What to watch for today
Slovenia and Croatia shut their borders. Only refugees with valid visas will be able to transit through from today onwards. Serbia and Macedonia may follow suit as Europe struggles to deal with migrants using the Balkans to enter the EU; 36,000 people are now trapped at the Greek-Macedonian border,
Justin Trudeau arrives in Washington. It’s the first state visit by a Canadian prime minister in almost 20 years. He will meet with president Barack Obama to discuss key economic issues (paywall).
Syria peace talks resume. Negotiations were halted for the past month, but the UN special envoy hopes that a partial ceasefire, backed by the US and Russia, will advance talks to end the long-running civil war.
While you were sleeping
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders had big nights. Sanders won the Michigan Democratic primary and restored his momentum, though Hillary Clinton won in Mississippi and took home the most delegates for the night. On the Republican side, Trump won in Michigan, Mississippi, and Hawaii and celebrated with “Trump meat.”
E.On reported a loss for a second year in a row. Germany’s biggest energy company said its annual net losses doubled in 2015 to €7 billion ($7.7 billion), after a $9.7-billion asset write-down. E.On, currently in the process of spinning off its fossil-fuel businesses, blamed wholesale electricity prices that are at their lowest since 2002.
Zara’s owner had a great year. Inditex, the world’s biggest clothing retailer, reported pre-tax profits rose 8.5% to €3.74 billion ($4 billion) in 2015, helped by the weaker euro. Zara posted a 17.5 % increase in net sales to $15 billion.
The IMF said the world faces “economic derailment.” Steps must be taken to boost global demand in the face of volatile financial markets and low commodity prices, the IMF’s David Lipton told the National Association for Business Economics in Washington. His speech came on the back of China’s 25% plunge in exports (paywall) from this time last year.
Google’s AI beat the Go world champion. Google’s AlphaGo won the first in a series of five matches running until March 15. The 3,000-year-old board game, which is infinitely more complex than chess, pits the DeepMind AI’s learning abilities against a human expert.
Quartz obsession interlude
Anne Quito on why female architects are being closed out of their own profession. “New York City architect Yen Ha says that discrimination comes from all sides—clients, brokers, engineers and most consistently from contractors. At one project kick-off meeting, she recalls a real estate agent telling a contractor, ‘I’ll have the real architect send the plans to you’.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The US needs a feminist foreign policy… As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton made environmentally friendly stoves an instrument of foreign diplomacy.
…and the corporate world needs more female leaders. Companies with a larger share of women in senior roles are more profitable, according to IMF research.
VR headsets will be incorporated into the classroom of the future. Teachers want more tech to mold students’ minds.
Donald Trump might be bringing in shockingly little income. He filed for a $300 tax break that only applies to couples making less than $500,000 a year.
The “fifth Beatle” has died. Legendary producer George Martin signed the band in 1962 when no one else wanted them.
Tiny dragons are waiting to hatch in Slovenia. Called olms, these blind amphibians dwell exclusively in caves and can live to be 100.
Syria’s first cosmonaut is now a refugee in Turkey. Muhammed Faris is a national hero who went to space as part of a Soviet program in the 1980s.
Grand Central’s clocks are wrong on purpose. The New York City train station sets them one minute ahead to hasten along commuters.