Good night, Q-MHI readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY AND OVER THE WEEKEND
France’s presidential run-off. Centrist Emmanuel Macron has a significant lead in the polls over far-right rival Marine Le Pen, boosted by a successful debate Wednesday. Ahead of Sunday’s vote, former US president Barack Obama praised Macron for appealing to “people’s hopes and not their fears.”
Americans at work. The April jobs report (paywall) is expected to show an uptick in hiring after a slowdown in March. Analysts expect the unemployment rate to rise to 4.6% from 4.5%. For snap analysis of the numbers, released at 8:30am ET, check the Quartz app for iPhone and Android.
“Woodstock for Capitalists.” Berkshire Hathaway shareholders will flock to Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday to hear the latest from Warren Buffett. The 86-year-old billionaire will answer five hours of questions.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
China’s first home-made passenger jet took off. The much-delayed C919, roughly the size of Boeing’s 737, made its maiden flight in Shanghai. China wants in on the global jet market, estimated to be worth $2 trillion over the next 20 years. The country has outstripped India as the world’s fastest-growing aviation market by passenger traffic.
IAG felt wind beneath its wings. The owner of British Airways reported a 10% jump in operating profits (paywall) in the first quarter, which is usually a weak season for airlines. Its positive results reflect a slow turnaround in the airline industry in the wake of terror attacks in the EU and the Brexit uncertainty.
ChemChina got approval to take over Syngenta. In what is China’s biggest foreign takeover to date, the chemicals company got shareholder approval for its $43 billion takeover of the Swiss pesticides and seeds group. The deal is one of a few mega-mergers that will reshape the agricultural chemicals sector—Dow Chemical is aiming to merge with DuPont, and Bayer is in the process of taking over Monsanto.
Donald Trump lauded Australia’s health-care system. His surprising praise came as he met with Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull, whose government pays for all citizens to have free access to doctors and public hospitals. US senator Bernie Sanders remarked: “Thank you Mr. Trump for admitting that universal health care is the better way to go.”
Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $110 million in a cancer case. The money will go to a Virginia woman who says she developed ovarian cancer after decades of using the company’s talc-based products. The suit is one of 2,400 the company faces for not adequately warning consumers of the cancer risks of such products, including Johnson’s Baby Powder.
Q-MHI OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Oliver Staley on the tragic twilight of a forgotten comic-book mastermind: “In 1992, Bill Mantlo suffered a severe and permanent brain injury. His outlook began to change about a decade ago, when Marvel entered the movie business… Mantlo received a significant sum for the use of his Rocket Raccoon character from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.”
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Dorms for adults could cure an epidemic of loneliness. The co-housing movement touts hybrid dwellings with shared kitchens and other common spaces.
The GOP health-care bill treats being female as a pre-existing condition. Women who have experienced C-sections, sexual assault, and domestic violence stand to suffer the most.
Your financial fate is sealed by the time you turn 25. Pay raises get progressively smaller as we get older.
Apple’s Singapore debut is baffling residents. The new Apple Store’s cryptic icons— ️ 🔴—supposedly reference the island’s “little red dot” nickname.
A plague of insects is eroding Louisiana’s coast. The mealybug infestation is killing the plants that shore up crucial wetlands.
Young Brits are drinking less alcohol. It’s not for the sake of their health though—they have less money and are under more pressure from parents.
Elon Musk’s juvenile joke is costing Tesla real money. His plan to name his car models “S,” “3,” “X,” and “Y” only confused consumers (paywall).
Grease thieves are plaguing US restaurants. The surging cost of biodiesel fuel is to blame.