Quartz Daily Brief—Americas Edition—Samsung’s mobile bonanza, Japan keeps deflating, expecting the Spanish disposition

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

Spain turns away from austerity. After yesterday’s appalling unemployment figures, Spain is set to announce new growth-oriented deficit targets and structural reforms.

On Saturday, Iceland votes in a new parliament. Which in turn will decide on a new constitution and whether to join the EU.

Tesla announces a new strategy. “Tesla owners will like this,” tweeted Tesla founder Elon Musk. No one seems to have any idea what he’s hinting at. The last time he promised exciting news it was a giant let-down.

More earnings:  American Electric Power, Burger King, Chevron, Siemens, TransCanada, and Union Steel, among others.

While you were sleeping

The Bank of Japan stayed the course. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda announced no stimulus plan additions, even as March consumer prices fell 0.5%—the fifth consecutive month of deflation. The BoJ said it expects to achieve 1.9% inflation by the end of 2015, but many experts are dubious it can be done.

Microsoft won a round from Google. A US judge ruled that Microsoft needs to pay Google-owned Motorola only $1.8 million a year to use its patents, not the $4 billion the cellphone-maker had sought.

Samsung made $7.9 billion on the strength of its smartphones. The Korean company’s telecommunications unit accounted for three-quarters of its profits, but warned it will face stronger competition for the low-end market.

Meanwhile, North Korea is about to hit 2 million cellphone subscribers.

The Boston bombers’ carjacking victim was Chinese. An immigrant engineer named ”Danny” helped avert a possible attack against New York City.

Aviation sequester triage. US senators unanimously passed the wonderfully named ”Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013” to—you guessed it!—reduce flight delays caused by air traffic controller furloughs.

Searching for profits. Chinese internet giant Baidu’s first-quarter profits missed estimates due to tougher competition, higher costs, and lower ad revenue per customer. Its shares fell about 8% on the news.

More earnings news, Nomura’s Q1 profit shot up to a seven-year high of 82.4 billion yen ($835 million), up from 22.1 billion the previous year, Alcatel-Lucent’s losses deepened to €353 million ($461.72 million), Kia’s profit slipped 35% to 783.9 billion won ($707 million) and Weyerhaeuser’s profit more than tripled to $144 million.

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Phillips on why Apple is the new Microsoft. Making the case, in chart form, that Apple’s stock may never regain the momentum it once had. Read more here.

Matters of debate

Are we too emotionally attached to the war against breast cancer? Screenings haven’t done much to help fight the disease and, in some cases, they are putting women at risk.

Do tips make up for a $2.13 hourly waitressing wage? Some US states seem to think so.

Big brands should stop tweeting during tragedies. Enough with the platitudes.

The end of the end of oil. New technologies mean we might never run out. But the energy transition has to happen anyway.

Being a Chinese government official is one of the worst jobs in the world. And it’s not getting better.

Surprising discoveries

Triple your money with Google Search, by watching the volume of finance-related search trends.

Milk powder trumps heroin. Hong Kong has busted more people for smuggling powdered baby formula in a month than it’s busted for herion in the entire year.

And fish bladders trump milk powder. US border officials seized large quantities of smuggled bladders from the endangered totoaba macdonaldi fish, prized for use in Chinese soups, which can sell for $10,000 each. ”The officer thought something was fishy,” said a straight-faced customs official.

Wikipedia is sexist. Wikipedians insist on categorizing women writers as “women novelists,” and not just novelists.

Wild pigs have overrun the planet. The ones in Eastern Europe are radioactive thanks to Chernobyl.

This woman bought a print for £60… and now she owns a Banksy. Here’s how it happened.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, wild boar recipes, and environmentally friendly fish bladder substitutions to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.