Merkel’s Bundestag Q&A, India’s rate decision, dancing queen

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Angela Merkel takes questions from parliament. Today Germany will see the first-ever question-and-answer session between a chancellor and MPs in the Bundestag. Far-right opponents welcome the chance to blame her for refugee-related problems, while EU allies are hoping she’ll clarify her vision for the bloc.

Air China resumes flights to North Korea. The flag carrier’s route between Beijing and Pyongyang was suspended in November amid tension over Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons program. Its resumption signals closer ties ahead of next week’s US-North Korea summit.

The Reserve Bank of India makes an interest-rate decision. With India hit hard by an emerging-market selloff, the central bank can either hold rates steady or follow the example of Indonesia by raising rates to stem market pressure. Both countries rely heavily on foreign inflows, making them vulnerable to rising US interest rates.

While you were sleeping

EU members agreed to cap the price of intra-EU calls. Under the provisional deal, calls from one EU country to another will be capped at 19 euro cents per minute, and text messages will cost no more than 6 euro cents each. Last year the EU abolished roaming charges between member states.

Facebook admitted to giving Huawei special access to user data. An arrangement dating back to at least 2010 gave Huawei and other Chinese firms detailed information on device users and their friends. Huawei, closely tied to China’s government, has been flagged by US intelligence officials as a national security threat (paywall).

Northrop Grumman won approval to buy Orbital ATK. The $7.8 billion deal got the nod from US antitrust regulators, albeit with some conditions. The acquisition will help Northrop expand its lineup of missile defense systems and space rockets. Orbital, a supplier of solid rocket motors, has contracts with NASA and the US Army.

Australia’s economy notched an impressive first quarter. It grew at the fastest annual pace in almost two years as it enters its 27th year of growth without a recession. The country is enjoying strong exports but faces uncertainty over household consumption and global trade.

Fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in an apparent suicide. The iconic handbag designer sold her namesake company, founded with her husband Andy Spade, in 2006. She was 55.

Quartz Obsession interlude

Lauren Alix Brown on a school teaching girls to bounce back from failure. ”That the US has a culture of stress is probably no surprise. But the degree to which it disproportionately affects young people—particularly girls—is alarming… When girls are stressed, they turn inward, which leads to higher levels of anxiety and depression.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The US can’t have both more exports and more tariffs. Constantly changing its trade strategy with China will do America more harm than good.

Stop making prequels. They’re marketing stunts with pre-baked endings that move the overall story nowhere.

It’s fine that Waymo may get $465 million in US tax breaks. A subsidized deal to buy hybrid Chrysler minivans will help manufacturers achieve economies of scale.

Surprising discoveries

The Queen of England loves to cut a rug to “Dancing Queen.” The 91-year-old monarch always tries to hit the dance floor when ABBA comes on.

Tweak your coffee intake for peak performance. The US Army has a new algorithm to help sleep-deprived professionals strategize their caffeine consumption.

Feral peacocks are attacking luxury cars outside Vancouver. Specifically, they’re attacking their own reflections.

Russian farmers are harvesting cryptocurrency. The “kolion” is replacing the ruble in some rural communities.

An intoxicated woman rode a horse through a drive-through liquor store. Police in Queensland, Australia believe drunk riding is just as bad as drunk driving.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, kolion, and coffee hacks 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 Alice Truong.