What to watch for today
Some clues about ECB stimulus. Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann has been the biggest skeptic of calls for the European Central Bank to do something radical in the face of looming euro-zone deflation. But he’s coming around, and a speech of his today could give hints about what measures the ECB might take in June.
A comprehensive look at Africa’s economy. The annual African Economic Outlook from a raft of international agencies will, for the first time, cover all 54 countries on the continent, and look at what global trade and industrialization can do for Africa’s growth.
Gay weddings begin in Oregon. A judge is expected to overturn the state’s same-sex marriage ban, and weddings could take place the same day. Bans have been falling like dominoes of late; Idaho and Arkansas, both deeply conservative states, have overturned theirs in the last few days, and several more are before the courts.
Over the weekend
AT&T and DirecTV announced a tie-up. The $48.5 billion acquisition will, if regulators approve it, give AT&T a satellite-TV network to add to its cellular and broadband businesses, equipping it to compete in a rapidly consolidating US telecoms and TV industry.
Apple and Google made peace. Late on Friday the tech giants agreed to end a long-running war of suit and countersuit over smartphone patents. They also agreed to work together on patent reform. Samsung and Apple are still at odds, though last week a key ruling went in Apple’s favor.
Pfizer tried harder to woo AstraZeneca. The US drug company reportedly upped its offer (paywall) for buying its British counterpart; earlier this month AstraZeneca rejected a $106 billion bid. It would be one of the biggest ever mergers in an industry where massive deals are currently all the rage.
Chinese fled Vietnam. China evacuated some 3,000 citizens, after rioters killed several Chinese last week in protest at China’s deployment of an oil rig in disputed waters. Vietnamese authorities, having allowed the previous protests, cracked down when they started up again on Sunday, in what looks like an attempt to stop the conflict escalating.
Turkey made arrests after its mining catastrophe. As the final death toll in last week’s coal-mine fire was set at 301, making it the worst mining disaster in Turkey’s history, police arrested 24 people, including executives from the mine’s owner, Soma Holdings.
Deutsche Bank got a Qatari shareholder. The German bank launched a plan to sell some €8 billion ($11 billion) of shares, of which €1.75 billion is going to an investment vehicle controlled by a member of Qatar’s royal family. As one of Europe’s most weakly capitalized banks, Deutsche needs to shore itself up ahead of ECB stress tests later this year.
Quartz obsession interlude
S. Mitra Kalita on how Narendra Modi won over her family. “For much of India’s 67-year history, the majority of my family has supported Congress… Then last month, amid the biggest election in human history, I landed in an India that somehow and suddenly felt different. The revolution was not as I’d expected—no mass protest in the streets over inequality and women’s rights, graft and malnutrition, wages and labor conditions. Yet there was a palpable shift in a nation’s psyche, most evident in my own family. Dozens of relatives were firmly in Modi’s camp.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Even at record highs, the stock markets are your best long-term bet. An investment in stocks, unlike in gold or real estate, is an investment in the creative potential of people.
The US needs a new Brown v Board of Education. The historic Supreme Court ruling 60 years ago created a movement for racial equality and inclusion that has since petered out.
Five things Narendra Modi should do as India’s prime minister. And why nobody will let him.
Dilma Rousseff is looking desperate. Brazil’s president doesn’t seem to realize the damage her economic policies are doing.
Godzilla’s anatomy is impossible. The monster would be so heavy, the pressure on its bones would be about 20 times that for Tyrannosaurus Rex.
The riot police in Brazil look just like the ones in Brazil. The elite World Cup “robocops” of Rio bear an uncanny resemblance to those in the dystopian 1985 movie classic.
Forbidden photos of North Korea. The ones that don’t show military parades and mass synchronized baton-twirling.
Norway has a human zoo. Two artists have set one up to remind Norwegians about hidden racism.