Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Barack Obama meets EU leaders in Germany. The leaders of the US, Germany, UK, Italy, and France are expected to focus on ISIL, the new government in Libya, the refugee crisis, and an EU-US free-trade deal. Today, the EU and US begin another round of secretive negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in New York.
Syrian peace talks resume—without the main opposition group. The talks are due to go ahead, even though the main armed opposition group is boycotting proceedings after claiming the ceasefire has been violated. The UN has called on the US and Russia (paywall) to “act quickly” to save the fragile negotiations.
Saudi Arabia releases its “Vision 2030.” A fresh agenda is due be unveiled today, possibly by deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman himself, outlining how the country intends to move away from oil. It is to be followed up with a five-year “National Transformation Plan,” to be released in the coming weeks.
Over the weekend
Ted Cruz and John Kasich teamed up against Donald Trump… The two Republican presidential candidates announced their strategies to deny frontrunner Trump their party’s nomination; Ted Cruz will stop campaigning in the Oregon and New Mexico primaries to help Kasich, while Kasich will give Cruz a “clear path” in Indiana.
…while a conservative financier suggested he might back Hillary. Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialist and backer of Republican candidates, told ABC that it’s “possible” Hillary Clinton, the Democrat frontrunner, would make a better president than Donald Trump, whose plan to deport Muslims he described as “reminiscent of Nazi Germany.”
Sony suffered after it postponed its latest earnings. Shares fell 6% today after the Japanese consumer-electronics giant pushed back the release date of the report until May because of supply-chain disruptions following the earthquakes in southwest Japan earlier this month.
A far-right candidate won the first round of presidential elections in Austria. The Freedom Party’s Norbert Hofer, who carries a Glock, advocates deporting foreigners, and wants to leave the EU, will now face a runoff in May. His triumph reflects the country’s growing worries about the economy and the refugee influx.
North Korea and the US sparred over nuclear tests. On Saturday, North Korean foreign minister Ri Su-yong said the country would stop its testing, provided the US discontinue its annual military exercises with South Korea. On Sunday, president Barack Obama declined the deal, saying that that Pyongyang would “have to do better than that.”
Quartz obsession interlude
Gwynn Guilford on how monkeys managed to cross the sea long, long ago. “Take the monkey whose fossilized teeth were just discovered etched into a hunk of ancient rock in Panama. The monkey (or its forebears) had to have arrived there in Central America from South America, which at the time was separated from it by a stretch of sea at least 100 miles wide—the equivalent of about five English Channels.” Read more here.
Matters of Debate
Prince shows that rock music has always been black music. Claiming that black artists who play rock music are “crossing over” ignores the rich history of the genre.
The US should embrace “right to roam” laws. Europeans are free to wander the forests and fields of their countries, whereas Americans must trespass (paywall) if they want to travel scenic routes on foot.
American football players shouldn’t wear helmets during practice. Going unprotected will prevent injuries, as players will be feel less invincible and learn safer tackling techniques.
The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo has a new logo. The original design was scrapped amid accusations of plagiarism.
More Christians are celebrating Passover. Increasing numbers of Christians celebrate the Jewish festival—some churches even offer “Christian Seders.”
The original rules of baseball are worth $3.26 million. The documents were sold by a California-based auction company to an anonymous buyer early Sunday morning.
The first space marathon was completed. British astronaut Tim Peake ran the 26-mile London Marathon on Sunday while strapped to a treadmill in the International Space Station.
Russia’s military just bought five dolphins. Moscow’s Utrish Dolphinarium has promised to supply the military with five bottlenose dolphins by Aug. 1, but there’s no word on the reason for this purchase.
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