What to watch for today
Modi’s European-Canadian tour. The Indian prime minister begins a lengthy trip that starts in France, crosses the border into Germany, and then continues to Canada. The French visit—his first since taking power—will focus on accelerating India’s adoption of nuclear energy.
Greece repays the IMF. The head of the International Monetary Fund says she has received confirmation from finance minister Yanis Varoufakis that Greece will indeed pay the 458 million euros ($496 million) it owes today, despite speculation that the country wouldn’t be able to fulfill its obligation.
Barack Obama may meet Raul Castro. The US president is in Panama to attend the Summit of the Americas, where he may cross paths with Cuban president Raul Castro to discuss their recent diplomatic thaw—though no meeting has been scheduled (paywall).
A second day of grounded flights in France. As many as half the flights to and from the country have been cancelled because of a strike by air-traffic controllers. They’re upset about a proposal to raise their retirement age.
While you were sleeping
Hong Kong’s stock market extended its mainland-driven rally. The Hang Seng index hit a seven-year high and headed for its sixth straight day of gains. New regulations that allow mainland mutual funds to invest in Hong Kong stocks have resulted in a flood of cash from Chinese investors seeking an alternative to expensive mainland stocks, which have risen even more sharply.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted for the Boston Marathon bombing. As expected, the 21-year-old was found guilty of all 30 counts levied against him. With his brother, Tsarnaev set up the explosives that killed three people and injured hundreds at the 2013 Boston marathon. He faces either the death penalty or life in prison when the penalty phase of his trial begins next week.
AT&T was fined $25 million for customer data breaches. The US Federal Communications Commission issued its largest-ever fine for a privacy-related issue after staff at some AT&T overseas call centers collected and sold data on almost 280,000 customers. AT&T must also notify the affected customers.
Generic drug maker Mylan offered $29 billion for an Irish rival. Mylan’s unsolicited merger offer valued shares in Ireland’s Perrigo at a 25% premium over their April 3 closing price. The proposed deal comes just months after Mylan purchased Netherlands-based Abbott Laboratories, and shifted its tax headquarters outside of the US.
South Korea kept its rates steady. Slowing growth, low inflation, and high unemployment couldn’t convince the Bank of Korea to lower its benchmark interest rate further, a month further after it dropped the rate to a record-low 1.75%. Concerns about rising household debt prevented the central bank from lowering rates again, but analysts see another reduction coming this quarter (paywall).
Moody’s raised its outlook on India. The ratings agency kept India’s credit rating at Baa3, its lowest-possible investment grade, but upped its outlook from “stable” to “positive.” The change comes on the back of efforts by prime minister Narendra Modi to simplify India’s business environment and encourage growth.
Quartz obsession interlude
Brian Kahn on why climate scientists should take the train. “While a few thousand scientists ditching their frequent flyer cards is a drop in the carbon emissions bucket, [Corinne] Le Quéré argues that those scientists carry a greater burden than the general public to consider their own emissions. That’s because they’re acutely aware of the risks climate change poses as well as the solutions needed.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The Iran nuclear deal may cause its own chain reaction. US allies in the Middle East are clamoring for their own nuclear capabilities.
The Apple Watch is a “meh,” not a “wow.” The reviews are in, and they’re…okay.
NASA will find alien life in the next 20 years. But the likeliest targets are microscopic bacteria, not little green men.
No one is going to win the war in Yemen. With Iran backing one side and Saudi Arabia the other, the country will tear itself apart.
Rats’ brains are connected like the Internet. The cerebral cortex contains local networks of neurons, layered like a Russian nesting doll.
Routine US jobs are disappearing. The trend applies to mechanically and cognitively repetitive tasks, from factory workers to bank tellers.
The rich sleep better at night. That’s partly because the poor often have to hold down multiple jobs.
FBI desk jockeys need to get in shape. Increasingly desk-bound law enforcement work has left agents a bit plump.
Malawi police are protecting albinos. East Africa has seen a wave of violence against people with the skin pigment disorder, whose body parts are used for black magic.