May visits China, Keurig swallows Dr. Pepper, edible banana peel

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Theresa May visits China. The British prime minister will initiate trade talks after her decision to slow down approval for a Chinese-funded nuclear plant chilled relations at the end of 2016.

The EU releases fourth-quarter GDP. Economists estimate that the region’s economy grew by 2.4% in 2017 (paywall), the strongest economic growth in a decade. Further signs of a robust recovery could fuel the euro’s year-long rally.

Wanda Hotel will resume trading. The financially troubled Chinese conglomerate has agreed to sell two Australian projects to a China-backed developer for $913 million in equity and assumed debt, along with a separate sale of a high-profile London luxury project for $81 million.

While you were sleeping

Keurig gulped down Dr. Pepper Snapple. Keurig, owned by German investment firm JAB, will join the ranks of Big Drink companies in a deal that pays $18.7 billion in cash to shareholders. The deal may help the company—best known for its pod-based coffee machines—to move into convenience and grocery stores.

EasyJet’s CEO took a paycut to reduce the company’s gender gap. New boss Johan Lundgren reduced his take-home pay to match his female predecessor’s salary. Male employees at EasyJet out-earn women by 52% on average (paywall)—the third-largest gender pay gap among major UK companies.

FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe resigned. The senior law enforcement official has been the target of intense criticism from Donald Trump (paywall) who called for his ouster. McCabe played a key role in the FBI’s investigations into Hillary Clinton’s private email service and the Trump campaign’s connections to the Russian government.

Tensions eased as a round of NAFTA talks ended. Officials from the US, Canada, and Mexico said they made progress in the penultimate round of negotiations over the future of the free trade treaty. Differences remain, but negotiators said there is less risk of the US withdrawing completely, as Trump has threatened.

Dell is in talks over a massive reverse merger. The privately held tech company is in talks to be acquired by its 80% subsidiary, VMware, in what might be the biggest tech M&A deal in history. Shares of VMware plummeted on news of the talks, which would let some of Dell’s private equity backers extract profits while reducing Dell’s heavy debt load.

Quartz obsession interlude

Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz on a wellness conference’s obsession with death. “Among all the key trends at Gwyneth Paltrow’s second ‘In Goop Health’ summit this weekend, death loomed largest … Throughout the panel, death was dismissed, as unreal, or simply irrelevant, because you have another life waiting for you on the other side.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Apologists for colonialism are on the rise. The economic subjugation of the world had little to do with civil liberties or the rule of law.

Chinese economic data is categorically false. GDP claims diverge enormously from other indicators, and the government’s defenders rely on faulty logic.

Paternity leave doesn’t mitigate the motherhood penalty. Mothers’ wages are still dramatically lower than those of women without children, while fathers’ pay is unaffected.

Surprising discoveries

Finland’s first dog is more famous than its president. Sauli Niinistö’s naughty Boston terrier, Lennu, (paywall) has been missed on the campaign trail.

India has 21 million “unwanted girls.” Even in the absence of sex-selection abortions, families are more likely to keep having children until they have a son.

YouTube has been hosting ads that secretly mine cryptocurrency. They used malicious code that hijacked viewers’ CPUs.

Elon Musk is in the flamethrower business. His Boring Company has allegedly pre-sold 7,000 dangerous devices at $500 a pop.

Japanese farmers created a banana with an edible peel. The “freeze thaw awakening” technique creates a thin, soft, peel that can be eaten along with the rest of the fruit.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, edible banana peels, and boring flamethrowers to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.