Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Delhi water crisis, Brexit showdown, potato diet

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What to watch for today

The Mobile World Congress gets into full swing in Barcelona. Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise announcement Sunday regarding Facebook and Samsung’s virtual-reality partnership. But he could face hostility today over his “Free Basics” scheme. LG and Sony are expected to announce new gadgets.

Yahoo starts looking for a buyer. The internet company will talk with corporate and private equity buyers from as early as today, according to Bloomberg. Potential suitors tipped for the company’s core business include AT&T, Comcast, and Bain Capital.

Delhi faces a water crisis. Activists damaged the city’s water supply on Saturday during a protest over jobs in a neighboring state. Schools and some factories in the capital will be closed as part of a water rationing program.

Earnings for food, fitness, faces, and… Motorola. US milk processor Dean Foods, wearable fitness brand Fitbit, Botox maker Allergan, and Motorola Solutions will report their quarterly performance.

Over the weekend

The UK edged closer to a Brexit. Prime minister David Cameron said the country would vote on Jun. 23 on whether to stay within the EU. Boris Johnson, the popular London mayor, defied Cameron by announcing he would campaign to leave the union.

ISIL attacks killed at least 140 in Syria. Car bombs in Damascus and Homs left hundreds wounded, just hours after US secretary of state John Kerry and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov reached a provisional ceasefire in the country.

An Uber driver went on a shooting rampage. Police in Michigan arrested a 45-year-old Uber driver who is accused of killing six people while he was driving around Kalamazoo. According to some reports, he picked up passengers between killings.

HSBC reported a surprise loss. The UK-headquartered bank reported a fourth-quarter loss of $858 million, well below the $1.95 billion profit analysts expected. The bank’s profit for the full year also missed estimates (paywall).

Hong Kong police arrested one for inciting a riot. They detained Ray Wong Toi-yeung, a spokesperson for a Hong Kong independence group, for allegedly encouraging violence during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Details behind North Korea’s nuclear test were revealed. The US was secretly negotiating with Pyongyang to end the Korean war, reported the Wall Street Journal (paywall). North Korea signaled the end of talks with the test.

Trump and Clinton won big. Hillary Clinton captured more than half of caucus votes in Nevada, while Republican frontrunner Donald Trump won 32% of the vote in the South Carolina primary. Jeb Bush suspended his campaign after a disappointing fourth-place finish.

Quartz obsession interlude

Olivia Goldhill on the neuroscience behind the “I was just following orders” excuse. “People who’ve been ordered to do something bad to other people appear to genuinely experience a reduced sense of responsibility, according to a new study. ‘In a way, the Nuremberg defense isn’t just about wishing to avoid blame,’ says the study’s co-author. ‘It has some roots in actual subjective experience. And so it displaces responsibility towards people who are issuing the orders.’ Read more here.

Matters of debate

We’re teaching our daughters to be afraid. Parents’ constant warnings to their daughters to “be careful” encourages them to stay inside their comfort zone.

Technology is about to change dramatically. Based on the history of computing cycles, we should expect drones and AI to soon greatly expand our abilities.

Apple shouldn’t give up its fight with the FBI. If it agrees to unlock a terrorist’s phone, it will open the door to numerous similar requests, which could be used for more dubious reasons.

Surprising discoveries

An Australian man plans to eat only potatoes for a year. Andrew Taylor is testing whether one food can make up a healthy diet long-term.

Smartwatches are more popular than Swiss ones. Some 8.1 million smartwatches were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to 7.9 million Swiss watches.

Plants are able to let it go. Instead of changing their behavior after extreme events such as drought, most plants are able to forget stressful incidents.

Ebay buyers are sexist. Female sellers earn more if they pretend to be men.

Scientists have revived tiny creatures frozen for 30 years. They are millimeter-long organisms, fondly nicknamed “water bears.”

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, potato recipes, and easy-going plants to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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