Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today and over the weekend
Xi Jinping speaks at the Boao Forum for Asia. In the midst of Beijing’s burgeoning trade spat with the US, the Chinese president will talk at “Asia’s Davos” about opening the economy more, and plans to create free-trade ports along China’s coast.
New US sanctions hit Russia. The Trump administration plans to issue penalties (paywall) affecting oligarchs connected to Vladimir Putin. Trump has been pushed to take aggressive action in the wake of Russian cyber attacks, election meddling, and a nerve-agent assault on a former double agent in the UK.
US jobs update. Analysts expect that employers’ payrolls rose by 193,000 in March, after a 313,000 jobs surge in February. The unemployment rate is predicted to stay near historic lows of around 4.0%.
While you were sleeping
Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye was sentenced to 24 years in prison. A Seoul court found Park guilty in a string of corruption charges—her and confidante Choi Soon-sil are alleged to have demanded bribes and donations from companies, including Samsung. Park was not present for her sentencing, and has one week to appeal it.
Samsung Electronics projected record quarterly profits. Despite its links to the convicted former president, which resulted in a suspended jail term for heir apparent Jay Y. Lee, the tech group said it expects a 58% year-on-year rise in operating profit in its latest quarter. The conglomerate’s offices were raided on Friday over allegations it sabotaged workers’ efforts to strengthen labor unions.
Trump doubled down on the trade spat with China. The president said he’ll consider slapping tariffs on an additional $100 billion worth of goods from China, in response to what he called Beijing’s “unfair retaliation” against tariffs he announced earlier this week. China’s Ministry of Commerce responded that the country is “not afraid to fight a trade war.”
Didi Chuxing went live in Mexico. Uber’s dominance in Mexico is about to be challenged, as the Chinese ride-hailing giant launched a driver recruitment and passenger service website in what will be its first foray outside Asia. Didi said it would start operations “very soon.”
Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial was postponed. The ousted former South African president, whose nine years in office were plagued by scandals, appeared in Durban High Court on corruption, fraud, racketeering, and money-laundering charges. The court agreed to postpone the trial to June 8 to give both sides time to prepare.
Quartz obsession interlude
Abdi Latif Dahir and Yomi Kazeem on how Trump’s trade war is punishing Africans for refusing second-hand clothes. “The debate around second-hand clothing also underscores the rise of manufacturing on the continent… Crucially, there are also active discussions over the ecological and ethical repercussions of taking in piles of used clothing, including underwear.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Medical mission initiatives need to consult locals first. Doctors who “parachute” into poor communities risk making a negative impact.
Spotify will never be able to scale like Netflix. Unlike video, streaming music costs the provider more (paywall) as the service grows.
Mark Zuckerberg should just resign. New leadership would give Facebook an opportunity to reboot (paywall).
UK classical musicians could be required to wear earplugs at all times. A court ruled the Royal Opera House was in breach of noise regulations at work.
Switzerland won the world’s best banknote—again. The 10-franc bill was crowned the top note of 2017, beating Scotland, Canada, Fiji, and Norway.
A man made over €1.2 million by recycling the same bottles. The machine-tampering fraudster is one of many who game the German deposit-return system.
Walden Pond is being ruined by human urine. The phosphorus in the urine of Henry David Thoreau fans is causing harmful algae overgrowth.
Waze turned one of the steepest hills in the US into a disaster zone. LA locals avoid Echo Park’s dangerous Baxter Street hill in the rain, but drivers following the app’s directions keep crashing.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, earplugs, and spare Swiss francs to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Jason Karaian.