Macron in Berlin, Amazon Prime milestone, prison crocodiles

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Emmanuel Macron pushes for EU reform. Meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, the French president will talk up his proposal to expand the bloc’s bailout system. Merkel appears to be on board, but many members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union, concerned about German taxpayers’ money leaking out of the country, are not.

The Commonwealth Summit begins. Leaders from the network of 53 countries—mostly former British colonies—are meeting in London. Prime minister Theresa May wants to deepen ties with Commonwealth countries ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU, but a scandal over Britain deporting first-generation Caribbean migrants isn’t helping.

Raúl Castro steps down. The president of Cuba will be replaced by 57-year-old vice president Miguel Díaz-Canel, marking the first time a Castro brother has not held the largely symbolic role since 1976.

Unilever reports its first-quarter earnings. The results will offer hints on the performance of emerging markets, where the consumer-goods giant does most of its business (paywall). The company recently made headlines by choosing the Netherlands over the Brexit-roiled UK for its headquarters.

While you were sleeping

A California agency is probing Tesla. A spokesperson from the state’s occupational safety and health administration said it’s investigating the automaker following a report by news site Reveal, which said Tesla sugar-coated its on-the-job safety stats by not reporting some workplace injuries.

An ex-Playboy model became free to tell the tale of her alleged affair with Trump. Karen McDougal reached a settlement with the owner of the National Enquirer, which acquired the rights to her story and then buried it ahead of the US presidential election. McDougal claims she had a 10-month relationship with Trump starting in 2006.

Jeff Bezos revealed there now over 100 million Amazon Prime members globally. The Amazon CEO shared the milestone in an annual letter to shareholders. It marked the first time Amazon revealed subscriber numbers behind the $99-a-year program, which started 13 years ago and gives customers free, unlimited two-day shipping and other perks.

New York’s attorney general sought the power to bypass presidential pardons. Eric Schneiderman is pushing to change the state’s laws (paywall) so that he and other local prosecutors can bring criminal charges against Trump aides who have been pardoned. US presidents lack the authority to pardon offenses at the state level.

Quartz obsession interlude

Steve Mollman on how the peace agreement being discussed ahead of the inter-Korean summit is 65 years overdue. “[The 1953 truce] was meant to be a temporary document at best. It states the objective of ‘establishing an armistice which will insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea…. until a final peaceful settlement is achieved.’ Of course, that never happened.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Elon Musk says to eliminate “dumb things” by flattening communication. Other productivity tips include walking out of meetings and “using common sense as your guide.”

The Echo Look proves that style is just an algorithm. Amazon’s new service uses AI to analyze your outfit, highlighting the sad truth that fashion sense is entirely unoriginal.

Trump shouldn’t underestimate Japan. Undiplomatic tweets (paywall), denying tariff exemptions, and favoring China could push Abe away from backing the US on Russia.

Surprising discoveries

Indonesia is removing crocodiles from prison moats. Authorities are instead looking into less punitive measures for drug addicts—like medical centers and counseling.

Manny Pacquiao will launch his own cryptocurrency. The Philippine boxing icon says he’s doing it to connect with fans.

Strong winds have made tumbleweeds a Southern California desert menace. In one town, a pile-up trapped the occupants of a house until the infestation was cleared.

Iceland’s bitcoin heist mastermind escaped prison. Sindri Thor Stefansson is still missing after he fled the country on the same plane as the prime minister.

The flip phone is making a comeback. But it’s a status symbol for the elite, who show how off-the-grid they can be by conspicuously sporting low-tech devices.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, flip phones, and tumbleweeds 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 Steve Mollman and edited by Isabella Steger.