Good morning, Quartz readers!
Taiwan swears in its first woman president. Tsai Ing-wen represents the Democratic Progressive Party, which favors more independence from China. Beijing has been pressuring the president-elect to back a “One-China” policy that would eventually reunite Taiwan with the mainland.
Venezuela holds a huge military exercise as its economy crumbles. The government is on high alert, with opposition forces call for a referendum on president Nicolas Maduro. Meanwhile, the rule of law is crumbling, and the country can’t keep the lights on for more than a few days a week.
Barack Obama visits Asia. The US president will kick off his trip in Vietnam, where he is considering loosening restrictions on arms sales to the Communist regime. Stronger ties with Hanoi would counterbalance China’s aggressive behavior in the South China Sea.
After a long day of confusion, Egyptair flight MS804 is still missing. The airline was forced to retract its earlier claim that the flight’s wreckage was found near the island of Crete, after Greece determined that the debris “does not come from a plane.” Officials are reportedly investigating whether terrorism was to blame.
Walmart earnings were a pleasant surprise. The retail giant’s profit and revenue exceeded expectations, sending shares up more than 9%. Despite the strong performance of its brick-and-mortar stores, which posted a 1% increase in same-store US sales, its ecommerce business is still struggling to catch up with Amazon.
US politicians reached a deal to save Puerto Rico… An agreement between the White House and Republican leaders would restructure the territory’s $70 billion debt, in a process resembling bankruptcy. Lawmakers will vote on the measure in June, ahead of a $1.9 billion debt payment due July 1.
…But kept squabbling over Zika funding. The US Senate approved $1.1 billion in emergency funding to slow the virus’ spread, straddling the gap between the House, which wants to spend $620 million, and the White House, which asked for $1.9 billion. Warmer summer months are expected to bring thousands of cases of Zika to the US.
The EU is preparing an Amazon smackdown. Sources told Reuters that the ecommerce giant may have to pay €400 million ($448 million) in back taxes when the European Commission rules on a two-year investigation. An Amazon subsidiary is accused of illegally lowering its tax bill by routing money through Luxembourg.
Roya Wolverson on letting go of attachment parenting. “When I stopped picking my two-year-old up from school, he stopped throwing mid-day tantrums and started cleaning his plate at lunch. He seemed genuinely happier to see me when I came downstairs to greet him after work, and for the rest of the day spent less time whining and more time enjoying my company.” Read more here.
Fish slap and ripples
Ring out atop the cool lake
Bayer-Monsanto is a merger 4,000 years in the making. Consolidation is the only growth strategy that agriculture has left.
Criminal justice has put too much stock in DNA testing. The technique is being applied widely and inaccurately.
Forbidden pleasures are overrated. Our brains undervalue the good stuff sitting right in front of us.
Scientists have found a way to make wood transparent. But see-through lumber involves a lot of chemicals.
A new wristband shocks users into saving money. They deliver a jolt whenever debts get out of hand.
Google has patented “sticky” technology for its autonomous cars. In case of a collision, pedestrians would adhere to the vehicles.
There’s a new kind of sommelier in Los Angeles—for water. He once poured a $100,000 bottle for a rapper.
The Burger King in Helsinki has its own sauna. Burgers taste much better after you sweat it out.