Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Refugee summit, Sharapova rumors, ghostly octopods

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What to watch for today

EU leaders meet on the refugee crisis. An emergency summit on the movement of refugees within Europe takes place in Brussels. On the agenda: how to manage borders between member states.

The spotlight turns to the finances of Greece and Cyprus. Finance ministers from around the EU will discuss the economic adjustment plans for the two member nations, and their budgets for 2016. Cyprus’ existing loan plan is set to expire March 31.

Urban Outfitters earnings. The edgy clothing chain has been struggling to keep hipsters coming back, but solid showings from its Free People and Anthropologie brands could help the company post strong numbers—that is, if a warm winter didn’t stop customers from buying jackets and knit caps.

Maria Sharapova puts the tennis world on edge. There’s speculation that the former world No. 1 and past US Open and Wimbledon champion could announce her retirement. She is set to make a “major announcement,” after an injury-plagued run at the Australian Open in January.

Over the weekend

Nancy Reagan passed away. The former US first lady and wife of late president Ronald Reagan died at the age of 94. Her spokesperson said Sunday she succumbed to congestive heart failure in Los Angeles.

Ted Cruz bolstered his argument that he is Donald Trump’s biggest competitor. The Texas senator won both the Kansas and Maine primaries on Saturday. Cruz said the results marked ”a manifestation of a real shift in momentum.”

Iran sentenced a billionaire to death for corruption. Authorities arrested Babak Zanjani in December 2013, following accusations (which he denies) that he withheld billions of dollars in oil revenue channeled through his companies. The ruling can be appealed.

Turkey’s biggest newspaper was taken over by the state. Zaman printed one final Saturday edition before its offices were raided by police. On Friday, a Turkish court ruled that state administrators should run the newspaper, with no explanation given.

The oldest quarterback to ever win the Super Bowl announced his retirement. At 38 years old, Peyton Manning leaves the field with the most career earnings of any NFL player, having amassed over $248 million during his career.

Quartz obsession interlude

Amy Wang on a newly discovered method of preventing peanut allergies: “It’s fairly common, and increasingly so, to hear someone say they’re allergic to peanuts. The prevalence of the potentially life-threatening allergy in the US alone has risen more than 300%—from 0.4% in 1997 to 1.4% in 2010—and scientists, doctors, and parents are fumbling for ways to reverse that.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Republicans need to get behind Cruz if they want to defeat Trump. Cruz is equally hated by the establishment, but the nomination clock is ticking.

Sexual harassment is weeding out women in the sciences. There’s a distinct and obvious pattern, but academia isn’t doing anything to stop it.

MFAs don’t significantly affect writing style. There are no major differences in the language, themes, syntax, or characters of authors who hold the creative writing degree and those who do not.

Surprising discoveries

Your mind really can heal you. The brain can drive physical changes that improve your health.

A college degree is worth less to poorer students. The proportional increase in salary, compared to those from a similar background but with only a high school degree, is far less for low-income graduates.

Just seeing yourself as a creative type makes you more creative. Those who imagined themselves as an “eccentric poet” perform better on a divergent thinking test.

Medical services are moving into mental health clinics. Providers are finally beginning to close the gap between physical and mental care.

A ghostly octopod is likely a new species. Thanks to its lack of skin pigment, social media is calling for scientists to name the creature “Casper.”

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, writing tips, and octopod name suggestions to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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