Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Increased Zika threat, Trump wins again, surplus lions

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

Asia stocks are down the most in a week. Raw materials companies dragged Japan’s Topix down by 0.7% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index down by 1.6%; Australia’s benchmark also fell. That could spell volatility in European and African markets.

Peugeot Citroën reports profits. The French carmaker’s progress on a desperately needed turnaround wowed investors earlier last year. Those same investors will be looking for more good news as it wraps up its restructuring (paywall).

Earnings du jour. Lowe’s, a major US home improvement retailer, is expected to report healthy quarterly sales thanks in part to a stronger housing market. Analysts are bracing for disappointment from Target after a prolonged restructuring. Hewlett-Packard, Chesapeake Energy, and Salesforce also report quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

Donald Trump won the Nevada caucus. The right-wing billionaire took 42.6% of the vote, compared to second-place Marco Rubio’s 24.6%, earning him his third straight win. But there were reports of voter fraud and Trump-sponsored staff at the polls.

China deployed fighter jets to contested waters. They went to the same island that China deployed missiles to last week. The timing has added yet more tension to a Washington meeting between China’s foreign minister and the US secretary of state.

The US investigated more sexually transmitted Zika reports. The Centers for Disease Control said it has received 14 reports of the virus being spread through sexual contact. That could have serious implications for preventing the spread of the disease.

Hong Kong unveiled its budget. Income taxes were cut and social security spending was increased, after the government recorded a surplus of HK$30 billion ($3.9 billion) last year. Major investment in tech startups was also touted as a counter to a slowing China.

Viacom considered selling a slice of Paramount. The media behemoth is particularly open to finding a Chinese buyer, to give the loss-making studio access to a lucrative and growing market. Investors want a sale to counter Viacom’s struggling cable TV networks.

Bolivia voted against a fourth presidential term. A referendum found 51.5% of voters chose not to allow president Evo Morales to run again. The country’s first leader of indigenous origin, the still-popular Morales said he would respect the decision.

Quartz obsession interlude

Deena Shanker on the unhealthy link between meat and masculinity. “The connection between manliness and meat-eating shows up everywhere in contemporary culture: in Carl’s Jr. commercials featuring a swimsuit-clad Paris Hilton, selling sex and burgers all in one go; in the pages of Men’s Health magazine; and in teasing depictions of Ron Swanson, that paragon of mustachioed masculinity, downing endless amounts of ribs, steak, bacon, and something called a meat tornado.” Read more here.

Quartz markets haiku

Pity the bankers
Low rates. New rules. Now, oil bust!
Still—the hair looks great

Matters of debate

Your cat is probably not making you crazy. Infamous feline parasites don’t actually affect humans’ mental health.

Streaming video is a step backwards for diversity. It is lagging behind TV when it comes to racial and gender parity.

Negative interest rates are not hurting the global economy. Low government spending is.

Surprising discoveries

A woman’s plastic surgery turned her into a kleptomaniac. A lack of oxygen impaired the part of her brain that regulates impulses.

Ditching your smartphone is the next big digital trend. Overloaded consumers are reviving the market for “dumb phones” (paywall).

Zimbabwe’s national parks have a surplus of lions. Hunting is way down after the death of Cecil.

A 3D scan of the bust of Nefertiti has appeared online. The disputed Egyptian statue, kept in Germany, is strictly off-limits to photographers.

Frank Underwood is featured in the US’s National Portrait Gallery. The portrait of the fictional House of Cards president hangs among real ones.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, ancient statues, and dumb phones to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.