestseller, make it yellow. Brightly colored covers pop for online shoppers.

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