What to watch for today
Earnings from the Agricultural Bank of China. The country’s third-largest lender is expected to post dismal annual results, just like its peers. After years of growth, the “Big Four” state-run banks are seeing flat-to-declining profits and high levels of non-performing debt.
The UK holds crisis talks on its steel industry. Of immediate concern is the fate of the Port Talbot steelworks (and its 5,500 staff), which Indian parent firm Tata Steel plans to sell.
Tesla unveils its latest model. The Model 3 is a $35,000 sedan that will go at least 200 miles (320 km) on a single charge. It’s the mass-market electric car that Elon Musk has always promised—and he has essentially bet the company on its success.
Obama hosts a big nuclear summit. Officials from 56 countries, including the leaders of China, Great Britain, Canada, France, India, and Mexico, descend on Washington to talk about nuclear security issues. The US president has only one private meeting scheduled, with Chinese president Xi Jinping.
While you were sleeping
Researchers warned that Antarctica’s sea ice is not stable. A collapse could double the expected sea-level rise to two meters by 2100, assuming carbon emissions aren’t cut. That would spell disaster for many low-lying cities.
South Korean industrial production grew the most since December 2014. Output rose 3.3% month-on-month in February, and 2.4% from a year earlier. One key reason: New smartphones from Samsung and Apple led to a surge in semiconductor production.
New home sales slumped in Australia. The 5.3% fall in February was the worst monthly result in 18 months. Tightening credit conditions and increased uncertainty about the economy were partly to blame.
Niger reported three soldiers were killed by Boko Haram. The deaths occurred during an ambush on Wednesday morning, said the country’s interior ministry. The militant group seeks to create an Islamic state in neighboring Nigeria’s northeast.
Quartz markets haiku
Foolish bull chasing
A dove up the mountainside
Careful, you can’t fly!
Quartz obsession interlude
Akshat Rathi on the science behind autonomous robots that can repair their own circuits. “Such tiny repairs could help modern electronics have a longer shelf life, but these proof-of-concept, autonomous nanobots have bigger potential. They could one day soon be used for self-healing materials and delivering drugs inside the human body.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The US could have a 10-second tax return. An automated return may sound like a fantasy, but plenty of countries do it.
Virgin America may be too friendly for its own good. Richard Branson’s bet on more legroom and free Wi-Fi has failed to make a profit.
Political filters on dating apps are a dangerous development. But an exception may be needed for Donald Trump supporters.
The cherry blossoms of spring are all about sex. Yet the brightest-blooming trees may be the ones that are sick or dying.
There’s a universal expression called the “not face.” The scowling expression of disapproval is found across all human cultures.
Microsoft’s racist AI bot made a bizarre reappearance. “Tay,” deactivated last week, briefly reappeared to tweet about smoking weed.
The future of art is a drone with a Sharpie. Michelangelo could have finished the Sistine Chapel so much more quickly.
You’re more likely to yawn around people you know. The contagiousness of yawning is a measure of empathy.
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