Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Iran’s reformist election, Leo wins an Oscar, teleportation readiness

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What to watch for today

Mexico’s national energy company reckons with low oil prices. Oil titan Pemex will discuss its fourth-quarter results and its plans to cut $5 billion from its 2016 budget.

Valeant reports unaudited earnings. The pharmaceutical giant publishes its fourth-quarter data only two days after restating its earnings for the past two years.

Irish women get down on one knee. Feb. 29 is leap day–which means that, in keeping with an Irish tradition dating back to the fifth century, some women will be proposing marriage to their boyfriends. 

Over the weekend

Reformists won a landslide in Iran. All 30 seats up for grabs in Tehran were won by allies of president Hassan Rouhani. That’s important for those seeking change on a national level because Tehran-based lawmakers typically set the parliamentary agenda.

Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar. He won the award for his role in The Revenant, after receiving four other nominations but no award during his career so far. Brie Larson won best female actor for her role in Room, while Spotlight won best picture.

Hillary Clinton won big in South Carolina. The Democratic presidential candidate scored 73.5% of the vote in Saturday’s (Feb. 27) primary, thanks in large part to the support of black voters. Analysts say this bodes well for Clinton heading into Super Tuesday.

Switzerland sided with immigrants… Almost 60% of voters in a Sunday (Feb. 28) referendum rejected a plan to deport foreigners convicted of crimes. The proposal had been widely criticized as xenophobic.

…As Angela Merkel defended her open-door policy. The German chancellor said that the country’s borders would remain open, but that Turkey should stem the flow of migrants. Merkel’s open-door policy would help “keep Europe together,” she said.

ISIL bombed Baghdad. The Islamic State launched several attacks in the suburbs of Iraq’s capital on Sunday. A twin suicide bombing in Sadr City, a Shi’ite district, was the deadliest of the assaults, claiming the lives of 70 people and wounding 100 others.

Quartz obsession interlude

Anne Quito on the benefits of being German. “Germans have the most powerful passports in the world, offering visa-free access to 177 countries and territories out of a total of 218, according to the 2016 Visa Restrictions Index compiled by the London-based citizenship and immigration firm Henley & Partners. Germans have held this distinction since 2014. Swedes were close behind, with visa-free access to 176 countries.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

We should celebrate female friendships. The support that women share can be hard to find in romantic relationships.

The black church helps African-American men thrive. Those with faith are far more likely to have jobs, avoid jail, and get married.

If Bernie Sanders loses, he’ll still have left a lasting legacy. His popularity, even among Clinton supporters, suggests that his revolution could be a long, slow burn.

Surprising discoveries

Perfume advertisements speak to your subconscious. Beautiful women with heavy eyelids signal sexual satisfaction.

Facebook’s new emoji reactions ignore syntax. The reaction words (Love, Sad, Angry, Wow, and Haha) don’t belong together.

Barter economies never existed. There’s no historical description of such a system—though there is evidence of gift economies.

Somalia is turning into a cashless society. Few banks, more phones, and years of instability are fueling the trend.

Our brains are ready for teleportation. A study into how our minds would react to instant travel found that they would do just fine.

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