Good morning, here’s your Thursday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.
Italy President holds PM auditions
Italy’s President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella will meet separately today with each of the country’s political party leaders as the country tries to cobble together a working government.
Mattarella yesterday formally began consultations to try to break the political stalemate and forge a new government.
The Democratic Party will be first into the Quirinale Palace at 10am local time, followed by Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia at 11am. The Northern League’s Matteo Salvini is due at 12pm and then 5Star Movement’s Luigi Di Maio at 4:30pm.
However, we’re still a long way away from any sort of coalition deal in Italy and Mattarella has his work cut out if he wants to avoid sending the country back to the ballot box.
The early March poll produced a fragmented parliament in which populist forces made gains at the expense of traditional parties.
Monsanto updates investors ahead of Bayer’s $66 billion takeover
US seed giant Monsanto will post its second-quarter results today, with investors focused on German group Bayer’s $66bn takeover.
In March the European Commission approved the deal after Bayer promised to sell off substantial parts of its business.
The merger will make the Bayer-Monsanto conglomerate the largest seed and pesticide company in the world, giving it enormous power to control farm practices, putting private profits over the public interest.
Since 1990 the 600 or more independent and family-owned seed businesses globally, shrank to just 100 by 2009 while seed prices had more than doubled.
A 2016 survey of US President Donald Trump’s voter base found that more than half disapproved of the Monsanto-Bayer merger, fearing it would result in higher food prices and higher costs for farmers.
Tiger Woods tees off the Masters at Augusta after three-year break
Golfing legend Tiger Woods will make his return to Augusta for the first time in three years today for what some are calling the most open Masters in recent memory.
Woods is playing in his first major since missing the cut at the US PGA Championship in August 2015.
Fourteen-time major winner and four-time Masters champion, Woods tees off at 3:40pm London time today — just under a year since he underwent back surgery.
Woods won the last of his Green Jackets in 2005 and the most recent of his 14 major titles came at the US Open in 2008. Since then he’s battled against scandals and debilitating injuries.