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Recode Daily: Even Barack and Michelle Obama work for Netflix now

Plus, live from Belgium, it’s Mark Zuckerberg; Facebook is full of could-be CEOs — but no one ever leaves; and 24-karat chicken wings.

A large TV screen showing former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama with the words “Coming to Netflix” Screengrab: CBS Chicago / Netflix

Even Barack and Michelle Obama work for Netflix now. Working under the name Higher Ground Productions with a multiyear production deal reportedly in the high eight figures, the former First Couple will work on scripted and unscripted series as well as docuseries, documentary films and features; their Signing the Obamas is the latest, and by far the biggest, in a string of moves by Netflix to lock up the entertainment industry’s highest-profile producers — most recently poaching Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy — in exclusive production and development pacts. In March, Penguin Random House signed the Obamas to a joint book deal that pays them a reported $65 million for their respective memoirs. [Daniel Holloway / Variety]

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If it’s Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg must be in Belgium. Today — just days before the European Union’s new, strict data-privacy laws known as GDPR go into effect — the Facebook CEO will appear before EU regulators to “clarify” Facebook’s data practices; originally planned as a closed-door meeting, the hearing will be livestreamed. Here’s how to watch, starting at 12:15 pm ET / 9:15 am PT. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

The Federal Communications Commission is reopening its review of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $3.9 billion bid for Tribune Media, and will take new public comments on the proposed merger until July 12. Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the agency should not move forward with its review while a court considers a lawsuit against the FCC over media deregulations that could impact the proposed deal. [Harper Neidig / The Hill]

A growing faction of Google employees — more than 4,000, including dozens of senior engineers — has tried to force the company to drop out of a controversial Pentagon drone program called Project Maven. But Silicon Valley’s history is inextricably linked to military work — the internet itself grew out of a project at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Meanwhile, other tech giants — including Amazon and Microsoft — have recently secured high-profile contracts to build technology for defense. Here’s a look at how some tech employees feel about these defense contracts. [Nitasha Tiku / Wired]

Recode Presents ...

Tech and sports are colliding. What will they look like in the future? Pro lacrosse player and entrepreneur Paul Rabil will join Kara Swisher on this week’s Too Embarrassed to Ask podcast. Send us your questions for Paul and you might hear them on the show! Tweet your Qs with the hashtag #TooEmbarrassed or email them to before 10 am PT / 1 pm ET today.

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