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Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—China’s falling exports, Sharapova’s drug fail, single-malt shortage

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

Brexit fears grow. Bank of England governor Mark Carney will address parliament on the financial implications of an EU exit. The central bank is already bracing for economic turmoil from the referendum.

More US presidential results. Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, and Mississippi will hold primaries or caucuses, with results expected Tuesday evening. Donald Trump is expected to win the crucial state of Michigan, but analysts are scrutinizing his performance there to see if his lead is flagging.

A total eclipse of the sun, for a select few. Most of Southeast Asia will be treated to a partial eclipse, but Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, and New Guinea will experience this year’s only total solar eclipse. Through the magic of international date lines, the eclipse will actually end the day before it begins (paywall).

While you were sleeping

Foreign leaders fretted about Donald Trump. Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto compared Trump to Hitler and Mussolini, and said his country would not pay for Trump’s proposed border wall. Meanwhile, diplomats from Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia have complained to their US counterparts about the Republican front-runner’s xenophobic statements, Reuters reported.

China released poor export numbers for February. Exports fell 25.4% year-on-year in February in US dollar terms, while economists had expected a 14.5% drop (paywall). It was an 11.2% decline from January. The Shanghai Composite Index tumbled on the news.

The US killed 150 al-Shabaab fighters. The Pentagon said it stopped an “imminent” attack on US troops and their allies in Somalia by killing dozens of fighters from the extremist group. They were reportedly standing in formation when they were targeted by US drones and manned aircraft.

Beijing freed a political prisoner. In an rare move, it released lawyer and professor Chen Taihe, who’d been rounded up in a nationwide crackdown on rights activists last July. It also allowed him to leave the country; he flew to California to join his family.

Maria Sharapova failed a drug test. The world’s highest-paid female athlete will be suspended from the International Tennis Federation after testing positive for Meldonium, an endurance-boosting drug. Nike quickly suspended its relationship with her.

Quartz obsession interlude

Simina Mistreanu on China needing low-income migrant workers to buy homes and save the economy. “Estimates on just how much unsold housing inventory China has vary considerably… HSBC [says it’s] enough to house about 90 million people (more than the population of Germany). Whatever the precise amount… it now threatens to topple the national economy.” Read more here.

Quartz markets haiku

So strange to see it

A tonne of iron aloft

It’s China again

Matters of debate

Africans must be able to travel freely. They need visas to travel to more than half of the countries on the continent, hurting tourism and commerce.

Law schools need to come clean. They are accused of misrepresenting alumni employment records, suckering students into taking on vast amounts of debt.

Flying is no fun for fat people. “I am watched—and judged harshly—as I try—and fail—to fit into a space that was made for someone else.”

Surprising discoveries

Time is the enemy of the global Scotch shortage. A mandatory three-year aging process makes it hard for supply to meet demand.

In the US there is a hefty cost to pay if you’re not white, straight, and male. Expect a $300,000 tab if you’re a woman in the tech industry, for instance.

Amazon is trying to shame workers out of stealing. Factory employees must watch a video about wayward co-workers when they clock in every morning.

The US accidentally created a $3 trillion industry. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were dreamt up by market regulators after a big stock market crash.

A woman in a “Scooby Doo” van gave police the slip. The “Mystery Machine” van was abandoned but the fugitive remains at large.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, trillion-dollar ideas, and cartoon getaway vehicles to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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