Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Cruz beats Trump, China’s new lighthouse, smart luggage

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What to watch for today

The European Commission proposes overhauling the asylum system. Currently migrants need to file for asylum in the first EU country they set foot in, but some kind of automatic redistribution system might be put in place instead (paywall).

Pfizer could officially end its plan to acquire Allergan. The US pharmaceutical giant had hoped the “inversion deal” would allow it to avoid paying billions in US corporate taxes by moving its headquarters from New York to Dublin. But new rules by US Treasury make the tax avoidance less likely—and the deal less appealing.

A Vietnam leader switcharoo. In a formality, the National Assembly will vote on dismissing prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung, after he failed in his bid to become the leader of the country’s Communist party. His likely successor, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, will face drought, declining oil revenue, and tensions with China.

Earnings, earnings: Monsanto, Hennes & Mauritz, Constellation Brands, and Bed Bath & Beyond all report their quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders won the Wisconsin primaries. The victories for the US presidential underdogs could be turning points, though more so for Cruz, who now has a better chance of forcing Republican front-runner Donald Trump into a convention fight. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton still looks unstoppable, despite the Sanders win.

China switched on a controversial lighthouse. It says the structure, built on one of its artificial islands in the South China Sea, will enhance maritime safety. Critics say it’s more about China bolstering its claim that nearly the entire sea—and its vast natural resources—is part of its territory.

South Africa’s president survived an impeachment vote.  The country’s parliament voted to keep Jacob Zuma in power, despite a rowdy debate between opposition parties and the country’s ruling party over his reported involvement in several high-profile scandals.

Two US oil companies may not be able to shack up. Halliburton and Baker Hughes, the second- and third-largest American oilfield service companies, have been working on a merger deal since 2014. Now the US Justice Department is reportedly filing a lawsuit to block the deal on antitrust grounds.

Quartz markets haiku

New rules were announced
To halt tax inversion deals
Then stocks inverted

Quartz obsession interlude

Mike Murphy on the 122-year-old company that tests the safety of the world’s electronics. ”The level of detail testers require can seem whimsical at times. They use a certain thickness of cheesecloths to simulate drapes that might come into contact with something electric and set a house on fire, and a certain shade of black paint to test appliances.” Read more.

Matters of debate

Economists aren’t all-knowing truth-sayers. An over-reliance on mathematical models makes their work difficult to check.

Robots make it easier to sexually objectify women. Bots modeled after beautiful women like Scarlett Johansson make it easier for men to avoid dealing with rejection.

If you want to get into an elite college, move to Wyoming. Being from an underrepresented state makes you more attractive to private US colleges.

Surprising discoveries

The TSA spent $47,000 on an app that a developer built in just ten minutes. All the app does is randomly point people left or right through security lanes.

Scientists found evidence of a new state of matter. Quantum spin liquid occurs when an electron splits into two or three fermions.

Smart luggage can tell you the best way to get to the airport. The Raden line of app-connected suitcases can also tell you how long the security line takes.

Plants have memories. Mimosa pudica, which recoils when touched, stopped flinching after learning that it wasn’t harmful.

An invasive beetle is threatening baseball. They’re devastating the supply of ash trees used to make Louisville Slugger bats.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, new states of matter, and baseball-hating beetles to And download our new iPhone app for news throughout the day.