Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—EasyJet soars, MH370 families protest, Google Glass Ray-Bans, successful dance moves

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What to watch for today

Do corporations have a right to religious freedom? The US Supreme Court will consider whether companies can refuse to cover emergency contraceptives under their health insurance policies.

New home sales in the US dip. February sales are forecast to come in at about 428,000—significantly lower than the 468,000 recorded in January. Bad weather will be partly to blame.

US and Russian astronauts head for space. The Soyuz 38 rocket blasts off from Kazakhstan, taking three astronauts on a six-hour journey to the International Space Station. You can watch live coverage of the take-off here at 9:21 pm GMT/5:21 pm EDT.

The party’s over for Carnival. The Miami-based cruise line is set to sink into the red this quarter (paywall) due to a string of mishaps, an expensive marketing push, and rising costs. One possible bright spot is in China, where the company expanded its presence last year.

A German lesson for Korea. South Korean president Park Geun-hye will announce details of her plan to eventually merge the two Koreas on a state visit to Germany—a country well-versed in national reunification.

While you were sleeping

Germans fretted about Ukraine. The country’s business morale index fell for the first time in five months due to worries about how the Ukraine crisis could affect Europe’s fragile economic recovery.

EasyJet soared. The discount airline upgraded its first-half results forecast on better cost controls and sunnier weather, sending its shares close to an all-time high.

China’s stimulus odds narrowed. The country’s slowdown could get worse in the second quarter, economists warned, increasing the likelihood that the government will have to take further action to meet its 7.5% growth target.

Google Glass might look cool after all. Luxottica, the company behind Ray-Ban and Oakley, will design, develop, and distribute a line of Google Glass wearable computers.

MH370 families protested in Beijing. After the missing Malaysian Airlines plane was declared lost in the south Indian Ocean, distraught relatives of the passengers took to the streets outside the Malaysian embassy, accusing the government in Kuala Lumpur of “cheating” them.

World Trade Center jumpers turned themselves in. A group of parachutists who leaped off the unfinished New York City skyscraper in September gave themselves up to police amid calls for tighter security at the site.

Quartz obsession interlude

Nick Stockton on how your phone will soon be better than you at reading people’s emotions. “[R]esearchers asked 170 subjects whether the expressions of pain shown on faces in a series of videos were real or faked. They found that the humans’ collective empathetic ability was about the same as a coin flip—they read the expressions correctly only 50% of the time… With the same footage, the computer program could see which people were in real pain 85% of the time.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

E-cigarettes don’t help you quit smoking. And they shouldn’t be allowed to say they do until they can prove it.

CEO pay-offs are actually getting smaller. Symantec CEO Steve Bennett got $14 million for being fired, but don’t let that fool you.

Big-time venture capital has arrived in Europe. London and Berlin are leading the charge.

Stop bragging about how busy you are. It just makes you—and everyone around you—more stressed out.

Surprising discoveries

There’s an Ebola-like outbreak in Liberia…and maybe in Canada. One Canadian man is suffering from the unidentified hemorrhagic fever, after spending time in West Africa, where an outbreak has killed 59 people.

Moving your torso impresses ladies on the dance floor. Guys, it doesn’t matter what you do with your arms.

This man is giving away his £1 million PR company. He’d rather be a full-time dad.

The bigger the annual report, the shakier the stock price. Professors crunched the numbers on every US annual report filed since 1994.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, oversize annual reports, and winning dance moves to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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