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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas Edition—US inflation, Japan’s revival, BP’s complaint, Amazon tax

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

Drama at commodities giant’s first meet-up. Glencore Xstrata’s Steve Robson resigned as director early this morning, hours before today’s annual meeting, the first since the two companies finally merged just weeks ago. He was up for re-election.

Will the US Federal Reserve keep missing its inflation target? The target is 2%, but April’s consumer prices revealed today are expected to have once again undershot. It’s the same story in Europe, where the European Central Bank will confront its own slowing economy.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits America. Turkey’s prime minister will meet Barack Obama and talk about Syria, among other things. Yesterday, 107 nations called for Syrian president Bashar Assad to leave in a UN resolution opposed by Russia. Syria, meanwhile, had the plug pulled on its internet once again.

A big day for retail. Nordstrom, JC Penney and Wal-Mart all report earnings today.

While you were sleeping

Abenomics appeared to be working. Japan’s GDP grew at an annualized 3.5% in the first quarter, ahead even of analysts’ expectations of 2.8%. That’s a huge improvement over the 1% growth posted at the end of 2012.

BP sought help from a higher authority. Tired of the rising costs of its payments for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP asked British prime minister David Cameron to have a little chat with America on its behalf.

Another tragic factory accident. A ceiling collapsed in a factory used to make shoes in Cambodia, killing two and injuring seven.

The world’s flashiest cricket league is… fixed? Three cricketers in the Indian Premier League have been accused of fixing elements of matches.

Amazon paid £2.4 million in tax in the UK last year. On sales of £4.3 billion ($6.5 billion), that works out to less than 0.1%. And the British government gave Amazon about the same amount—£2.5 million—in grants.

Google gained on improved services. Google stock closed at an all-time high of $915.89 after its developers’ conference revealed a bunch of new and upgraded services including Hangouts, maps and streaming music, the latter a genuine Spotify competitor. And here’s something interesting: You will be able to send money via Gmail.

Quartz obsession interlude

Leo Mirani on Android’s deceptively large market share. “It is hardly disputable that Android has a clear lead over iOS in terms of the number of people using it. Just yesterday, a report put its worldwide market share in the first quarter of this year at nearly 75% of all smartphone sales. That number is worth looking at more closely. What are all these Android owners doing with their phones?” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The UK needs better arguments to stay in the EU. The Swiss seem to be doing alright.

Financiers are right to doubt the Fed’s track record. Remember the housing bubble? And the internet bubble?

You don’t need austerity to fix a broken economy. Give the feckless politicians more credit.

Is Mexico’s reformist president threatened by his own party? The old guard may not tolerate threats to their economic power.

Surprising discoveries

Are India, Bangladesh and Hong Kong the least racially tolerant countries in the world? More than 40% of survey respondents wouldn’t want a neighbor of a different race.

The inside story of Ranbaxy’s criminal fraud. The fabricated test results behind the $500 million guilty plea.

Underground tunnels deliver KFC from Egypt to the Gaza strip. After three hours under the border, it’s apparently still finger-lickin’ good.

The best value-for-money degree you can get? Georgia Tech will offer a $7,000 master’s in computer science to 10,000 online students.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, reasons to love the EU and arguments for austerity to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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