Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Samsung beats estimates, wire-free pacemaker, lab-grown diamonds

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What to watch for today

Insight from the European Central Bank. The ECB is publishing minutes from its March 10 meeting, when it decided to cut interest rates and increase quantitative easing. Those stimulus measures were controversial, and two of the bank’s executive board members are expected to explain them in more detail at a conference in Frankfurt.

François Hollande and Angela Merkel discuss the refugee crisis. The French president and German chancellor are meeting in Metz, France and will hold a joint afternoon press conference about Europe’s plans. Hollande has expressed frustration with the EU’s “slow” decision-making but said a collective plan will be better than a piecemeal approach.

Janet Yellen and her predecessors share a stage. The chairwoman of the US Federal Reserve will sit with former chairs Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, and Paul Volcker for a group interview in New York. It’s the first time the four have appeared together for a public event.

While you were sleeping

Ireland’s acting prime minister proposed a partnership government. Enda Kenny offered Micheal Martin an unprecedented equal partnership after he lost a parliament vote for the top job. Cooperation between Kenny’s Fine Gael and Martin’s Fianna Fail parties would help break the gridlock formed after inconclusive February elections.

Samsung beat estimates thanks to its latest smartphone. The South Korean tech giant reported strong sales of its well-reviewed Galaxy S7, which it released early to get a jump on Apple and Chinese rivals. A lack of production hiccups helped, too.

Brazil inched closer to impeaching its president. A report for a congressional committee recommended proceeding with the impeachment process against president Dilma Rousseff, based on evidence that she violated fiscal laws.

The US approved the first pacemaker without wires. About the size of a large pill, the device from Medtronic is implanted directly into the heart’s lower-right chamber, without surgery. The use of wires in traditional pacemakers can sometimes cause complications.

Quartz markets haiku

The doves coo and sigh
What a lovely sound for stocks
Best day in a while

Quartz obsession interlude

Jenni Avins on how lab-grown diamonds could disrupt the jewelry industry. “I wondered whether a diamond grown in a lab could carry the same emotional weight as the real thing, without the guilt. And really, if it was identical to a natural diamond down to every last atom, as Roscheisen swore it was, what does it even mean to be the real thing?” Read more.

Matters of debate

Don’t spend your tax return, but don’t pay off your debt either. Invest your tax check in the stock market.

Downward mobility is the new normal. Three-quarters of Americans think that things are looking worse.

When it comes to global tax havens, the US is tops. No need for Switzerland or Panama when you’ve got Delaware and Nevada.

Surprising discoveries

A Japanese ice cream giant apologized for raising prices by 9 cents. The company’s executives bowed to the nation in a somber 60-second ad.

Iceland’s Pirate Party is benefiting from the Panama Papers. Following revelations about the country’s prime minister, 43% of Icelanders want to vote for anti-establishment politicians.

Mexico City pollution is sending Uber surge pricing into overdrive. Forty percent of passenger cars are banned, so demand is sky high.

A nine-year-old reporter beat everyone to a murder scoop. She posted a lacerating video aimed at critics who told her to “play with dolls” instead.

Daimler’s shareholder meeting turned into a food fight. Police had to intervene after investors started battling for limited quantities of buffet sausage.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Japanese ice cream, and shareholder sausage to And download our new iPhone app for news throughout the day.qz_email_list_425047646_post_message