Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Google/Facebook bidding war, Beppe invades Germany, extra-terrestrial copyright law

What to watch for today

US durable goods. Strong housing and auto sectors are expected to contribute to a 1.5% gain in April, versus a 6.9% fall in March.

Google vs. Facebook bidding war. Both companies reportedly covet map software start-up Waze, which is expected to fetch more than $1 billion. Separately, Google is facing a new antitrust investigation for its dominance of online ad sales.

Davos in the desert. The World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa convenes in Jordan.

Beppe Grillo invades Germany. The Italian comedian/politician’s 5-star movement is moving north (link in German; translation here)

While you were sleeping

Show us the money. With Apple-style loopholes drawing outrage, the EU rushed out a bill forcing companies to reveal profits and taxes on a country-by-country basis.

The EU and China hit the wall. Talks over EU tariffs on Chinese solar panels are at an impasse, endangering fully half of China’s solar exports.

The US and China reached an accord. The Wall Street Journal reported that a deal will be announced Friday to enable US regulators to investigate the auditors of US-listed Chinese companies.

Kuroda soothed Japan. The Bank of Japan governor promised to smooth out volatility in bond markets, saying stability was “extremely desirable.”

Germany inched upwards. The Ifo think tank’s business climate index rose to 105.7 in May from 104.4 in April, and Ifo economist Klaus Wohlrabe told Reuters he expects growth to accelerate in the second quarter.

Quartz obsession interlude

Todd Woody on why South Korea decided to go it alone on cap-and-trade. ”With a belligerent, nuclear-armed neighbor led by a messianic millennial on its border, you’d think that reducing greenhouse gas emissions would rank low on South Korea’s to-do list. Yet the country plans to launch the world’s most ambitious carbon-trading market in a bid to cut its planet-warming spew 30% by 2020.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Lessons on leadership. From a shirtless dancing guy on a hill.

Moms can’t be good traders because kids kill your focus, says hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones. The internet is ripping him to shreds, and his argument flies in the face of science.

India’s education system will never be like America’s. In some ways, it’s better.

iPads should be in every classroom. Because traditional classrooms don’t work.

America’s natural gas boom will shift manufacturing from China to the US.

Surprising discoveries

Algorithmic poetry. Finding art in the Google suggested search box.

Copyright issues in space. Astronaut Chis Hadfield negotiated his “Space Oddity” cover directly with David Bowie.

Sushi as a leading indicator. The tuna/mackerel index sheds light on Japanese consumer confidence.

Britain almost ran out of natural gas in March. It had enough for just six hours.

Nine-year-old chides McDonald’s CEO about its unhealthy food. (His response: “My kids also eat McDonald’s.”)

Mutant cockroaches are getting smarter. They have learned to stay away from sugar to avoid traps.

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