Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Boston’s marathon, Ukraine teeters, China’s bad debt sale, criminal weed drones

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What to watch for today

More market volatility? Analysts still believe that a significant correction is on its way for major stock indexes, despite a rebound in the markets at the end of last week. The major indexes have not had a drop of over 10% since late 2011, twice as long as is normal.

Netflix reports quarterly earnings. The streaming video company’s shares surged last quarter when it reported huge subscriber growth. The company will offer an update on the first three months of the year after the close of US trading.

POM sues Coca-Cola. The pomegranate juice maker is headed to the Supreme Court over a “misleading” label on a Coca-Cola juice product. The label was already FDA-approved though, meaning if POM is successful, all food labels could soon be fair game for litigation.

Boston runs its marathon. The world’s oldest marathon will be run amid tightened security, a year after a bombing at the finish line killed three and injured 264 others.

A rise in China and India tensions. India may call off an annual “youth delegation” trip to China, after China asked that students from Arunachal Pradesh, a northeastern Indian state that shares a disputed border with China, be excluded from the trip.

Over the weekend

Ukraine got closer to a “small scale civil war.” A  shootout at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian insurgents near the city of Slovyansk left at least tat least three dead, despite a diplomatic agreement last week. Meanwhile, a top Ukrainian security official accused Russia of preparing an invasion, Bloomberg reported.

Japan’s energy conundrum. Japan recorded a trade deficit in March of 1.4 trillion yen ($14 billion), as continued reliance on energy imports continues to undermine some of the benefits of the weak yen engineered by Abenomics, and there was a sharp fall in the growth of exports.

Foreigners can soon buy China’s mounting bad debt. A $1 billion distressed asset fund for international investors is in the works.

Barclays is the latest to leave commodities. The bank is planning to exit trading (paywall) in most of the metals, agriculture, and energy markets, the FT reported. Increased regulation and lower revenues have made the sectors unfavorable.

Apple and Google started a content war. The companies are offering to promote new apps in return for exclusivity (paywall), the Wall Street Journal reports. Plants Vs Zombies 2 was promoted heavily in Apple’s App Store in return for a two-month exclusivity window.

The EU ruled companies should report their ethics. Management reports for around 6,000 companies will soon include how the company deals with issues such as the environment, society, and human rights. This could make it easier for investors to choose companies that are “good corporate citizens.”

Korean ferry death toll rises. Divers recovered more bodies and the confirmed death toll rose to 64. About 240 people are still missing after the ship sunk Wednesday near Korea’s southern coast. The captain, who survived, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of negligence.

A massive mass in Rome. Pope Francis pled for peace in Ukraine and Syria as the head of the world’s largest Christian denomination celebrated Easter mass in Rome.

Quartz obsession interlude  

Lily Kuo on how strikes at Chinese shoe manufacturing plants underscore a major shift in social policy. “For the past week, as many as 30,000 workers have been on strike, disrupting work at plants in southern China that make shoes for Nike, Adidas, and Puma. Their grievances are the same as those of many workers across the country: they’ve spent decades working for manufacturing plants and now that they want to retire, they don’t have enough money.” Read more here.

Matters of debate  

“Marrying down” isn’t all that bad. Ambitious women don’t need an alpha male, they need a collaborator instead.

The far right is not just a symptom of patriarchy. Marine Le Pen, among others, is a reminder that women don’t make “kinder and gentler” leaders.

Even with mass youth unemployment, millennials shouldn’t complain. Being in your twenties is still pretty terrific, even in David Cameron’s Britain.

We’re getting fat because we’re not getting enough protein. We overeat because our bodies are trying to maintain a target level of protein intake.

Russia’s diplomats are smarter than America’s. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov—fluent in English, Sinhalese, Dhiveli and French—is a great example.

Top executives shouldn’t write books. They should concentrate on running their companies. After all, that’s what shareholders are paying them to do.

Surprising discoveries

You can stow away in an airplane’s wheel hub and survive. At least this boy did on a flight from California to Hawaii, raising plenty of questions about security.

VC’s invest in less than 1% of the companies they see. 10 in every 1,200 startups will be invested in, on average.

Drones are spying on weed farms. So criminals can rob them.

A ticking package shut down part of Pittsburgh. It was a metronome.

An Indian businessman swallowed 12 bars of gold. It was, apparently, a poorly conceived attempt to elude import duties India placed on the precious metal.

Lime does pay. Extortion and violence among Mexico’s criminal cartels are help driving the price of the citrus fruit higher.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, protein supplements, and silent metronomes to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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