Adobe earnings, EU “digital tax” plan, space genes

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

South Korea’s foreign minister heads to the US. Kang Kyung-wha will meet deputy secretary of state John Sullivan to maintain “strong cooperation” with Washington, despite the departure of secretary of state Rex Tillerson. Reports said that Tillerson was an early advocate of talks with North Korea, and clashed with Donald Trump over it.

Trump meets Irish premier Leo Varadkar at the White House. There’s plenty for them to talk about, from the president’s new import tariffs to the issue of protection for undocumented Irish people living in the US.

Adobe’s first-quarter results. The focus will be on the pace of the software company’s growth, which has been rapid since it pivoted from selling licenses to a subscription service model.

While you were sleeping

Brussels planned a “digital tax” on US tech giants. Firms like Google and Facebook would be taxed on their revenue, rather than their profits, according to a proposal (paywall) seen by the Financial Times. The plan, which would need unanimous backing from all 28 EU members, will likely not go down well in countries like Ireland, which has lured US tech companies with low taxes.

Unilever picked the Netherlands over the UK for its corporate HQ. In a blow to Theresa May’s vision for her post-Brexit Britain, the Anglo-Dutch consumer giant will make Rotterdam its legal base. Unilever will split into three divisions, with two in London and one in Rotterdam, and says its 7,000 UK staff won’t be affected.

Lufthansa landed the best results in its history. Net profits in 2017 climbed by a third to €2.4 billion ($2.9 billion) and revenue soared (paywall) by more than 12%. The German carrier, which took over bankrupt Air Berlin last year, has seen its share price surge 85% in the last 12 months.

Anti-trust regulators raided Amazon Japan. The e-commerce giant is suspected of forcing suppliers to pick up the costs incurred for selling their products at a discount. Japan’s Fair Trade Commission also raided Amazon in 2016, when the company was accused of making vendors sell their products at lower prices to undercut rival e-commerce sites.

More questions arose over Trump’s involvement with Stormy Daniels. New documents revealed that Jill Martin, a senior lawyer at the Trump Organization, was involved in enforcing a gag order to prevent the adult film star from disclosing her relationship with the president. Daniel’s lawyer said it’s more evidence to prove Trump knew about the agreement.

Quartz obsession interlude

Thu-Huong Ha on Stephen Hawking’s argument that human evolution has gone far beyond biology. “By Hawking’s rough calculation, he measures the amount of useful information in human genes as 100 million bits, which means a novel might have 2 million bits of information. ‘So a human is equivalent to 50 Mills & Boon romances. A major national library can contain about 5 million books, or about 10 trillion bits,’ he said, concluding, ‘So the amount of information handed down in books, is 100,000 times as much as in DNA.'” Read more here.

Matters of debate

United Airlines isn’t going to lose customers. Despite the fact that its image couldn’t get any worse, customers are motivated by price above all else.

Game theory is giving North Korea the upper hand in nuclear talks. Considering all possible moves reveals that the US has little chance of coming out ahead.

The US needs a space force. The nation, including its military, is heavily dependent on satellites and should consider creating an agency to handle regulations and security.

Surprising discoveries

An astronaut returned with different DNA than his identical twin. The stress of space travel and a year on the International Space Station may have activated “space genes.”

A new startup wants to upload your brain, but you have to die first. Nectome can preserve your brain for posterity—if the “100% fatal” process starts while you’re still alive.

The eastern quoll was brought back from the brink of extinction. The marsupial, devastated by foxes along Australia’s eastern coast, was reintroduced to the mainland from Tasmania.

United Airlines accidentally sent a dog to Japan. A family in Missouri was presented with a Great Dane when it was expecting its own German shepherd.

Elon Musk is hiring writers from The Onion for a secret project. The Tesla CEO says humor is the next frontier, and we don’t think he’s joking.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, quolls, and witty writers to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Jill Petzinger and edited by Lianna Brinded.