What to watch for today
Russia and NATO ambassadors meet in Brussels. They’ll discuss cooperation on fighting terrorism, military exercises, and the Ukraine peace process in the first such meeting since June 2014.
Nawaz Sharif comes home to deal with the Panama Papers. The Pakistani prime minister has been in London, reportedly for medical treatment, amid a growing scandal about his family’s ties to offshore companies. He has called a meeting of senior officials in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Barack Obama starts an awkward trip to Saudi Arabia. He will meet with King Salman, as well as the leaders of other Gulf countries. The Saudis are unhappy with America’s nuclear deal with Iran, and with a push by Senate Democrats to allow families affected by the 9/11 attacks to sue the Saudi government.
Earning, earnings, earnings: Coca Cola, Qualcomm, American Express, Yum Brands, and Mattel all report their quarterly results.
While you were sleeping
Mitsubishi shares plunged on the admission that it cheated on fuel-economy tests. Investors dumped the Japanese car company’s shares after it admitted that it ”conducted testing improperly to present better fuel consumption rates than the actual rates.” These tests covered 625,000 vehicles destined for the domestic market, including models supplied to Nissan. Mitsubishi said it will now investigate whether the same applies to cars made for foreign markets.
The EU filed antitrust charges against Google. The internet giant is accused of abusing its dominant position in mobile software by insisting to device makers that its search engine be preinstalled as the default option for phones that use the Android operating system. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that Google’s behavior “denies consumers a wider choice of mobile apps and services and stands in the way of innovation by other players.”
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won New York’s presidential primaries. Both were heavily favored, given their ties to the state (Trump is from there, Clinton served as senator there). Trump’s win puts him closer to clinching the Republican nomination outright, while Clinton’s victory gives her an almost insurmountable lead over rival Bernie Sanders.
Kuwait’s oil strike ended. The country’s oil production fell by half during the three-day workers’ strike over pay and benefits. Expectations that production will quickly ramp back up up to 3 million barrels a day weighed on oil prices, amid worries about a global glut.
Heineken raised a glass. The world’s third-largest brewer beat analysts’ expectations with a 7% rise in first-quarter beer sales, boosted by robust results in China and Vietnam in particular. Volumes in Ethiopia and Nigeria were also fizzy.
China suspended an anti-corruption task force. Chinese companies refused to work with the “Business 20” group, hampering efforts to crack down on shell-company shenanigans. China holds the rotating G20 presidency this year, but offered no explanation for shutting down the task force.
Quartz obsession interlude
Amy Wang on how a lawsuit against Kanye West gets at the heart of the problem with music streaming. “Given the availability of music via a plethora of digital avenues, it’s difficult for streaming services to claim anything is exclusive in the traditional sense of the word. It may be harder, yet, for angry fans.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Canada is the global economy’s last hope. Prime minister Justin Trudeau’s deficit spending is a bold move that other countries should emulate.
Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment won’t save Brazil. An economy that’s solely dependent on commodity exports needs more than new leadership.
The global CEO is a myth. The newest batch of corporate leaders is more male and less worldly than ever. This is progress?
You can pay someone to name your baby. Stressed-out parents fear the wrong choice could ruin their children’s lives.
The world’s oldest message in a bottle washed up. The German woman who found the 108-year-old missive got the shilling-coin reward it promised.
Ben & Jerry got arrested. The ice cream company founders were among 300 protesters arrested on the steps of the US Capitol, demanding a vote on Supreme Court nominees.
Trees are connected by the “fungal internet.” The network exchanges carbon between different arboreal species.
The US may finally stop making pennies. But the Treasury’s proposal is opposed by the zinc industry.
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