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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Sewol anniversary, Paulson on China, confetti bombs, glitter telescopes

By Quartz

What to watch for today

South Korea remembers. One year ago today, the Sewol ferry sank, taking with it 307 lives, most of them high-school students. The ship is still sitting on the sea floor; a salvage would cost over $110 million. Nine people remain unaccounted for, fueling the demand that the Sewol be surfaced.

The penultimate UK election debate. Prime minister David Cameron won’t be taking part, but the man that may replace him, Labour party leader Ed Miliband, will be, along with four others. The next and final debate (paywall) will take place on April 30 before the UK heads to the polls on May 7.

Russia hosts a big security conference. It’s expecting over 400 delegates from more than 70 countries. Greece will be there, despite being a part of NATO. Earlier this week, Russia lifted a ban on the sale of advanced weapons to Iran while also confirming that China was the first buyer of its latest air defense system.

US earnings season continues. Companies publishing their financials today: American Express, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Unilever, Taiwan Semiconductor, Philip Morris International, and Mattel.

While you were sleeping

Mario Draghi got confetti-bombed. While the head of the European Central Bank was speaking during the group’s monthly meeting a protestor jumped on his desk and showered him with paper. (The video is great.) Draghi soon resumed speaking and hailed the impact of quantitative easing.

The cheat-on-your-spouse company might go public. Sneaky date site AshleyMadison.com said it’s looking to raise as much as $200 million from an IPO by the end of the year. The site had $115 million in sales last year, up nearly fourfold since 2009, from its 36 million members in 46 countries

Google talked back at the EU. In response to charges that it treats competitors unfairly by giving its own shopping service priority in search results, the search giant published charts showing how other services have grown. But the EU antitrust chief is spoiling for a fight (paywall), and not just against Google.

Huawei went upmarket. The Chinese handset maker unveiled two new devices in London, the P8 and P8max, with large screens and all-metal design. The P8 is available immediately in Europe starting at €500 ($535) and will ship to over 30 countries. The P8max ships soon after and is €50 ($53) more.

Toyota made plans for Mexico. The Japanese carmaker said it will invest roughly $1.4 billion to build its first plant there, employing 2,400 people. Toyota joins a wave of other car companies taking advantage of Mexico’s infrastructure, low wages, and numerous trade treaties (paywall).

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford sits down with ex US Treasury secretary Hank Paulson. “For the last two decades, China’s rise could be explained in a string of cliches: explosive growth, strong one-party rule, and fledgling diplomatic clout. This era of simplicity is over now. The economy is slowing, and while cronyism is eroding the Communist Party’s authority, the country wields ever-more clout abroad.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Women need to leave Silicon Valley. Forget trying to change the broken system that leads to a toxic work environment, just go start your own thing.

Russia and the US aren’t enemies. In Europe it may seem like the Cold War is back, but in the Middle East, they’re working hand-in-hand quite nicely.

China’s economy is weaker than it looks. It claimed 7% GDP growth for the first quarter, but other data paint a gloomier economic picture.

The US has no leverage over Egypt. Less than two weeks after military aid was resumed, the regime jailed an American for life for taking part in protests.

Surprising discoveries

Divorce really is heartbreaking. Divorced women are more likely to have a heart attack than married ones.

Telescopes could be made of glitter. Clouds of reflective particles floating in space could act as lenses for looking at distant planets.

America’s Navy is working on biblical plagues. What’s better than a drone? A swarm of drones, modeled after locusts.

Teach your kids to focus. Two studies have found a correlation between poor self-control as a child and unemployment as an adult.

Calling it healthy doesn’t make it healthy. The company behind Kind Bars is in trouble with regulators because the bars have too much saturated fat.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, glitter bombs, and healthy bars to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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