What to watch for today
Barack Obama, meet Xi Jinping. The US and Chinese presidents will hold a casual “shirt-sleeves” summit in California (Here’s a guide to interpreting the photo ops). Revelations about the NSA’s domestic surveillance program have given Xi the perfect come-back line when Obama brings up Chinese cyber-espionage.
Big-time US jobs day. The fate of the US growth story—and the Federal Reserve’s controversial quantitative easing program—could rest on this. Economists expect that 167,000 private, non-farm jobs will be added to the economy, and the unemployment rate will stay steady at 7.5%.
Hosni Mubarak goes back on trial. Egypt’s former president faces charges of murder and of killing protestors in a retrial.
Can Abenomics be saved? Japan’s $1.16 trillion national pension fund said it would boost its allocation of domestic stocks and overseas assets. But the yen strengthened 0.7 percent to 96.28 per dollar on Friday—the most in three years—casting doubt on Shinzo Abe’s attempts to devalue his currency.
While you were sleeping
Germany cut growth forecasts to 0.3% this year and 1.5% in 2014 (from 0.4% and 1.9%, respectively) because of continuing gloom in the euro zone. Angela Merkel said EU interest rates could rise once structural reforms take place, and trust in banks is restored.
North Korea played nice. Pyongyang reopened a hotline to Seoul and has invited South Korean officials to drop by for a chat over the weekend, the first time the two Koreas will talk since February 2011.
Samsung stock fell on reports of slow demand. Weak demand for Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 caused JP Morgan analysis to cut profit estimates, sending shares down 6.2%.
Erdogan returned home to thunderous applause. More than 10,000 government supporters cheered the Turkish prime minister’s defiant speech at an airport in Istanbul, while his opponents massed in Taksim Square.
Quartz obsession interlude
Leo Mirani on the lessons the US should learn from how Britain has done business with Huawei. “Put in place a robust system for the government to monitor investment into national infrastructure by foreign organisations, and to impose conditions for managing risk, such as setting up cells akin to the one monitoring Huawei. Good oversight beats bombastic protectionism any day of the week.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
How do you fix your reliance on a dozen easily hack-able passwords? Ask your subconscious.
The key to happiness: Remind yourself to be happy.
The real shortcomings of US border control. The cost of a long line.
Sean Parker, maybe not the worst. The Silicon Valley mogul’s defense of his redwoods wedding is actually pretty convincing.
A Thai trader made a 3,400% return on the Smithfield-Shuanghui deal. Thanks to Facebook.
Jay-Z is just like Samsung. You’d be surprised at the similarities.
George Soros, an atheist, is allegedly behind an American Evangelical campaign. A case of strange bedfellows.
Candy crackdown. Canadian authorities have charged Nestle and Mars with some not-so-sweet chocolate price-fixing.
Monster shark catch. A Texas man caught what might be the biggest mako shark ever reeled in, at 1,323 pounds (600 kg).
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