Ukrainian elections, Mueller report release, Notre Dame’s bees

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today and over the weekend

A presidential election in Ukraine… Former TV comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy is expected to handily defeat incumbent Petro Poroshenko in a run-off contest, setting up the possibility of a rapprochement with Russia.

…And in North Macedonia. The vote is expected to serve as an unofficial referendum on the country’s recent name change. Stevo Pendarovski, backed by the ruling centrist coalition, narrowly leads Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova, whose nationalist opposition party opposed the renaming.

Japanese officials lay the groundwork for a Trump-Abe summit. The country’s foreign and defense ministers will meet their US counterparts in Washington, ahead of an April 26 visit by Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.

While you were sleeping

The release of the Mueller report. US attorney general William Barr released the heavily redacted, 448-page document that showed repeated attempts by Donald Trump to impede the inquiry into his campaign’s ties with Russia, including his team’s significant contacts with WikiLeaks. Among the key takeaways: Trump knew Russians were working to support him, and the special counsel—limited by legal constraints—didn’t investigate “collusion” at all.

Zoom and Pinterest surged on their first day of trading. Zoom, which makes videoconferencing software, shot up nearly 80%, and Pinterest rose  more than 25%. If they can maintain their gains, that’s good news for startups like Uber, Slack, and Peloton, which are waiting in the wings.

The National Enquirer was sold for $100 million. The notorious tabloid, which has made headlines of its own for scandals involving Donald Trump and Jeff Bezos, was sold by hedge  fund manager Anthony Melchiorre to James Cohen, CEO of the newsstand kiosk firm Hudson News (paywall).

Blackstone raised so much money its CEO can barely believe it. The world’s biggest private equity brought in $43 billion in the first quarter for a 12-month total of $126 billion. Steven Schwartzman described the “remarkable money gathering” as “an out-of-body experience.”

Canopy is buying a US pot company—as soon as weed is fully legal. The minute that marijuana becomes legal on a federal level, the Canadian cannabis giant will purchase Acreage for $3.4 billion. The company—which currently makes products without TCH in New York state—will receive $300 million in funding from Canopy in the meantime.


Max de Haldevang has a primer on the best book to read about hiding money around the world. Over in Private Key, Matthew de Silva looks at what a cartoon space cat can tell us about the state of crypto exchanges. And Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz speaks with a pioneering researcher about the business of immortality.

Quartz Obsession

The Mueller Report is brought to you by ⬛️, ⬛️, and ⬛️: Redactions have evolved from dashes in Victorian pamphlets and literature, to the razor blades used on wartime mail, to the Soviets airbrushing officials out of existence, to a mess of PDF layers and metadata. The digital age means more secrets, and more redactions, than ever. Read between the lines at the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of debate

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Tipping will never die. Running a gratuity-included restaurant may try to promote equality, but it involves difficult transfers of power and money.

The best leaders think, then talk. Days spent putting out fires can make bosses too quick to access the brain’s reactive survival instincts.

Non-drinkers just want to have fun. Traditional bars deny sophistication to sober people.

Surprising discoveries

An ancient dog’s face was reconstructed. The 4,500-year-old pet looks a little like a collie-sized wolf—and is clearly a good boy.

Notre Dame’s bee population survived. The honeymakers that occupied three beehives on the roof of the cathedral hunkered down to weather the blaze.

A Thai cave rescuer was rescued from yet another cave. The diver was separated from his own team in Tennessee.

Your laptop-holding position says a lot about you. Are you a stylish clutcher, a defensive hugger, or a risk-taking daredevil?

James Bond can finally go green. Aston Martin shook (but didn’t stir) the automotive world with its new $326,000 electric car, which is slated to star in the next 007 film.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, eco-conscious secret agents, and ancient canines to Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written and edited by Susan Howson and Adam Pasick.