Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
An update on the US economy. The commerce department will release another estimate for first-quarter GDP (paywall), which was last revised to 2.2% from an initial estimate of 2.3%. Economists expect it to hold steady at 2.2%.
EU leaders meet in Brussels. Member states will address a host of divisive issues during a two-day summit that could easily turn contentious, including Brexit, the fate of the eurozone, and migration (paywall).
Australia passes new foreign interference laws. Similar to the US, Canberra will now require foreign lobbyists to register as such. The legislation, which restricts interference from foreign governments, will further strain the nation’s already fraught relationship with China.
While you were sleeping
Disney was approved to buy Fox for $71 billion. The US justice department gave the media giant antitrust approval to purchase much of Rupert Murdoch’s empire, but only if it sells all of Fox’s sports networks to assuage antitrust concerns.
John Bolton met Vladimir Putin in Moscow. The US national security adviser discussed the “sad state” of US-Russia relations, according to a Kremlin spokesperson. The meeting also laid the groundwork for a Trump/Putin summit scheduled for July, the date of which will be announced Thursday.
A frozen food giant was born. Chicago-based Conagra Brands agreed to buy Pinnacle Foods in a deal worth almost $8.1 billion. The sale will let Conagra capitalize on demand for popular freezer-aisle brands like Van de Kamp, which makes up over half of Pinnacle’s revenue.
Germany was kicked out of the World Cup. South Korea scored two goals in the final minutes of the match to send the defending champions home—the first time Germany has been eliminated in the opening round of the tournament in 80 years.
US supreme court justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. The departure of Kennedy, a crucial swing vote, will give the Trump administration an opportunity to push the court further to the right. The 81-year-old’s past votes supported gay marriage and abortion rights, but more recently, he backed Trump’s travel ban, undercut public-sector unions, and overturned a California pro-choice law (paywall).
Quartz Obsession interlude
Corinne Purtill and Dan Kopf on how happiness doesn’t change much in long-term marriages: “After a dip in the first decades when work and family obligations consume a couple’s time, the frequency of shared activities increased. By the fourth decade of marriage, couples reported spending as much time dining, socializing, and having fun together as they did when they were newlyweds.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Amazon Prime isn’t worth it anymore. The program is getting pricier, and its “free” shipping encourages you to spend more.
Full-time work shouldn’t start until 40. Delaying employment and retirement would free up time for education and family early in life.
Philosophy is pointless. It doesn’t work towards a specific goal and always gives inconclusive answers.
A Gmail plugin wants you to stop apologizing. It highlights phrases like “I might be wrong” and gives you tips for writing stronger messages.
The world’s fattest hedgehog is slimming down. Arbuckle, who is four times heavier than his peers, is being put on a diet and exercise program.
Underground growers are leading the global cocaine resurgence. Crackdowns on coca farming prompted Colombian farmers to try more modern, less obvious methods.
Antarctic ice sheets are testing the Earth’s limits. A reading of -98º C (-144º F) is about as low as temperatures can go.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, apology advice, and chubby forest creatures 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 Aisha Hassan, David Wexner, and Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz and edited by Susan Howson.