Ukrainian elections, ISIS in Congo, ancient Easter bunny

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today and over the weekend

Climate activists plan to disrupt Heathrow airport. Extinction Rebellion will target Europe’s busiest airport as part of the UK group’s two-week campaign to highlight the climate crisis,. More than 500 protestors have been arrested so far since they began occupying landmark sites across London on Monday.

Egyptians vote on presidential term extensions. The three-day referendum on constitutional amendments that would allow president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power until 2030 starts on Saturday. The changes were approved by parliament on Tuesday.

A presidential election in Ukraine… Former TV comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, whose hit series is about a history teacher who unexpectedly becomes president of Ukraine, is expected to do just that in a run-off contest on Sunday. A defeat of incumbent Petro Poroshenko could open 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 deal with Greece. Stevo Pendarovski, backed by the ruling centrist coalition, has a narrow lead over his rival from the nationalist opposition party that 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

Mali’s prime minister resigned. Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga and his entire government handed in their resignations following mounting public anger over a massacre last month that left 160 nomadic herders dead.

ISIS claimed its first-ever attack in Congo. The terrorist group said it was behind an attack on the Congolese army in a town near the Ugandan border that killed at least three, and declared the country the “Central Africa Province” of the “Caliphate.”

Sudanese protestors demanded civilian rule. In the biggest demonstrations since former president Omar al-Bashir was ousted last week and a transitional military council took over, hundreds of thousands formed outside Sudan’s defence ministry to call for the army to cede power.

Uber clinched $1 billion in investment. The ride-share company announced that it had raised funds from SoftBank and Toyota, valuing its self-driving unit at $7.25 billion ahead of the firm’s initial public offering later this year.

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).

Nissan said it will cut global production by 15%. In announcing its steepest production cut in over a decade, the Japanese automaker is shifting away from the aggressive expansion campaign promoted by ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn.


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. It’s an outdated and discriminatory practice, but gratuities are here to stay.

The best leaders are self-observers. They learn to balance their dueling selves run by different parts of our brain.

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

Surprising discoveries

Britain’s first pet bunny is about 2,000 years old. Analysis of a bone fragment found in a Roman place shows the rabbit was pampered, not butchered.

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 spies, and cathedral bees to Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written and edited by Mary Hui and edited by Tripti Lahiri.