Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—EgyptAir hijacking, Yahoo taking offers, the first cyborg Olympics

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What to watch for today

Turkey’s president makes an uneasy US visit. Recep Tayyip Erdogan won’t get a one-on-one meeting with Barack Obama (paywall) amid US concerns about Turkey’s crackdown on dissent and democracy. Later in the week, Erdogan will attend a nuclear security summit with more than 50 world leaders.

Japan gives direction on economic stimulus. Prime minister Shinzo Abe will announce details of a new stimulus package, which may include delaying a sales tax hike. He could also introduce vouchers for shopping and child care, along with a pay raise for workers at the country’s overcrowded nursery schools.

The Bank of England releases stress-test scenarios for banks. The central bank also publishes its report on underwriting standards for mortgage lenders amid fears of a property bubble.

While you were sleeping

An EgyptAir flight from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked. The hijacker demanded the flight be diverted to Larnaca airport in Cyprus. Most passengers were released after landing. Officials at Egypt’s ministry of foreign affairs said the hijacker is seeking asylum and wants to contact with his ex-wife in Cyprus.

The UN ruled that the Falkland Islands lie in Argentina’s waters. The decision increases Argentina’s maritime territory by 35%—or an additional 660,000 square miles—and may sway the ongoing dispute between Argentina and Britain over ownership of the islands, which Argentina calls the Malvinas.

Yahoo set a deadline for interested bidders. The beleaguered internet company has given potential suitors until April 11 to submit proposals for its core web business and Asian assets, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Japan released mixed economic results for February. Retail sales fell 2.3% month-on-month from January, the biggest monthly contraction since April 2014 (paywall) and a sign the economy is struggling to rebound. But overall household spending rebounded by the most in six months (paywall).

Indonesia confirmed the hijacking of a vessel in Philippine waters. The Indonesian foreign ministry said 10 crewmen had been kidnapped and were being held for ransom, possibly by the militant group Abu Sayyaf.

Quartz obsession interlude

Steve Levine on Elon Musk’s moment of truth. “If motorists buy the Tesla Model 3 in the hundreds of thousands, he will have delivered on his vow to make an electric car for the general public. The consequences of all this turning out well could be considerable profit for Musk and his investors, not to mention a new upheaval in geopolitics.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

“Solitary” confinement is even worse with a cellmate. Thousands of US prisoners are forced to share incredibly tiny spaces, sometimes with homicidal roommates.

Tech firms now run Western politics. With democracy under threat from terrorism and rising inequality, Google and Facebook have taken control.

America’s “Superman” obsession highlights a hypocritical attitude toward violence. It’s not always about bad guys or good guys.

Surprising discoveries

A former Nazi SS officer became an Israeli hitman. Former Mossad officers say Otto Skorzeny was one of Hitler’s favorites.

Chinese researchers have invented a car with facial recognition. The high-tech police vehicle can pick criminal suspects out of a crowd.

A US city is paying criminals to not murder. Convicts in Richmond, California get up to $1,000 a month for not committing gun crimes.

There are two religions where men are more devout than women. They are: Islam and Orthodox Judaism.

Switzerland is hosting the world’s first cyborg Olympics. Disabled people who use electronic prosthetics will compete as part of “human-machine collaborations.”

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