Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Auto and motorcycle giants report earnings. Harley-Davidson is forecast to report a drop in earnings as its popularity wanes with young people, while Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, and Volkswagen are expected to post a rise (paywall), with GM’s results uncertain. Investors will look for clues on whether global trade tensions are affecting automakers.
State elections in the US. New Yorkers will vote in about a dozen legislative races (paywall). Democrats are looking to win firmer control of the state Senate, where they have been unable to set the agenda on issues like voting rights because of a power-sharing arrangement with Republicans. In Arizona, Democrats are unlikely to win a solidly Republican congressional district, but the GOP is still worried about a narrowing margin.
Emmanuel Macron presses Donald Trump on Iran, over dinner. The US president is welcoming his French counterpart with the administration’s inaugural state dinner. Amid the glitzy menu and decor, Macron is expected to urge Trump to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive.
While you were sleeping
A van attack killed 10 people and injured 15 in Toronto. The vehicle ploughed through a crowded sidewalk, leaving a trail of injury and destruction a mile and a half long. Police identified a 25-year-old male suspect, but said the cause was still not yet known.
A US Senate panel approved Mike Pompeo as the new secretary of state. He narrowly won approval from the Foreign Relations Committee after senator Rand Paul, who earlier opposed his appointment, changed his vote. He is expected to receive full Senate approval later this week.
Alphabet earnings beat expectations. Revenue rose 26% year-on-year to $31.1 billion during the first quarter. The surge was fueled by Google’s advertising business, which made up about 85% of its revenue in the quarter—but an obscure accounting change also helped.
Quartz obsession interlude
Mike Murphy on the only reasons to stay with the iPhone. “Being able to carry a conversation regardless of what device you’re on, or being able to share a photo you’ve taken on your iPhone to your Mac over iCloud and to a friend over AirDrop, being able to go for a run and have your vitals tracked and your favorite music playing with nothing more than some earbuds and a watch—these are all great Apple experiences that have little to do with which version of iPhone you currently have.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Amazon is essentially three companies in one. The company’s salary data reveal its composite structure—like a three-way merger (paywall) between Google, UPS, and Walmart.
Cruelty to robots is immoral. The behavior of humans toward sentient droids in Westworld (paywall) illustrates how the process of harming a robot is identical to harming a person.
Charlotte is the first British princess who hasn’t been upstaged by the patriarchy. Despite the birth of a baby brother, new rules mean she doesn’t lose her spot in the line of succession.
Scientists have confirmed that Uranus smells like farts. A spectrometer on a high-powered telescope confirmed high levels of malodorous hydrogen sulfide molecules.
A 12-year-old in Australia stole his mom’s credit card and flew to Bali. His mom said he “doesn’t like hearing the word no.”
Ferrari is finally taking the plunge with electric cars. The company, long skeptical of alternative vehicles, is testing a new gasoline-battery hybrid.
There’s a global shortage of exorcists. The Vatican announced a new training course to meet increased demand for deliverance ministry.
France’s language purists have decided that “soy milk” and “vegetarian sausage” do not exist. Parliamentarians, long protective of their mother tongue, are targeting fake meat.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, exorcist candidates, and Uranus scents 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 and edited by Isabella Steger and Alice Truong.