What to watch for today
Europe’s unhealthiest relationship limps on. Angela Merkel will meet with her Greek counterpart, Alexis Tsipras, in Berlin to discuss the bad blood between the two nations over Greece’s commitment to its bail-out. The two managed to make it through the other side of a wider euro zone summit last week.
What’s next for the US economy? The US reveals its latest sales figures for previously owned homes and Federal Reserve vice chairman Stanley Fischer speaks in New York amid much speculation of when the Fed will start raising interest rates again.
US court considers the limits of free speech. The Supreme Court will begin hearing a case brought by a man in Texas who had an application for a vanity license plate rejected because it contained the Confederate flag—a symbol of the losing slavery-defending southern states in the US civil war.
Ted Cruz to launch his presidential bid. The Republican senator from Texas is to become the first person to officially enter the race to succeed Barack Obama. Other Republicans are expected to enter the race soon, with Democrats still scrambling over the fallout over Hillary Clinton’s private emails.
Over the weekend
Singapore’s founding prime minister died. Lee Kuan Yew transformed Singapore from a colonial entrepot in Southeast Asia to one of the world’s most important financial centers. Lee, who had been in the hospital on life support for several weeks, was 91.
More support for China’s rival to the World Bank. The International Monetary Fund is the latest to show support for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, with IMF managing director Christine Lagarde saying it would be “delighted” to co-operate. Several European nations including the UK and Germany have pledged to join the bank this month. The US views it more skeptically.
“Genuine progress” made in Iran nuclear talks. Iran’s president Hasan Rouhani said a deal to limit the country’s nuclear program—and ease sanctions—was within sight (paywall). US secretary of state John Kerry has pushed a March 31 goal for a preliminary agreement, which has drawn some criticism.
Richard III was finally laid to rest. The last king of the Plantagenet dynasty, killed in 1485, was buried at Leicester Cathedral. The body of the last English king to die in battle was missing from his defeat until it was discovered under a carpark in the city in 2012. Many think the body should be buried in York.
India arrested about 300 in a school-cheating scandal. Over 750 students in the state of Bihar were expelled following reports of cheating on exams, and hundreds of parents have now been arrested as well. The allegations include bribing officials and blatantly smuggling in notes with answers.
The WHO warned on a weedkiller. The World Health Organization classified the herbicide glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Glyphosate is the most-produced herbicide in the world, with an estimated $6 billion (paywall) in annual sales. Monsanto, which markets glyphosate under its Roundup brand, disputed the classification.
Quartz obsession interlude
Kabir Chibber on how artists like Kendrick Lamar and Drake are saving the album format. “The revival was kicked off by Beyoncé, who released her eponymous album on iTunes in 2013 with no advance warning. Dropping it at once meant that, at least for a few days, there were no singles or hits to play—the listener had to go through the whole album, in sequence or out, and discover the songs themselves.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Frank Bruni is wrong about Ivy League schools. They do make a difference to what happens to your life.
The French like harsh wit, the British trade in irony. These are the codes of conversation in different countries.
We shouldn’t teach at school by subject anymore. Instead, schools should teach by phenomenon.
Join the ugly food movement. And stop the fact that one-third of all the world’s food is wasted.
In fashion, personalities trump brands. Just ask Kanye West and Adidas.
We could be entering a new era of bad weather. The next phase of climate change?
Working for a bad boss increases the chances of a heart attack. By as much as 50%.
Fifty percent of winners in French local elections are guaranteed to be women. A new era.
A tiny Italian island near Africa produces one of the best new wines. A wine snob’s dream.
One of the largest gay cities in America is in Texas. But Birmingham, Alabama is at the opposite end of the spectrum.
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