What to watch for today
Google’s new CEO, meet the EU. Sundar Pichai visits Brussels for the first time as head of the internet company, and will meet with Margrethe Vestager, the bloc’s competition commissioner. The EU has been hounding Google over competition rules and tax laws; yesterday, France said Google owes €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) in back taxes.
The EU and the Balkans discuss migrants.
Also in Brussels, Austria and eight other nations will
a plan to restrict the number of people entering the Balkans. Greece, another major entry point to Europe, will be pushing back against such plans.
Tesla vs. GM in Indiana. General Motors supports what has been dubbed the “Kill Tesla” bill in the US state, and which will be heard today by the state’s House Roads and Transport Committee. The bill effectively bans Tesla from selling its cars directly to the public.
Italy votes on gay rights. The Senate is expected to pass a bill in favor of same-sex civil unions. It has already been stripped of several other rights, and could be watered down further in the lower house of parliament before passing into law.
Earnings galore. Campbell Soup, Kraft Heinz, Kohl’s, Gap, British American Tobacco, Baidu, and Henkel AG all report their quarterly results.
While you were sleeping
China’s stocks crashed ahead of a G-20 meeting. The benchmark CSI 300 got off the lightest, closing down by a mere 6.1%; the Shanghai and Shenzhen indices closed by 6.4% and 7.3% respectively. That’s unfortunate timing, ahead of a G20 finance meeting in Shanghai tomorrow.
Sharp agreed to a $6.2-billion Foxconn buyout. The beleaguered Japanese electronics maker took the Taiwanese firm’s takeover offer, passing on a much lower bid from a Japanese state-backed fund, according to Nikkei. But Foxconn said it would delay signing a deal to clarify information in a “new key document.”
Apple is reportedly beefing up its iPhone security. The gadget maker, facing pressure from the FBI to unlock a terrorist’s handset, plans to introduce a measure that would render the authority’s method useless, according to the New York Times (paywall).
AB InBev’s profit was nothing to cheer about. The brewer behind Stella Artois and Budweiser posted a fourth-quarter core profit of $4.3 billion, compared to an expected $4.7 billion. It said it faces challenges in Brazil and China, but that a shift to selling more expensive beer has helped prop up revenue.
China and the US agreed on a North Korea resolution. They will “not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state,” and will strengthen UN resolutions against the country. The US finalized a plan with China’s foreign minister, who is in Washington.
Australian investment plans fell to a nine-year low. Companies plan to spend A$82.6 billion ($59.4 billion) in the financial year starting July 1, the lowest since 2007-2008. Mining businesses are tightening their belts, and other sectors aren’t picking up the slack.
Quartz obsession interlude
Hanna Kozlowska on why young women are rejecting Hillary Clinton. “This election’s Democratic nomination process is showing that women cannot be treated as a distinct voting block, as Hillary Clinton’s candidacy brings an intergenerational feminist schism into public view. While many older women are thrilled to see a woman having a shot at the presidency during their lifetime, for many younger women, gender matters less.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Stock picking is about to make a comeback. The 2008 crisis made most stocks behave the same—but that’s about to change.
The World Health Organization has learnt from its mishandling of Ebola. And it shows in its handling of the Zika virus epidemic.
The West needs to pay more attention to Niger. In the fight against terror, it could be a powerful friend—or an equally powerful foe.
Egypt accidentally sentenced a toddler to life in prison. The country’s military admitted it was a case of mistaken identity.
The US relied more on renewable energy in 1950 than it does today. Hydroelectric dams provided one third of it.
A new Danish supermarket stocks only expired food. Shoppers can save about 50%.
Rats are better at detecting tuberculosis than lab tests. The rodents can smell the illness 70% of the time.
Fear can reshape ecosystems. The sound of predators is as effective as actual ones in reducing prey populations.