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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—driving Mao’s car, poisoning Bloomberg, interning for LeBron

What to watch for today

GOP G-Man. James Comey, a former Justice Department official under George W. Bush, is likely to replace FBI director Robert Mueller. He’s known for standing up to the White House and refusing to authorize a warrant-less eavesdropping program.

Baby, you can drive Mao’s car. A Chinese state-owned auto manufacturer launches a revamped version of the Red Flag sedan, first built for Chairman Mao in 1958, in a bid to unseat Audi as the government official’s car of choice.

India seeks closer Thais. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh uses a trip to Bangkok to press for a closer alliance as part of India’s “Look East” policy.

London attacker’s day in court. Michael Adebowale has been charged with the murder of a British soldier who was hacked to death last week.

Earnings and data: Canada’s Royal Bank and CIBC release earnings, along with Costco. The US is expected to report that the American economy expanded 2.5% in the first quarter.

While you were sleeping

Japan stocks “corrected.” The Nikkei retreated more than 5% after its recent torrid climb, pushing the yen up against the dollar.

Google’s self-aware iPhone challenger. The Moto X will be “contextually aware of what’s going on around it,” and might just help destroy Apple’s gargantuan profit margins.

The Softbank/Sprint/Dish saga isn’t over. US national security officials cleared the Sprint-Softbank deal, forcing rival bidder Dish Network to move the fight to Sprint’s buyout of Clearwire.

Someone tried to poison Michael Bloomberg. Two letters dosed with ricin were intercepted, one addressed directly to the NYC mayor and the second to his anti-gun lobbying group.

Monsanto goes rogue. Unapproved genetically modified wheat crops showed up in Oregon, “growing where they were not wanted, like a weed,” potentially endangering US exports.

The Philippines on a roll. The economy beat all estimates to grow 7.8% in the first quarter, the fastest pace in almost three years. In Europe, Swiss GDP edged up 0.6%, and Spain fell 0.5%.

Fiat preps a Chrysler bid. The Italian carmaker is in talks to obtain financing for a $10 billion bid for the 41.5% of Chrysler owned by the UAW’s health-care trust.

Quartz obsession interlude

Christopher Mims on why Facebook’s stock price is falling. “The biggest factors in Facebook’s problematic image are the signals being sent by its leaders. Ever since its IPO, Facebook has been talking too much about money, and too little about long-term vision.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Well-capitalized banks aren’t safer. They might even be at greater risk.

Extra time = less happiness. Busiest people seem to be the most blissful.

No strings attached. Direct cash transfers are the best way to fight poverty.

Reinhart and Rogoff are still wrong. High government debt doesn’t hurt economic growth.

America as China’s factory farm. Pigs are like iPhones in reverse.

Surprising discoveries

US senior healthcare will be paid for by immigrants. Aging native-born Americans are expensive.

LeBron seeks interns. An essay is required, but the ability to do this is not.

North Korea has an all-girl pop group. Maybe they can hang out with the parkour tourists.

The shape of schemes We made maps of bike sharing programs around the world.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, self-aware mobile apps, and LeBron internship essays to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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