Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The European Central Bank delivers its policy decision. With the euro-zone economy seeing slower than expected growth in the first quarter, the central bank will likely keep policy unchanged, and strike a more cautious tone than it did last month. Markets will look for ECB president Mario Draghi’s take on the soft numbers.
A German court rules on the use of medical tests to determine the age of refugees. It will decide whether such tests become the norm rather than the exception. In Germany being classified as a minor gives refugees numerous advantages, including in education, accommodation, and protection from deportation.
Deutsche Bank reports earnings—and possibly announces a change in strategy. Under new CEO Christian Sewing, appointed earlier this month, the struggling bank is considering focusing less on investment banking and more on lower-risk private and commercial banking in its European home market.
More tech earnings. Amazon, Microsoft, and Intel will report earnings. Investors are waiting to see whether Amazon can continue to grow, after the company announced last week it had reached 100 million Prime members. Microsoft is expected to report continued strength in its cloud-computing service, Azure.
While you were sleeping
China is mulling a steep reduction in car-import duties. To open up the domestic car market more, the state council is considering proposals to reduce the levy on imported cars to 10% or 15%, down from the current 25%, according to Bloomberg, which cited “people with direct knowledge of the matter.” The change could come as early as next month.
Facebook beat earnings expectations. Its first-quarter revenue defied scandal, rising 49% from a year ago to $12 billion, and its net income rose 63% to $5 billion. Since news of Cambridge Analytica’s illicit data harvesting broke late in the quarter, it’s still possible the scandal will eventually affect Facebook’s bottom line.
UK car production took a dive. Trade-association data showed the number of cars built in UK factories dropped 13.3% in March from a year ago, and 6.3% in the first quarter, when production for the domestic market fell 14.1%. High inflation, putting the squeeze on UK consumers’ disposable income, played a role.
A Turkish court came down hard on journalists. It said 14 journalists and employees working for the Cumhuriyet daily, which has angered president Recep Tayyip Erdogan with stories critical of him, helped terrorist organizations through their coverage. They face up to seven and a half years in prison but are free for now on appeal (paywall).
Officials may have found the Golden State Killer. In California, the use of cutting-edge DNA technology led to the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo, a 72-year-old former policeman, in a case that’s been ongoing for four decades. He is suspected to have killed 12 people, raped at least 45 victims, and burglarized more than 100 homes.
Quartz obsession interlude
Marc Bain on the two garment factory fires a century apart that show how globalization has sapped labor’s power. “The aftermath of Rana Plaza [a factory that collapsed in Bangladesh] represents an unprecedented effort by international brands to reform an entire industry—a new role for clothing companies. Historically, governments move to regulate, or private owners are forced to act after pressure from the workers themselves.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Music industry upswings don’t necessarily help musicians. Streaming revenue has put the industry back on the map, but it’s labels, not artists, that still pocket most of the cash.
Cash isn’t dead. Eliminating a way to anonymously exchange funds may decrease crime, but it also assumes government regulations will always be morally sound.
Reddit needs to do more than just clean house. Banishing violently misogynist threads like r/incels may only push their users deeper into the web.
Pig brains can be kept alive outside the body. The discovery could allow scientists to study healthy, functioning brain cells.
Kim Jong-un travels with a personal toilet. The North Korean leader’s excretions contain sensitive information about his health (paywall).
An English dog got its own Windsor Castle. The lhasa apso’s owner, a lottery winner and huge royal-wedding fan, spent thousands on a replica kennel.
A loud noise knocked out the servers of stock exchanges in northern Europe. It came from an errant fire-prevention system and was as loud as a rock concert.
Alexa can teach your kids how to say “please.” The new Echo Dot Kids Edition is undoubtedly the first wave of AI for kids.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, lavish kennels, and magic words to email@example.com. 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 Alice Truong.