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Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Panama papers, Virgin America deal, inflatable space house

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

Virgin America is sold to Alaska Air Group. A formal announcement about the $2 billion deal is expected today. The first major airline deal struck since US Airways merged with American Airlines in 2013, it will allow Alaska Airlines to expand in the lucrative hubs of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

New York’s $15 minimum wage goes into effect. Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign a $15 minimum wage into law, with presidential contender Hillary Clinton at his side. Minimum wage has been a hot issue between Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail.

The first batch of migrants is resettled from the EU to Turkey. Following a deal last month between Brussels and Ankara, the EU will take one Syrian refugee from Turkey for every unlawful Turkish asylum seeker returned from Greece. Turkey will also receive financial aid, and talks on its potential membership in the EU will be sped up.

Brussels Airlines takes flight. The Belgian capital will reconnect with New York, parts of Africa, and at least six European cities today, as its top carrier, Brussels Airlines, resumes some service. It will be the airline’s first flight since the March 22 terrorist attacks.

Over the weekend

World leaders, including Vladimir Putin, were connected to offshore companies. A massive leak of 11 million documents from a secretive Panamanian law firm suggests 72 current or former heads of state have offshore connections. Documents also seem to implicate members of FIFA’s ethics committee.

Tesla got 233,000 orders for the Model 3. CEO Elon Musk reported that within 24 hours of unveiling the company’s first lower-priced electric car, more than 233,000 orders were placed—potentially more units in one day than the entire US plug-in auto industry sold in 2015.

A film critical of China won “Best Film” at the Hong Kong Film Awards. Ten Years, which depicts a dystopian future for Hong Kong under the rule of China’s Communist Party, took the top award at the city’s annual film ceremony. Mainland media has condemned the film and curbed coverage of the awards.

A years-long Foxconn-Sharp drama ended. After four years of negotiations, the two companies inked a $3.5 billion deal giving Foxconn a controlling stake in Sharp. It combines the world’s largest assembler with a well-known electronics company eager to lead the emerging ‘Internet of Things’ market.

More potential wreckage from flight MH370 was found. What could be a piece of the plane’s interior was found by a hotel owner on a Mauritian island. The disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight two years ago remains one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries.

Quartz obsession interlude

Akshat Rathi on a 19th-century disease on the rise in the UK. “The outbreaks of the fever today have less severe effects than the ones Victorians suffered. No one, for instance, has yet been killed by the disease. And, yet, its return has baffled scientists.” Read more.

Matters of debate

Climate change makes it less moral to have kids. We’re making the world a worse place, and it’s not necessarily fair to bring someone else into it without asking first.

Ethical robots are advancing our understanding of morality. We may not want to leave major moral decisions to robots, but the creation of such machines is developing human ethics.

Republicans pushing back against LGBT equality are playing a shortsighted game. The party’s anti-gay stance undermines its pro-business efforts, and such divides can’t be easily dismissed.

Surprising discoveries

The boom in romance novels has created a demand for erotic book cover models. Some of these models have built up their own fan base.

A Viking site in North America was spotted from space. The finding raises the possibility that the Vikings stayed in the New World far longer than previously realized.

The Taliban has launched a smartphone app. But plans to spread its propaganda to a digital audience were stalled by “technical difficulties.”

The biggest US school districts hire more security personnel than counselors. In Houston, there’s just one counselor per 1,288 students.

NASA wants to send an inflatable house to space. The agency hopes it will give astronauts in the International Space Station a little privacy.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, romantic book covers, and robot morals to And download our new iPhone app for news throughout the day.qz_email_list_425047646_post_message

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