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Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—EU waivers, a new News Corp, Disneyland bomb, cement phones

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

What to watch for today

Brussels gives countries a break. The European Commission is expected to grant France, Spain, and the Netherlands (paywall) waivers on bringing their deficits within the EU limit of 3%.

Canadian and Thai central bank decisions. Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney will probably keep Canada’s benchmark interest rate at 1%. Analysts expect Thailand to cut interest rates in order to handle an economic slowdown. Meanwhile, Poland, Croatia, and Brazil report first-quarter GDP data.

Results round-up. Russia’s Sberbank and Bank of Nova Scotia release first quarter earnings, along with Brewin Dolphin, Bumi plc, and Tata Motors.

More ethnic clashes in Myanmar. Brutal violence between Muslims and Buddhists has erupted in the previously calm northern city of Lashio.

While you were sleeping

Apple still has “incredible plans,” CEO Tim Cook said at a conference in California, including a “grand vision” for television and perhaps a wearable computer.

A man died in France from a SARS-like virus. A second man is critically ill, and Saudi Arabia has reported five new cases of the virus. The World Health Organization chief called it “a threat to the entire world.”

A small bomb went off at Disneyland in California. Early reports suggest it was a dry ice device hidden in a trash can. No one was injured, but Toontown was evacuated.

There’s always money in the newspaper stand. News Corp is splitting in two, and Rupert Murdoch insisted that printing newspapers is still a viable business.

The Chinese navy surrounded a Filipino shipwreck, in the latest possible flashpoint over disputed territory in the South China Sea.

Shinzo Abe’s breakfast at Tiffany’s. The jeweler’s quarterly revenues jumped 9.3% in part because of rising sales in Japan, where monetary stimulus is inspiring shoppers.

Quartz obsession interlude

Tim Fernholz on US authorities shutting down payment network Liberty Reserve. “The Manhattan US Attorney is alleging that Liberty Reserve is a $6 billion money laundering scheme and has been authorized to seize its outstanding funds. In the indictment, prosecutors call Liberty Reserve ‘the bank of choice for the criminal underworld.’ By simply providing an e-mail address, Liberty Reserve customers could convert euros or US dollars into Liberty Reserve Dollars or Liberty Reserve Euros and transfer those funds to other real and digital financial institutions without a paper trail.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Chinese? Spanish? Arabic? Forget it. The second language your kids need is a computer language.

Do what you love is the wrong piece of advice (paywall) for soon-to-be university graduates.

Conspiracy theories come from feeling powerless. At least that’s what “they” want you to believe.

Luxury healthcare saves money. Why Walmart flies its cashiers to the Mayo Clinic for surgery.

Argentina’s lost decade. Ten years of the Kirchners.

Kenya is a model for green energy. Even if the whole country just went dark.

Surprising discoveries

Could a QR code save your life? Mercedes-Benz seems to think so.

Your next cell phone could be made of cement. It will even conduct electricity.

How do you catch graffiti artists red handed? By using drones.

But who was Joe? The origin of the common American slang name for coffee.

Al Qaeda has an HR department. It admonished a wayward jihadist for failing to file his expenses.

Get rich by getting drunk. How the song “Margaritaville” spawned a business empire.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, meta-conspiracy theories and HR terror tales to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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