Abe does America, Putin praises Trump, feral peacocks

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Shinzo Abe travels to the US. Japan’s prime minister wants assurances from Donald Trump that the US won’t cut a nuclear disarmament deal with North Korea at the June 12 summit that leaves Japan vulnerable to shorter-range missiles.

Vladimir Putin is on the move, again.  The Russian president is heading from Austria to Beijing, in his first visit to China since his reelection. During the two-day state visit, Putin will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping to cement deeper ties between the two countries.

An update on the US trade deficit. Data for April is expected to show a $50 billion gap between imports and exports. Beijing recently offered to buy $70 billion (paywall) worth of US goods if Washington drops tariffs on Chinese products.

While you were sleeping

Putin praised Trump. The Russian president described Trump’s decision to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “brave and mature.” After initially cancelling the historic summit, Trump announced last Friday that it would be going ahead.

Investors pressed Cambridge Analytica’s former CEO for repayment. The Financial Times reported that Alexander Nix allegedly withdrew $8 million (paywall) just before the consultancy firm folded in the wake of the Facebook scandal. Nix has not yet responded to the allegations.

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.

Tributes poured in for Kate Spade. The iconic handbag designer was found dead on Tuesday in an apparent suicide. The Council of Fashion Designers of America called her “a great talent who had an immeasurable impact on American fashion.” Spade is survived by her husband and their teenage daughter.

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 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

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

Queen Elizabeth II loves to jive 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.

Cows are not getting enough massages. The lack of kneading is leading to a luxury leather shortage.

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

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, kolion, and bovine masseurs to hi@qz.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 Aamna Mohdin and edited by Lianna Brinded.