What to watch for today
Apple unveils a new, smaller phone. The rumored iPhone SE would be the same size as the four-inch iPhone 5S. A 9.7-inch iPad Pro and new Apple Watch bands are also expected, according to 9to5Mac. The event begins at 10am Pacific Daylight Time, and Quartz will be live blogging it.
Obama spends his first full day in Cuba. It’s the first visit by a sitting US president since 1928. Obama will meet with cuentapropistas—Cuban entrepreneurs—followed by a bilateral meeting with Cuban president Raul Castro, during which they’ll discuss the process of normalizing relations between the two countries. They’ll cap off the day with a state dinner.
US stocks begin the week above water. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 have climbed back into positive territory for the year. Investors will be watching currency markets, hoping the US dollar continues to weaken.
Brazil’s state oil firm reports earnings. Petrobras, which has been implicated in a wide-reaching money laundering scandal involving several government officials, will report its 2015 finances after markets close. The company has been on a quiet period leading up to the announcement.
Over the weekend
Sherwin-Williams is buying Valspar for $9.3 billion. The move will allow the independent paint store to sell its products in big home good retailers like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Walmart.
Brazilian mining mogul Roger Agnelli died. The 56-year-old former CEO of Vale perished in a plane crash in Sao Paolo, alongside his wife and two children. During his decade at Vale, he turned the failing state-owned iron-ore miner into the nation’s biggest exporter.
Mitch McConnell ruled out voting on Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. The Senate majority leader rejected the idea of confirming Merrick Garland, even if a Democrat is elected president in November, noting he is opposed by the NRA (video). Some Republicans argue that confirming Garland would be better than Hillary Clinton nominating someone more liberal.
China took a cautious tone on corporate debt. Policy makers at the China Development Forum in Beijing said corporate debt as a share of GDP (currently 160%) is too high, although they did not give specifics on how to rein it in.
A bus crash in Spain killed 13 students. The victims, believed to be in Spain on the EU’s Erasmus program, were traveling back to Barcelona on Sunday after a day of celebrations at the Fallas festival in Valencia. The victims were all women, said the Spanish interior minister, although their nationalities have not been disclosed.
Quartz obsession interlude
Jenni Avins on what a $280,000 watch looks like: “On the watch’s dial, four little silver pins function like winches (those metal spools you use to crank in the sails) pulling the boom—the pole at the foot of the sail—across the watch’s face over 60 minutes. Every hour, the watch’s “boom” swings back across the its face. (This is the point on an actual boat when you yell “Jibe ho!” or at least politely tell everyone to watch their head.) The dial, made of teeny-tiny strips of inlaid grey oak, looks like a miniaturized boat deck.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Harvard Law’s decision to change its seal is the beginning of a dangerous slippery slope. Many university legacies contain remnants of prejudice, but it’s best to focus on creating a history our children would be proud of.
The film Nina goes against Nina Simone’s celebration of dark-skinned women. The lead actress’ makeup is reminiscent of a 19th-century minstrel theater, and would have been strongly opposed by the late jazz singer.
Bernie Sanders faces risks by staying in the presidential race. Though his team are determined to press on, Sanders’ influence post-election depends on how much goodwill he can build.
The Simpsons predicted Donald Trump’s presidency 16 years ago. In a glimpse of the future where “everything went as bad as it possibly could,” Trump was president.
A 12,400-year-old puppy has been found in Siberian permafrost. The animal’s remains are remarkably well preserved, with the brain at least 70% in tact.
Made-in-China commercial planes are grounded overseas. The MA60, China’s first major commercial carrier, has seen accidents (paywall) in the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Bolivia.
Not everyone gets happier the more often they see friends. Extremely intelligent people report higher life satisfaction when they see their friends less.
The next great artist could well be a robot. Machines are creating music, drawings, and articles, and are advancing towards true artistic mastery.
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