Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Tesla takes questions, Messi stands trial, Twitterature

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What to watch for today

Tesla holds its annual shareholders’ meeting. In addition to the usual business of voting on board directors and stockholder proposals, CEO Elon Musk will answer questions from members of the Tesla Motors Club forum. Live-stream it here.

Lionel Messi stands trial for tax fraud. The Argentinian soccer star and his father Jorge allegedly hid $11.25 million from the Spanish government in South American tax havens. 

New data on US home prices. The S&P/Case-Shiller Index will update on residential values across the United States. With home sales and residential investments rising, the US housing market may be starting to boom.

While you were sleeping

Japan reported better-than-expected April readings. Industrial production rose 0.3% from March, versus an expected 1.5% contraction following last month’s earthquakes. Household spending rose 0.2% from March, compared to an anticipated 0.6% drop. Still, the numbers weren’t particularly strong; a proposed sales tax hike will likely be delayed.

North Korea botched a missile test. It failed to launch an intermediate-range Musudan missile, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency. Musudan missiles could theoretically reach any part of Japan or US military bases on Guam, but North Korea hasn’t successfully launch one—yet.

A second minister in Brazil’s new government quit. Fabiano Silveira, in charge of the anti-corruption ministry, resigned after a recording was made public that seemed to show him trying to derail a corruption investigation at the state oil company. Last week the planning minister stepped aside after a similar recording was released.

New Zealand got tough on tobacco packaging. New draft regulations call for cigarettes to be sold in packs with plain background colors and gruesome-looking images. Prime minister John Key said the measure was likely to be in place by early next year.

Quartz obsession interlude

Olivia Goldhill on the dangers of overwork. “Workaholism, long-associated in some parts of the world with an industrious work ethic, can develop into a full-blown psychological addiction. Troublingly, a recently published study of 16,426 working adults in Norway found that those with workaholism are significantly more likely to have psychiatric symptoms.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The UK is the most corrupt country in the world. Mafia expert Roberto Saviano says Naples has nothing on the UK’s unscrupulous financial capital.

The dress code is dead. A revolution in office culture is underway, and it values personal expression (paywall) over corporate identity.  

Twitter is perfect for poetry. The social platform’s 140-character limit has given rise to a new literary art: “Twitterature.”

Surprising discoveries

The rich get richer. The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still the richest families in Florence today.

Poker is a great way to meet people. Hundreds of poker networking events have sprouted up across the US; meanwhile, millennials aren’t keen on golf.

The first edition of a Lewis Carroll classic was trashed. The first run of Alice in Wonderland was so poorly printed, the illustrator demanded it be recalled, to be sold “as waste paper,” Carroll wrote. Just 22 copies survive, and one will be auctioned off in June.

Swedish men now outnumber women. Thanks to immigration and rising life expectancy, the percentage of men in several European countries is rising.

Religious leaders were early adopters of abortion. When New York legalized abortion in 1970, Protestant and Jewish clergy quickly opened a clinic to model affordable, safe practices.

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