Ukrainian elections, Northern Ireland riot, 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.

…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.

Easter and Passover holidays begin. Businesses, markets, and schools are closed around the world for Good Friday, and the first Seder of Passover is held on Friday night.

While you were sleeping

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 gathered outside Sudan’s defense ministry to call for the army to cede power.

A journalist was shot and killed during a riot in Northern Ireland. At least 50 petrol bombs were thrown and cars set alight as militant nationalists clashed with police in the city of Londonderry. Lyra McKee, a 29-year-old journalist who wrote about identity and human rights, was killed by a bullet fired at police, in an incident that the police are treating as a “terrorist act.”

Nintendo’s shares soared on news of a tie-up with Tencent. Regulatory approval to sell the Switch console in China in partnership with Tencent could open up a huge new market for Nintendo. China lifted a ban on foreign-made consoles in 2014.

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.

Nissan rebutted reports of production cuts. Nikkei reported that the Japanese automaker was planning its steepest production cut in over a decade, shifting away from the aggressive expansion campaign promoted by ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn. The company called the reports “completely incorrect,” and said it would reveal production plans next month.


Today we explore the new trend of “flying shame,” when eco-conscious travelers forgo airplanes. We also have a close look at the recent spate of IPOs and whether you should invest in them. And you can join our conference call on hidden money today at 11 a.m. ET/4 p.m. GMT at this link.

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.

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 site 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 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 will feature in the next 007 film.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, generous tips, and lucky bees to Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Cassie Werber and edited by Jason Karaian.