Macron in Washington, Alphabet earnings, #elderlyvanlife

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Emmanuel Macron is in Washington. It is the French president’s first visit since Donald Trump was elected. He has pitched Trump on changing his stance on climate change, the Iran anti-nuclear proliferation deal, and trade tariffs—all to little avail. News on Trump’s next move on the Iran accord is expected this week.

US and South Korean forces begin their annual exercise. Around 12,200 US and 10,000 South Korean forces will participate in Key Resolve,  which is part of a series of military exercises the two countries run each year. This year’s is somewhat more low-key as the leaders of the two Koreas meet in a historic summit at the end of week.

Alphabet and UBS report quarterly earnings. Google’s parent company will change the structure of its earning report in a way that could illuminate the value of its investment in Uber; it is the first in a big week of tech companies reporting results. And it is Swiss bank’s first earnings report since the bank merged its US and international wealth management businesses (paywall).

Over the weekend

A suicide bomber killed at least 57 people at a voter-registration center in Kabul. ISIL claimed credit for the attack (paywall), which injured more than 100 people and is one of at least four attacks on Afghan voter registration centers since voter registration started in the country one week ago.  Legislative elections are due in October.

A Hamas member was assassinated in Malaysia. Fadi al-Batsh, a 35-year-old electrical-engineering lecturer, was killed by two men on a motorbike who fired 10 shots at him in Kuala Lumpur. Israel’s defense minister dismissed a suggestion that spy agency Mossad was behind the shooting attack.

The Armenian standoff got even more tense. Nikol Pashinyan, the leader of protests calling for prime minister Serzh Sargsyan’s resignation, was detained and taken to a police station shortly after a highly anticipated meeting between the two men. Protesters say Sargsyan, who was president for 10 years before recently being appointed prime minister, has been in power too long.

Donald Trump defended his decision to meet with Kim Jong-un. The US president responded on Twitter to a television host who suggested on air that the Trump got a bad deal when he broke precedent by agreeing to a meeting with North Korea’s leader. “We haven’t given up anything & they have agreed to denuclearization,” Trump tweeted. North Korea has not agreed to denuclearization.

The last human who was alive in the 19th century died. Nabi Tajima passed away yesterday in a hospital on the Japanese island of Kikaijima. At 117 years old, she was both the world’s oldest woman and the only known living person who was born in 1900 (which is, in fact, part of the 19th century). Her secret to good health? Reportedly, “eating delicious things and sleeping well.”

Quartz obsession interlude

Zoë Schlanger on how 

fast a glacier can slip into the sea once it’s destabilized.

 ”The Columbia Glacier is losing an average of 4 billion metric tons of ice per year, making it a major contributor to the roughly 75 billion metric tons of ice that Alaskan glaciers have lost annually for the past two decades (that’s enough water to cover the state of Alaska in a foot-deep (30 cm) flood every seven years). Scientists are studying its retreat to better understand how tidal glaciers react to changing climate and make better predictions about global sea-level rise.” 

Read more


Matters of debate

Celebrating Earth Day is now unnecessary. Which is largely a sign of Earth Day’s success.

Women don’t quit as easily as men. The Boston Marathon is a good example (paywall) of “women’s ability to persevere in exceptionally miserable circumstances.”

Arsene Wenger didn’t just change English soccer. The soon-to-depart Arsenal coach changed the African game, too.

Surprising discoveries

You can get a scholarship for playing “Fortnite.” Ashland University in Ohio is the first to offer scholarships for the popular online shooter game.

Reading aloud to kids is good for more than just education. A new study suggests (paywall) that it can also help with aggression and difficulty paying attention.

#vanlife is not just for 20-somethings anymore. Baby boomers in the US are retrofitting vans with living quarters (paywall) and hitting the road.

More tourists in Australia now come from China than New Zealand. Even though China is more than 10 hours away by flight.

Trees can be saved by IV drips, too. Officials inserted hundreds of saline bottles filled with pesticide to save the branches of a 700-year-old banyan tree.

This might be the unluckiest (or luckiest) man in the world. He has survived a snake, a bear, and a shark attack.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, geriatric Instagram influencers, and eSports scholarships to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day, or download our apps for iPhone and Android. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Sarah Kessler and edited by Kabir Chibber.