What to watch for today
Modi is in Beijing. The Indian prime minister meets with Chinese premier Li Keqiang to discuss up to $10 billion in new investment deals. It’s part of Modi’s first visit to the country since he took office, as he seeks to bolster ties between the countries, whose economies have taken wildly divergent paths over the last two decades.
The US pays Ukraine a visit. Just three days after secretary of state John Kerry engaged in long, “frank” talks with Vladimir Putin, Victoria Nuland, assistant US secretary for European and Eurasian affairs, goes to Kyiv to meet with senior government officials. Meanwhile, world powers are pushing to implement a peace deal in eastern Ukraine.
The Petrobras report card. The struggling Brazilian state-run oil giant is expected to report a more than 50% drop in first-quarter profit, thanks largely to a sharp decline in oil prices and a weak Brazilian real, following gains from an end to fuel subsidies.
McDonald’s turns 75. What started with a drive-in burger joint in California has become an empire with 36,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. But despite being the biggest buyer of beef, pork, potatoes, lettuce, and tomatoes in the world, its sales have been shrinking as customers opt for healthier choices.
While you were sleeping
The United States called for a regional solution to help Rohingya refugees stranded at sea. Several thousand members of the repressed ethnic group from Myanmar have been abandoned at sea by smugglers, and Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia have all refused to accept them. A US state department spokesman said that Myanmar also needs to accept responsibility for the looming humanitarian disaster.
Barclays is facing more fines for rigging interest rates. The UK bank will probably face a penalty of around $60 million for failing to curb Libor-manipulating behavior that it promised to end after it settled with US. The Justice Department also wound back a similar settlement with UBS (paywall).
Burundi’s coup leaders suffered setbacks. President Pierre Nkurunziza said on Twitter than he has returned home from Tanzania after an attempted coup on Wednesday. One of the coup leaders admitted that the overthrow attempt had failed, and the BBC reported that the country’s military is in control of key infrastructure—including, crucially, the state radio broadcaster.
King Digital took a beating. The Candy Crush Saga developer’s stock dropped as much as 14.3% in after-market trading, on forecasts that a strong dollar and a lack of new releases would hurt its revenues. The drop came despite the company’s adjusted first-quarter net income handily beating expectations.
South Korea decided not to lower interest rates further. The central bank kept its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 1.75% after lowering it three times since August. Some analysts expected another drop, but a rise in household debt likely contributed to the decision to hold off.
Samsung moved forward with succession planning. Lee Jae Yong will replace his father, Lee Kun Hee, as chairman of two of the South Korean electronics company’s charitable foundations, according to Bloomberg. The elder Lee has been hospitalized since suffering a heart attack last year, and the company has been carefully planning a handover to the next generation of its founding family.
Apple set a date for its smart home roll-out. The iPhone maker said the first appliances that connect to Apple devices using the company’s HomeKit software will be released in June, contradicting a report by Fortune that HomeKit was experiencing significant delays.
Quartz obsession interlude
Gwynn Guilford on China’s path to making the biggest reduction in coal use ever recorded. “Already, the People’s Republic’s sputtering coal consumption, which began last year, seems to have put a big dent in global CO2 emissions. Those generated from energy use stopped growing in 2014, according to the International Energy Agency. The only other times this happened was in the early 1980s, 1992, and 2009—when the global economy has floundered, in other words. For a drop like this to come in the absence of a widespread economic slump is unprecedented.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Take a “Big Lebowski” approach to social media. Stop wasting time responding to trolls and move on with your life, dude.
The “iron curtain” metaphor is back. And we need to kill it as soon as possible.
Yes, you can have too much vacation. Especially if you live in France and kids are involved.
China is looking like Singapore in the 1990s. If history is any judge, financial system reforms need to happen very quickly.
Let your kids play video games. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg credits them with his success.
The voice of Mr. Burns is leaving The Simpsons. Harry Shearer, also the voice of Ned Flanders, is quitting after 26 years.
Restaurants are Instagram-optimizing their food. The fast-casual chain Chili’s tweaked dishes to make them look better on social media.
There are internships that pay $11,000 a month. But you need a master’s degree in business administration.
In Japan, you can swim in a pool full of wine, coffee, or ramen soup. Whatever floats your boat.
If mama did buy you a mockingbird, she could go to jail. The birds are a protected wildlife species in the United States.
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