Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Tsunami alert, Nigeria’s election, Japan’s economic gloom, sneaker art

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What to watch for today

Nigeria’s choice is revealed. Following an intense campaign season and a postponement caused by Boko Haram, we find out who won—incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan or his challenger, Muhammadu Buhari. Voters turned out in the millions over the weekend.

A potential tsunami in Papua New Guinea. A magnitude 7.5 earthquake hit close to the coast of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands 9:45am local time (12:45am BST); it caused no immediate damage, but a tsunami warning has been raised.

A major upset for France’s Socialists. Former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s center-right UMP party and its allies are expected to have taken between 66 and 70 seats in the second round of local election voting (paywall). That would be up from 41 previously, and would come at the expense of the ruling Socialist party, which is expected to win between 27 and 31 seats, from 61 earlier.

The UK’s Parliament is dissolved. The House of Commons’ five-year term comes to an end as all political parties prepare to contest a general election on May 7. Polls show the Conservative and Labour parties are neck and neck.

A final push for an Iran nuclear deal. Negotiators from six countries and Iran are will huddle in Switzerland to try to hammer out the framework for an accord over Iran’s nuclear program. Negotiators have reportedly closed in on an accord, but some thorny issues remain. A White House spokesman said the talks have a 50/50 chance of success.

Over the weekend

Japan’s industrial output fell the fastest in eight months. Output fell 3.4% in February, which was much worse than an anticipated 1.8% fall. A small slowdown was expected due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, but such a rapid fall suggests domestic demand is much weaker than anticipated.

Prada’s full-year profit fell. Net income at the Italian luxury goods brand fell 28% to €451 million ($490 million) in the year to the end of January, and was lower than an expected €468 million. Sales have suffered because of China’s corruption crackdown.

Singapore’s founding father was laid to rest. Lee Kuan Yew was given a state funeral attended by world leaders and then a private family ceremony. About 1.5 million people paid tribute to Lee last week at various sites after he died on Monday.

Greece’s creditors considered yet another reform plan. This one will raise €3bn ($3.3bn) from greater privatization, higher taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, and steps to clamp down on tax evasion. Greece says it will run out of money sometime in April if its creditors don’t agree to release more bailout funds.

Europol’s chief railed against the dark net. In an interview, Rob Wainwright joined the chorus of security bosses warning that data encryption is enabling terrorists to communicate in secret, and shielding them from detection. He urged companies like Apple to reconsider offering sophisticated encryption software with their products.

Quartz obsession interlude

Kabir Chibber on the sad, cautionary tale of Audley Harrison, the anti-Mayweather. “In 2000, Harrison won gold in the super-heavyweight category at the Sydney Olympics. His career looked set for great things. So how did Harrison go on to seven losses in a 38-fight career while Mayweather is currently undefeated at 47-0?” Read more here.

Matters of debate

“Religious freedom” laws are un-American. They contradict the very principles the country was founded on, writes Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The Millennial generation is almost over. Generation Z is coming, and they are curious, diverse, and driven.

Confidence is not about believing you’ll win. It’s about being comfortable with the fact that you might lose.

Your children should opt out of standardized testing. Kids’ independence is being crushed by endless scholastic bombardment of carrots and sticks.

To persuade people, acknowledge their point of view. And 13 other secrets of really persuasive people.

Surprising discoveries

Half of urban North Koreans have a digital media player. The favored $50 “Notel” plays media from DVDs and USBs smuggled from South Korea.

The Church of Scientology owns some incredible real estate. The movement purchased over 60 buildings between 2006 and 2011 alone.

Tiredness can aid creativity. The mind needs to meander onto ideas that seem disconnected from the task at hand.

There’s a man that turns shoes into art. He describes himself as a “sneaker freaker.”

The Apple Watch is missing a web browser. It’s another sign of the demise of the web.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, smuggled DVDs, and sneaker art to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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