Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Boston bombing suspect killed, Dreamliner rises, Japanese inflation

April 19, 2013
April 19, 2013

What to watch for today

Police are hunting door-to-door for an armed suspect in the Boston bombings. After a violent night of robbery, carjacking and shoot-outs, one suspect is dead and a second man is at large. An intensive manhunt is underway in Boston; all public transportation has been suspended.

Italy’s deadlock is deepening. Pier Luigi Bersani nominated Roman Prodi for president after a compromise candidate he supported with Silvio Berlusconi failed to garner enough support.

The FAA is set to clear the 787. Boeing’s Dreamliner jet has been grounded for three months while it proved its redesigned batteries were safe. A decision could come as soon as today.

Japan may join the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The eleven countries negotiating the free trade agreement will formally invite Japan to join talks when they meet in Indonesia this weekend.

Venezuela swears in its president while votes are still being recounted. After the closest election in 45 years, Venezuela’s newly elected president, Nicolás Maduro, gave in to calls for a recount of the vote. But he’ll still be sworn in today. Expect to hear a lot of banging of pots and pans.

Egypt might ask Russia for a loan. Egyptian officials are reportedly planning to ask their Soviet-era ally for financial help at a meeting. A $4.8 billion loan from the IMF fell through earlier this month, raising worries Egypt will run out of money for needed imports like wheat and fuel.

Canada inflation data. After a 1.2% increase in February, March figures are expected to be much lower.

Earnings watch: McDonald’s, General Electric, Honeywell, and Royal Caribbean report first quarter earnings.

While you were sleeping

Blackstone dropped its bid for Dell. The private equity firm’s retreat makes it likely CEO Michael Dell will succeed in his attempt to take the firm private.

Wipro posted higher than expected profits. The last of India’s big four IT firms reported Q1 net profit of $321 million, 17% up on the previous year. But the firm also said its revenues in the next quarter would be lower than forecast.

Pakistan’s ex-president Pervez Musharraf was arrested. A day after he fled from an Islamabad court that ordered his arrest in a treason case dating to 2007, the former dictator was presented to a magistrate and put under house arrest.

Japan’s inflation began. A third of Japanese firms are considering raising prices, especially in the materials and wholesale/retail sectors. First mover McDonald’s hiked the price of its hamburgers by 20%.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gina Chon on why Pepsi might need to give up Pepsi: “Did Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi throw activist investors a bone today? During the call to discuss the company’s latest earnings, Nooyi said Pepsi is exploring “sensible opportunities to unlock incremental value through meaningful structural alternatives.” “Unlocking value” and “structural alternatives” are sometimes the jargon words used when considering a breakup.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The US housing market can only go up. Société Générale analysts say market has bounced off its bottom.

The way back for a rogue state. North Korea should try to be like Myanmar, a former pariah state that’s now opening up its economy.

Slower Chinese economic growth isn’t happening for the right reasons.

Museums shouldn’t be free. Admission prices are an allocation mechanism that could prevent the Louvre from getting so crowded.

Surprising discoveries

The UN, Harvard Business School, International Olympic Committee, and many other institutions, have never been led by a woman.

Three new planets could host life, scientists announced. “With all of these discoveries we’re finding, Earth is looking less and less like a special place,” one said. The New York Times has a beautiful interactive graphic of all the new planets.

People have strange hobbies. Almost a third of Americans said they like doing their taxes while 5% said they love it.

An MIT student and his girlfriend caught Reinhard and Rogoff’s Excel error. A 28-year-old doctoral student spotted the mistake that undermines Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff’s famous Harvard paper defending fiscal austerity.

A new use for cheese. One of Britain’s biggest dairy groups is using maturing cheese inventories to plug its pension gap.

Correction: Yesterday, we incorrectly said that Chinese president Xi Jinping rode a cab in Beijing. Turns out that we, along with Chinese state media Xinhua, were fooled by a fake report. We apologize for the error.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, maturing cheese, and unused museum tickets to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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