What to watch for today
Viacom faces its shareholders. The media company’s annual meeting could get interesting, with chairman emeritus Sumner Redstone ailing and two shareholder-advisory services recommending that votes be withheld from directors on the compensation committee. The committee had blessed a big raise for CEO Philippe Dauman in an ugly year for the stock.
OPEC’s monthly oil market report. The group delivers its outlook for the coming year in crude with its analysis of developments affecting world oil demand and supply.
The Syria peace talks get substantive. Although the meetings officially started March 9, participants were trickling into Geneva all weekend, making today the first day the group will have a chance to get down to business. UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura is at the helm.
Dilma Rousseff under pressure. A day after more than a million anti-government demonstrators took to the streets across the country, Brazil’s central bank releases its weekly economic survey of 100-plus financial institutions, including projections for GDP and inflation rates.
A celebration of circumference over diameter. It’s mainly Americans who would notate the date March 14 as 3/14, but math lovers the world over are welcome to take part in Pi Day, paying homage to the ratio that begins 3.14 and has been calculated more than 1 trillion digits past its decimal point.
Over the weekend
Gunmen targeted tourists at an Ivory Coast resort. At least six attackers killed 16 people as they shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great). The attack has increased fears that the jihadi threat is spreading through West Africa.
A car bomb killed dozens in Turkey. It tore through a transport hub in the capital Ankara, killing at least 34 and wounding 125 in the second such attack in the city in under a month. There were no immediate claims of responsibility.
Germany’s anti-immigration party won major gains in state elections. Exit polls showed the German public is turning against (paywall) chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy, as the anti-immigration party had its best result in any state election since it was founded.
Machine orders surged in Japan. Seen as a proxy for capital spending, they jumped by 15% (paywall) month-on-month in January—way ahead of the 1.9% rise predicted by economists. It was the strongest month-on-month pace since 2003.
Humans pushed back against AI’s Go supremacy. Go grandmaster Lee Sedol won a consolation match against Google’s artificial intelligence, AlphaGo, after the machine dominated the best-of-five-games tournament.
China’s Anbang Insurance Group bet big on high-end US hotels. The company, which bought New York’s Waldorf-Astoria from Hilton in 2014, will pay Blackstone Group $6.5 billion for a portfolio of properties including the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, California, and the JW Marriott Essex House in Manhattan.
Quartz obsession interlude
Olivia Goldhill on science’s “reproducibility crisis.” The idea that papers are publishing false results might sound alarming but the recent crisis doesn’t mean that the entire scientific method is totally wrong. In fact, science’s focus on its own errors is a sign that researchers are on exactly the right path. Read more.
Matters of debate
Hong Kong is over. Its dominant free-to-air television station, TVB, produces news that can no longer be trusted.
Our emoji options are a sign of gender disparity. We need some strong female figures in tiny cartoon form, for when the flamenco figure doesn’t cut it.
J.K. Rowling needs to let Harry Potter go. The author should open up the story world and allow others to write Potterverse sequels.
Israeli Jews see a friend in Donald Trump. Rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio say the US presidential candidate isn’t staunch enough in his support for Israel, but in a recent poll, a majority of Israeli Jews said otherwise.
STDs might hurt your brain. Some researchers see a link between diseases including herpes and chlamydia and Alzheimer’s.
Cheap wine can easily taste fancy. Fool your friends by making a few changes in how you serve it.
Daylight savings is a joke—literally. It didn’t get started until 1918, but turning back the clocks can be traced back to a tongue-in-cheek observation once made by Benjamin Franklin.