Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Underwater MH370 search, Mylan eyes Meda, Mozilla’s heretic, commuter water slides

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What to watch for today

An underwater search for MH370’s black box. The UK and Australia deployed a batwing-shaped locator in the area where the missing plane is thought to have crashed. Monday will mark 30 days since the airplane’s disappearance, so the box’s batteries may be running out.

US unemployment falls to a five-and-a-half year low. Analysts expect to see 200,000 jobs added in March, up from February’s 175,000, as the economy thaws out from a harsh winter. The unemployment rate is projected to be 6.6%, its lowest level since October 2008.

Tunisia shifts from security to finances. New prime minister Mehdi Jomaa meets with US president Barack Obama to discuss the economic recovery of the country that kicked off the Arab Spring. Jomaa will also meet with technology experts from Google and Microsoft.

Taiwan woos the US. Officials will petition the US to support its participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc. The US has been lukewarm toward Taiwan due to concerns about cross-strait political implications and a spat over US beef exports.

Moody’s gives Greece a bump. Some analysts expect the ratings agency to increase Greece’s credit rating from its current Caa3 position—two pegs below S&P’s B- classification—citing the country’s reduced risk of default and its government’s commitment to reforms.

While you were sleeping

Mylan eyed its Swedish rival. US-based Mylan is preparing a bid for fellow generic drugmaker Meda (paywall), according to the Financial Times. A merger would create a $23 billion generic drugs giant, and might also offer Mylan a way to avoid US taxes.

Erdogan called for lower interest rates. The Turkish prime minister called on the central bank to convene an extraordinary meeting to lower rates, saying the economy is “in a good trend.” He added that he did not wish to bring the 2015 general election forward, saying instead that “we should get on with our jobs.”

Mercedes-Benz’s best sales month ever. The German automaker sold 158,523 vehicles in March, up 13% from a year earlier, thanks to strong demand for its new compact cars.

China will stress test its banks… Regulators will conduct both regional and national exercises after a spike in bad loans in 2013. They’re concerned that banks are suffering from a hangover from a lending binge that was designed to soften the effects of the 2008 financial crash.

…And its corrupt officials. To cap off a week in which more than $20 billion was seized in corruption probes, the government will conduct new investigations into its ministry of science and technology, Shanghai-based Fudan University, and a state-owned food and grain company.

McDonald’s closed in Crimea. The restaurant chain became the second international company to end work in the region recently annexed by Russia. The company cited “manufacturing reasons” for the decision and has offered to relocate staff to Ukraine.

Fears of an overheated UK property market eased. Mortgage lender Halifax said house prices fell 1.1% in March—the biggest fall since April 2012. Low interest rates and government schemes had been lifting prices along with concerns that the market could overheat.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on why it’s so hard to tell whether China has a housing bubble. “Before 2000, homes were built to be sold cheaply to poor and middle-class families. In addition to being small and spartan, these flats often included kitchens or bathrooms shared with the entire floor—no longer acceptable to today’s rising middle class […] Around 60-70% of China’s overall housing stock is such ‘crappy legacy housing,’ says Halpin. Subtract that housing stock, then, and it turns out China might actually have a housing shortage.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Ousting Mozilla’s CEO was counter-productive. Even if you disagree with his anti-gay marriage views, hounding him out like a heretic isn’t the way forward.

Chinese cinema is as dull as ditchwater. Rehashing classic novels and obscure dynasty tales is no way to win over audiences.

NASA’s Russia snub is a bargaining tactic. The space agency is using the spat over Ukraine to press Congress for more money.

Ivy League schools are biased against Asians. They need better SAT scores than white students to get an admissions offer.

Siri is bad for children. An automated personal assistant who never says no will result in selfish and rebellious kids.

Surprising discoveries

Bee stings on the nose hurt the most. A grad student subjected all (yes, all) of his body parts to a painful experiment.

Bristol may get a commuter water slide. An artist hopes the installation will raise questions about how people use cities.

Chinese monks have formed an anti-terror unit. They’re using pepper spray and truncheons, not kung-fu.

Miley Cyrus is Putin’s latest victim. Her concert could be canceled as a result of US sanctions against Russia.

Gawker banned internet slang. Words like massive, epic, and amazeballs are totes verboten.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, painful bee sting stories, and water slide commuting tips to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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