Good morning, Quartz readers!
Linda Yaccarino is officially X/Twitter’s new CEO, but we wanted to share a few names that Quartz readers had expected to be drawn out of the hat: Marissa Mayer, Sarah Palin, Melania Trump, and a cute cat in an office chair named Huckleberry (thank you for the picture, Patrick!).
Here’s what you need to know
The European Commission approved Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal. The decision comes with strings attached that could serve the tech giant well in its appeal against a UK ruling blocking the deal.
The US Virgin Islands has struggled to locate Elon Musk. A private investigator was hired to serve a subpoena for documents related to a case involving Jeffrey Epstein and JPMorgan Chase.
3M fired an executive who’d been at the company for 30 years just weeks after promoting him. Michael Vale, who became group president on April 25, was fired over “inappropriate personal conduct.”
US household debt has reached a record $17 trillion. Americans are continuing to add to it by spending heavily on their credit cards.
Florida’s newly expanded “Don’t Say Gay” bill is hitting teachers. Fifth-grade teacher Jenna Barbee said she’s under investigation because a Disney film she showed her class, Strange World, featured a gay character.
Can China incentivize its way out of population collapse?
Housing subsidies, free schooling, and cash are just some of the incentives Chinese regulators are throwing to young adults in hopes they’ll be encouraged to wed and have kids. This “new era” of marriage and childbearing culture has one purpose: reverse the country’s first population decline, recorded in 2022.
Read more about the pilots being rolled out by the world’s second-largest economy to stop its working age population from continuing its unsustainable decline.
We need to talk about plastic
Plastic water bottles, plastic coffee cups, plastic grocery bags... no matter where you go, there it is.
We’ve been aware for decades that single-use plastic causes significant environmental harm, so why is it so often the duty of consumers to do something about it?
In the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast, Scott talks to Quartz editor Sofia Lotto Persio about what manufacturers could do to make a real dent in the plastic problem.
✅ Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | Stitcher | YouTube
👀 Or, read the transcript
Car engines in the US are getting dusty
12.5 years: The age of the average car on US roads, a record high
In 2022, the US’s light vehicles—all 284 million of them—grew older on average for the sixth straight year. Quartz’s Niharika Sharma explains why Americans are driving older cars.
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The world’s oldest dog turned 31—in human years. Bobi enjoyed a party in Portugal with 100 friends and plates of local meats and fish.
Hammerhead sharks hold their breath. The deeper they go, the colder it gets, and keeping that chilly water out of their gills helps them regulate body temperature.
Baby talk can change infants’ brain structures. The amount of adult speech babies encounter is linked to their concentration of myelin, which makes brain signals more efficient.
Saturn and Jupiter are in a moon war. In February, astronomers said the big red planet had 92 orbiters, but that was before 62 more were discovered around Saturn (bringing its total to 145).
The EU reduced carbon emissions while growing the economy. In the final quarter of 2022, emissions fell by 4% year-over-year, while GDP increased by 1.5% during the same period.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, Bobi pics, and undiscovered moons to email@example.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Sofia Lotto Persio and Morgan Haefner.