Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Starbucks disappoints, Google’s iPhone fee, flytrap escapes

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What to watch for today and over the weekend

State visits all around. Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu visits German chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the refugee crises and the suicide bombing that killed 10 Germans in Istanbul. Meanwhile Indian PM Narendra Modi hosts French president François Hollande for a two-day visit starting Sunday.

A major storm disrupts the US east coast. More than 500 flights have been cancelled ahead of a storm expected to bring over a foot (30 cm) of snow to cities from New York to Washington. Heavy rains are expected in the south.

Haiti goes to the polls. President Michel Martelly said that a run-off vote would go ahead on Sunday, despite boycott threats from the opposition. Presidential candidate Jude Célestin called the election a farce, after regulators concluded an earlier vote was fraudulent.

While you were sleeping

Starbucks results disappointed investors. The US-based coffee shop chain said its earnings-per-share will be between 38 and 39 cents in its fiscal second quarter, below expectations of 40 cents per share. That news came as the company reported lower-than-anticipated sales in Europe and Asia; its share price fell by almost 4%.

Google has paid Apple at least $1 billion to be the iPhone’s search bar. That’s the amount paid by the internet giant to the smartphone maker last year, according to Bloomberg. Both Apple and Google have long guarded that figure, which was eventually revealed in court proceedings.

IBM bought a video streaming startup. The IT giant agreed to pay $130 million for Ustream, which charges corporate clients to stream live events such as press briefings. IBM said the purchase will allow it to provide better cloud-based video services.

Protests in Tunisia turned violent. Police fired teargas on activists who tried to set fire to police stations and storm government offices, in the third day of protests over youth unemployment. The demonstrations are the worst since the 2011 movement that helped spark the Arab Spring.

Prudential bet on African insurance. The US insurer invested $350 million into LeapFrog, a private equity group that will deploy the funds in the growing life insurance sectors of Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya.

The Zika virus was associated with a second illness. Health officials warned the mosquito-borne disease linked to neurological birth defects in Brazil could also be causing Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder that can leave patients paralyzed for weeks.

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Phillips on the one chart that explains the state of global financial markets. “It explains why the yuan, ruble, and Brazilian real are so weak. It explains why the Chinese stock market is plunging. Likewise, it helps explain why the US dollar is strong and bond yields are diving there, even as the Federal Reserve tries to raise interest rates.” Read more here.

Markets haiku

Off in the distance

The dim outlines of a bear

Let’s turn back, shall we?

Matters of debate

South Africa just sentenced rhinos to extinction. Lifting a ban on rhino horn sales will surely encourage poaching.

Science is failing to alter the future. Humans just aren’t good enough at changing bad behavior.

Hollywood-style heists are a thing of the past. In the surveillance age, sophisticated burglaries are neither possible nor profitable.

Surprising discoveries

There are three countries where a single billionaire could end poverty. They are Swaziland, Georgia, and Colombia.

“Find my phone” apps keep leading to the same house in Atlanta. The glitch keeps two innocent homeowners up all night.

Woody Guthrie really did not like Donald Trump’s racist dad. The US folk singer wrote that Fred Trump “stirred up racial hate in the bloodpot of human hearts.”

Darth Vader baby clothes are being recalled for a choking hazard. The irony is strong with this one.

Getting caught in a Venus flytrap isn’t an automatic death sentence. If an insect keeps still, the plant will let it go eventually.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Darth Vader baby clothes, and flytrap survival guides to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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