What to watch for today
Will Draghi strike again? The European Central Bank (ECB) announces its latest monetary-policy decision, though few expect another interest-rate cut after the one last month. Last time the bank made a decision, it also talked about helping small businesses get loans, but the bank may not yet be ready to roll out a final plan.
BlackBerry tries anew in India. The company has lost Indian market share to Nokia and Samsung—but it’s making a big effort to win that back with the flagship Q10, which launches today, and upcoming Q5.
European unemployment: Prepare to be scared. France and Greece report jobless rates for the first quarter and March, respectively. French unemployment is forecast to rise slightly to 10.3%. Even if it were to fall a bit in Greece, there’s no way to make 1 in 4 unemployed look good.
Putting the Xi back in MeXico. China’s premier, Xi Jinping, spends one more day in Mexico before heading north to visit US president Barack Obama. Xi and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto have talked about broader cooperation, but a free trade-pact looks far off.
While you were sleeping
The NSA is snooping on US citizens. The Guardian revealed a secret court order that requires US telecom Verizon to hand over all telephone records on a daily basis.
Turkish protesters issued demands. A leading group wants the dismissal of governors and security chiefs. Week-long protests have killed two and injured thousands across the country.
US, UK and Vietnamese authorities busted a $200 million hacking ring. The multinational operation stole credit card details from online merchants. Meanwhile, Microsoft and the FBI co-odinated a worldwide digital assault on a cyber crime ring thought to have stolen $500 million in the last 18 months.
Gabon and Ghana targeted China. Gabon is planning to reclaim oil assets held by three international companies, including a subsidiary of China’s Sinopec. In a separate incident, Ghana arrested 124 illegal Chinese gold prospectors—which might just be the tip of the iceberg.
US soldier Robert Bales pleaded guilty to murdering 16 Afghan civilians—many of them woman and children—in a rampage last year.
Saudi Arabia suspended internet-messaging app Viber. Skype and WhatsApp could be next.
Thomson Reuters screwed up. It admitted to “clock synchronization issues” that allowed high-frequency traders to see US manufacturing data 15 milliseconds early—and make $28 million in trades.
Quartz obsession interlude
Simone Foxman on why northern Europe has surprisingly large “shadow economies.” ”About half of Danes said they’d paid for undocumented labor in the previous year in a confidential survey, and a full 80% said they would be comfortable doing so. … High progressive tax rates and universal benefits eliminate the incentives to earn more documented income.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Today’s Chinese shoppers are the American Jews of the 1950s. Hungry for brands, but growing averse to logos, says American Apparel.
One third of food doesn’t make it to the table. It’s not because you didn’t finish your supper.
The policy wonk behind Xi Jinping. One of the most influential men in China.
Same-sex marriage is good for business. The correlation between tolerance and economic competitiveness.
Why Yahoo will acquire Foursquare. Reason #4: Foursquare’s CEO dresses the part.
Printing out Barbie. It’s much less wasteful than other methods, but also—for now—more expensive than traditional methods.
Imagine there’s no branding. 73% of people wouldn’t care.
The price of Bangladesh factory safetey. Just 90 cents more for a pair of jeans.
Unembargoed US-Iran exports. Nearly $2 million worth of bull sperm, and a bunch of other weird stuff.
What Turkish protestors learned from Grand Theft Auto. How to fight cops, according to the “GTA” graffiti.
“Curing cancer for $1,000, Alec.” What IBM’s Jeopardy champion supercomputer is up to now.
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