Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
EU leaders discuss a deal with the UK. The heads of the 28-member bloc meet in Brussels to discuss British prime minister David Cameron’s proposals for reforming the EU ahead of a referendum on British membership. A leaked document suggests that little progress has been made on an agreement.
Barack Obama announces a Cuba trip. The US president is expected to confirm travel plans that will make him the first US leader to visit the country in almost 90 years. Obama is likely to make the trip within weeks.
A fraught election day in Uganda. At least one person has been killed in clashes ahead of the presidential vote. Most Ugandans were born after 1986, when current president Yoweri Museveni was first elected, and many of these so-called “Museveni babies” want change.
Walmart seeks a turnaround. Analysts expect the world’s largest retailer to post a drop in quarterly earnings and revenue. Walmart is responding to pressures from online competitors with plans for a new mobile app, its own gas stations, and fewer “Express” stores.
While you were sleeping
The OECD called for an end to austerity. The Paris-based organization of largely rich nations argued that more infrastructure spending is crucial to spur growth. The OECD, previously a supporter of austerity, said current financial policies alone weren’t enough to get economies back on track.
Turkey blamed Kurds for an Ankara car bomb. Prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that a Syrian-based Kurdish militia worked with Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party to orchestrate yesterday’s attack, which killed 28 people. Nine people have been arrested in connection to the bombing.
Venezuela took drastic measures to support its economy. The oil-producing nation increased the price of fuel by over 6,000%, and devalued its currency to 10 bolivars to the dollar, from 6.3 bolivars earlier. Almost all of Venezuela’s foreign income comes from oil sales.
Nestlé posted disappointing results. The Swiss food giant behind brands like KitKat and Nescafe said that sales growth would remain flat this year, at about 4.2%. The uninspiring forecast accompanied news that 2015 sales also fell short of expectations.
Air France-KLM beat estimates and returned to profit. The Franco-Dutch airline reported a 2015 operating profit of $816 million ($909 million), compared with a €129 million loss a year earlier. Low oil prices helped reduce outgoings, but the company still aims to slash staff costs too.
Toyota recalled 2.9 million cars. The company will fix a rear seatbelt in the Rav 4 sports utility vehicle, following one death and one injury in North America. That is in addition to the millions of cars it recalled in connection with Takata airbags.
Quartz obsession interlude
Amy Wang with a complete guide to reading—and even enjoying—classic literature. “You can aim to read a book a week or one a year—it doesn’t matter. Stig Abell, the new editor of the Times Literary Supplement, read all of the Shakespeare canon while commuting to work. He assumed an hour of commuting time a day, which was roughly a play a week. That’s all of the Bard—38 plays in total—in less than a year.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Silicon Valley’s gender bias may begin at home. Male founders’ wives are often stay-at-home moms, and that could be shaping founders’ views on women’s roles.
Strategies for academic success may backfire at work. “Good student” behavior is antithetical to success at work.
Scaling up is not always a smart business move. Growth can kill the spark that made success possible in the first place.
For China’s upper middle class, driving for Uber is a cure for loneliness. It acts as a real-life social networking platform.
An Italian coffee pioneer’s ashes were buried in one of his iconic espresso makers. Renato Bialetti, creator of the stove-top Moka machine, passed away last week at 93.
Married couples become similar on a molecular level. Sharing a roof means developing matching immune systems.
Fables could teach robots the difference between right and wrong. Reading to them might lessen the chances that they’ll one day kill us all.
There’s a worldwide epidemic of nearsightedness. The culprit is probably less time spent outdoors.
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