Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—driving Mao’s car, shopping with Buffett, poisoning Bloomberg

Quartz

What to watch for today

GOP G-Man. James Comey, a former Justice Department official under George W. Bush, is likely to replace FBI director Robert Mueller. He’s known for standing up to the White House and refusing to authorize a warrant-less eavesdropping program.

Baby, you can drive Mao’s car. A Chinese state-owned auto manufacturer launches a revamped version of the Red Flag sedan, first built for Chairman Mao in 1958, in a bid to unseat Audi as the government official’s car of choice.

India seeks closer Thais. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh uses a trip to Bangkok to press for a closer alliance.

London attacker’s day in court. Michael Adebowale will be charged of the murder of a British soldier who was hacked to death last week.

Laos sells its first international bond. The country, which joined the World Trade Organization earlier this year, is issuing notes on Thailand’s baht-denominated bond market.

Earnings and data: Canada’s Royal Bank and CIBC release earnings, along with Tate & Lyle and Costco. The US is expected to report that the American economy expanded 2.5% in the first quarter.

While you were sleeping

The Softbank/Sprint/Dish saga isn’t over. US national security officials cleared the Sprint-Softbank deal, forcing rival bidder Dish Network to move the fight to Sprint’s buyout of Clearwire.

Someone tried to poison Michael Bloomberg. Two letters dosed with ricin were intercepted,one addressed directly to the NYC mayorand the second to his anti-gun lobbying group.

The Philippines is on a roll. The economy grew 7.8%, the fastest pace in almost three years, beating all estimates.

Bad Brazil. Latin America’s largest economy underwhelmed again.

Buffett loves shopping. Berkshire Hathaway wants to buy Nevada’s NV Energy for $5.59 billion—23% above its closing value.

Total was fined and its CEO may face charges. US authorities levied $400 million in fines over bribes to win oil contracts in Iran. A French prosecutor wants Christophe de Margerie to face trial at home.

Buy a piece of the Empire State Building. Stakeholders settled a dispute, moving the Manhattan landmark closer to an IPO.

Quartz obsession interlude

Christopher Mims on why Facebook’s stock price is falling. “The biggest factors in Facebook’s problematic image are the signals being sent by its leaders. Ever since its IPO, Facebook has been talking too much about money, and too little about long-term vision.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Well-capitalized banks aren’t safer. They might even be at greater risk.

Extra time = less happiness. Busiest people seem to be the most blissful.

An economic breakthrough for sub-Saharan Africa isn’t around the corner, but it’s not far off either.

Reinhart and Rogoff are still wrong. High government debt doesn’t hurt economic growth.

America as China’s factory farm. Pigs are like iPhones in reverse.

Surprising discoveries

US senior healthcare will be paid for by immigrants. Native-born Americans are expensive.

Illegal drug prices keep going down. And the number of inmates keeps going up.

There are bright pink slugs in Australia. And cannibal snails.

Deadly beaver attacks are on the riseIn Belarus, at least.

The shape of schemes We made maps of bike sharing programs around the world.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, pink slug samples and killer beaver sightings to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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