Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The UN discusses a new marine-biodiversity treaty. Negotiations begin in New York over laws to govern bodies of water with no national jurisdiction—which account for more than half of the seas. The aim is to conclude the first global marine treaty since 1982’s UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Oculus Rift delivers its first virtual-reality headset to consumers.
It’s a day VR fans and gamers have been waiting for since the company launched its Kickstarter campaign in 2012. It also marks the
of VR headsets hitting the consumer market. CEO Palmer Luckey delivered the first unit himself a few days ago,
to do it.
US economic data. Growth in personal spending in February slowed, the Commerce Department is expected to say. The US will also release figures on pending home sales and the advanced-goods trade deficit.
Markets in Europe remain closed. But US exchanges are open and ready to go.
Over the weekend
Pakistan suffered a brutal terror attack. The death toll from the terrorist attack has risen to 70, including many children. A Taliban splinter group claimed responsibility for the explosion at Lahore’s Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park, a popular destination for families on Easter, saying the attack targeted celebrating Christians.
Syrian government forces pushed ISIL out of Palmyra. Coming with the aid of Russian air support, it was a setback for ISIL’s battle to control Syria and Iraq. The first images to come from the ancient city revealed the destruction ISIL brought during its 10-month occupation.
Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled against major offshore gas deal. The court struck down the deal because of a “stability clause” that would have prevented future governments from altering the deal between the government and a consortium, which included US firm Noble Energy, to develop Israel’s natural-gas fields. If developed, the country could become energy independent and a significant regional gas exporter.
Donald Trump said America hasn’t been great in 116 years… In an an extensive foreign-policy interview with The New York Times, the US presidential candidate gave his views on halting Saudi oil shipments, NATO (“it’s obsolete”), and Edward Snowden (“horrible”). No doubt in a gesture that was entirely unrelated, John Kerry said the presidential campaign was turning into a global “embarrassment.”
…and Bernie Sanders kept his campaign alive. Bolstered by his three caucus victories on Saturday, the US senator said he wanted to debate Hillary Clinton in New York ahead of the April 19 Democratic primary there. Early polls show Clinton with a strong lead in the state.
Japan lost contact with its innovative new space satellite. The satellite, named “Hitomi” and launched on on Feb. 17, was equipped with X-ray telescopes to study black holes. Japan’s space agency announced that it lost touch with the satellite on March 26 and is working to recover it.
Quartz obsession interlude
Keith Collins on how one man broke the internet by deleting 11 lines of code. ”The story of how 28-year-old Azer Koçulu briefly broke the internet shows how writing software for the web has become dependent on a patchwork of code that itself relies on the benevolence of fellow programmers.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Europe needs to grow up about intelligence and forge better links with Muslim communities. If Europe can’t fix itself, it risks being destroyed.
Why are Syrian militias backed by the US military fighting militias armed by US spies? Clashes among different US-backed groups underscore the challenges of intervening in Syria’s chaotic civil war.
Obama is the most merciless president in history by one measure. He’s granted the fewest pardons of any full-term president since John Adams, and it’s too late to show he’s committed to clemency now.
A woman lived in the Plaza for $500 a month for 35 years. The New York City luxury hotel once had monthly tenants and she ended up with a rent-controlled unit.
El Chapo’s chief money launderer hid at least $4 billion. Juan Manuel Alvarez Inzunza, also known as “King Midas,” was arrested while on holiday in Oaxaca.
Research suggests Saturn’s rings are younger than the dinosaurs. They look like they were formed just 100 million years ago.
Romania’s soccer team was used to promote math. They wore shirts with math problems instead of squad numbers before a friendly.
Shakespeare’s skull is not with the rest of his skeleton. Radar scans of his grave suggest the playwright’s head was stolen several centuries ago.
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