Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—India’s air quality, British pension changes, Mad Men, the motherhood penalty

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Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

India’s move to monitor air quality. The Environment Ministry holds a two-day national conference, commencing with a speech from prime minister Narendra Modi. The group will seek to simplify some environmental laws and launch a new National Air Quality Index.

Public holidays around the world. Most of Europe is taking a day off for Easter Monday, as is Australia, Canada, and large parts of Africa. Meanwhile, China is celebrating the Qingming festival. Everyone most everywhere else will be slaving away as usual.

Economic data. Inflation figures are due in from both Russia and Colombia. From the US, look for the latest bit of ISM non-manufacturing data.

The UK starts a retirement savings free-for-all. The new British tax year begins today, coinciding with new rules that do away with the requirement to convert pensions into annuities. Happy pension freedom day to those celebrating.

Over the weekend

Fidel Castro makes an appearance. Cuba’s official newspaper reported that the former president last week greeted a group of Venezuelan visitors to Havana, his first public appearance in 14 months. Juventud Rebelde published four photos of the 88-year-old Castro, saying he was “full of vitality.”

Sharp seeks money for its LCD business. The troubled Japanese electronics maker wants to spin off an operation that makes small- and mid-sized liquid crystal display panels used in smartphones and tablets, and is hoping for investment from a public-private fund, according to anonymous sources cited by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.

Suspects held in Kenya. Five suspects were placed in custody, the BBC reports, for last week’s attack at the Garissa University College in the northeastern part of Kenya. The Somali militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed nearly 150 people.

Pope Francis prays for peace. There was much for the pontiff to pray on this year; his Easter message, following a rainy mass in St. Peter’s Square, addressed the Kenya university attack, ISIL’s campaign in Iraq and Syria, and the increasing bloodshed in Libya and Yemen, among other trouble spots.

Quartz obsession interlude

John McDuling on how TV would look very different today if Mad Men had never happened. “The high cost of acquiring streaming rights to shows such as Mad Men was a key reason why Netflix started producing original content. And Netflix’s success with shows such as Orange is the New Black and House of Cards has spurred the likes of Amazon and Yahoo to get into streaming.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

You should hire the well-traveled.Global cosmopolitans” bring special benefits to employers.

Nothing is exclusive once it hits the internet. Sorry, Beyonce.

Working mothers are faced with the “motherhood penalty.” A 17% drop in wages over time.

The “right-to-work” movement will break the working class. Unions hate these new laws.

Every city should have a Department of Food. We all have eating in common.

Surprising discoveries

A pharmacy in Paris is a Korean tourist attraction. Globalization in a nutshell.

Yoga is not sacrilegious. A California court ruling says the practice doesn’t promote Hinduism at the expense of Christianity.

Norway somehow lost control of a secret, $500 million naval base. Russian research ships now use it.

The last fighter to beat Floyd Mayweather lives in obscurity in Bulgaria. The match was in 1996.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, papal prayers, and British retirement savings to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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