They’re winning the wage war. Campaigns for a $15-an-hour state minimum wage hit milestones in California and New York late Thursday with new bills instituting the massive pay hike for the states’ poorest — a move opponents say will cause layoffs and stifle small business. California and Massachusetts already boast the highest state minimums at $10 an hour, while the District of Columbia’s is $10.50. After Gov. Jerry Brown signs the legislation on Monday, as promised, the Golden State will begin gradual increases next January, hitting $15 in 2022.
The Presidential Daily Brief
She’s not going to take it anymore. The Democratic front-runner is “so sick” of what she called false allegations from the Vermont senator’s team, the most recent centering on whether Clinton has accepted donations from the fossil fuel industry. The dustup contrasted with an uncharacteristically cordial day for Republicans, with Donald Trump reportedly making nice with the RNC. OZY’s Nick Fouriezos says Clinton’s heated accusation during a relatively tame primary, days after her campaign accused Sanders of going negative, could make her appear thin-skinned to voters who haven’t settled on a candidate.
They’ve checked out for good. The Starwood hotel empire had already agreed on a $13.3 billion deal with U.S. chain Marriott, but the Chinese consortium’s bid seemed sweeter — until they failed to demonstrate access to the necessary financing, according to some sources. The deal could make investors nervous about Chinese companies making offers that aren’t backed up by cold hard cash, but the immediate effect is to cement the Marriott-Starwood merger, which creates the world’s largest hospitality company. Meanwhile, Anbang will pay $6.5 billion for Strategic Hotels, a small U.S. luxury chain.
South African President Zuma agrees to repay government for housing expenses. (BBC)
Former German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher dies. (DW)
Tornadoes strike Gulf states as storms veer toward Carolinas. (AP)
Tesla launches Model 3, the “affordable” electric car. (BBC)
Police kill gunman who fatally shot trooper at Richmond bus terminal. (AP)
Evidence of second Viking settlement site discovered in Canada. (NYT)
March jobs report slightly beats expectations, adding 215,000 jobs. (WSJ) sub
Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB quiz. (OZY)
How much is that doggie in my mailbox? Buying a pet often involves a long-term commitment with little room for getting cold feet. But all that is about to change thanks to Petflix, a new start-up pet rental service that allows subscribers to sample all creatures great and small — delivered straight to their door and with no obligation to keep. Coming this fall, Petflix promises not only to disrupt the pet industry but to fool your friends into thinking they can get a puppy via same-day delivery.
Read between the lines. The most newsworthy part of Reddit’s annual transparency report isn’t what’s in the document — it’s what’s not in it. The company’s annual report typically includes a section titled “national security requests” which, as of last year, always read zero. This year, that section is conspicuously absent from the report, leaving some to wonder whether Reddit is hinting at something it can’t legally disclose. Experts call this a “warrant canary” — a line of text that circumvents a gag order by simply disappearing. This year, the canary stopped singing.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Japan’s government hasn’t been friendly to Airbnb — up until now, minpaku regulations required all Airbnb properties to feature a reception desk and set aside 33 square meters of floor space for guests — the size of an average Tokyo apartment. But now they’ve reversed both those rules, which could be a lifesaver for the company’s fastest-growing market, as well as solving fears of a serious hotel shortage during the tourist boom as the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo draw near.
This is big news. An analysis of body mass patterns over 40 years beginning in 1975 found that there are now more overweight people in the world than underweight. Just 105 million met the “obese” baseline measurement in 1975. University researchers behind the data stressed that lack of proper nutrition remains a challenge in the world’s poorer nations — but they also warned of an epidemic unless patterns change, estimating more than 40 percent of Americans and one-fifth of the world’s population will be obese by 2025.
Welcome to the club. Male screenwriters outnumber their female colleagues two to one, so the screenwriting database is partnering with Women in Film to host an eight-week, eight-member workshop to nurture women writers. After the classes, run by industry executives and established scriptwriters, the polished works will be posted on the Black List site, a showcase for Hollywood’s best unmade screenplays. CEO Franklin Leonard says the lack of female representation in Hollywood has been “unconscionable” and hopes the workshop will launch an array of female-driven shows this pilot season.
They meant well. The Deinster SV soccer club posted a photo on Facebook in which the mostly white team’s faces were digitally altered to make them look Black, captioned “Violence against refugees is pathetic!” It’s a show of support for the team’s two African players, Sudanese refugees who were assaulted during an Easter celebration in a racially motivated attack, according to their coach. But whatever the intention, many are chiding the team for ignoring the troubling history of blackface — even digitally applied — while their fans are lauding their courage.