Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
The Dalai Lama begins a touchy visit in northeast India. China claims the Arunachal Pradesh state is part of “south Tibet,” and is likely to see the Tibetan Buddhist leader’s nine-day trip as a provocation.
Japan’s ambassador returns to South Korea… Yasumasa Nagamine was recalled in protest of a statue honoring South Korean women who were sexually assaulted in Japanese military brothels. Relations are on the mend with the prospect of a new South Korean president and renewed threats from North Korea.
…and South Korea’s centrist People’s Party picks a presidential candidate. Former party co-chairman Ahn Cheol-soowill almost certainly be chosen, following the Democratic Party’s selection of Moon Jae-in. The election will be held next month.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
S&P cut South Africa’s credit rating to junk. The downgrade, which came after president Jacob Zuma fired his finance minister, marks the first time the country has not had an investment grade rating since 2000. The rand, which plummeted after Pravin Gordhan was dismissed, fell an additional 2.3%.
Verizon revealed its strange new name for Yahoo and AOL.The combined companies will be called Oath, according to a tweet from AOL chief Tim Armstrong. The name was quickly panned on social media. Meanwhile, Recode reported, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer won’t be part of the new company, which Armstrong will lead.
Justin Trudeau passed a test with voters. The Canadian prime minister’s party retained power in five by-elections around the nation. While the Liberals will continue to enjoy a majority in parliament, dissatisfaction with the economy and anger over illegal immigration will likely make the next election harder.
Ferdinand Piech cut ties with Volkswagen. The 80-year-old former chairman agreed to sell “a major part” of his controlling stake, worth about €1 billion ($1.1 billion), to the ruling Piech and Porsche families. The grandson of Ferdinand Porsche lost a corporate power struggle in 2015.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Tim Fernholz on the complex auto trade between the US and China: “Now that China is the largest car market on the globe, US firms are reluctant to complain too loudly about the lopsided rules for fear of being cut off completely—US firms and their joint ventures have a major share of the market.” Read more here.
What could be less cool
Than Google telling us that
Teens think Google’s cool?
MATTERS OF DEBATE
“Leaning in” isn’t working. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg sayswomen are no better off, four years after her best seller was published.
It’s risky negotiating with China when you don’t know what you want. If the White House can’t set a coherent Asian policy, it may get suckered by Beijing.
Detroit is winning the race for autonomous cars. Google, Uber, and Tesla are ill-prepared to reach the masses.
A “grammar vigilante” is fixing signs in Bristol. In the cover of darkness the hooded crusader uses a long stick—the “Apostrophiser”—to reach improperly punctuated signs in the English city.
Dolphins like to tenderize their octopus prey. It’s the only way toavoid choking on zombie tentacles.
Salted doorknobs could help fight superbugs. Simple table salt is much cheaper than antimicrobial copper, and may be even more effective.
A Turkish chocolate firm’s April Fools’ Day prank backfired spectacularly. Government supporters decided that it was a coded threat of a coup d’état.
Britain, Canada, and Italy have the whiniest babies. Their rates of colic are the highest in the industrialized world.
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