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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

What we’re tracking on Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Only because it’s expected of us, we’ll be keeping an eye out for details of the 11 agreements signed yesterday between Egypt and Bahrain on day one of Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa’s two-day visit. (More in Diplomacy + Trade, below.) (Frankly, we want to like Bahrain, we really do. But we’re still having a difficult time erasing the memories of that close-up shot of a smirking sheikh’s mouth in the 2010-11 vintage Business Friendly Bahrain television ad. You know the one —it seemed to air every five minutes on CNN, the mouth slowly moving from sneer to a rictus smirk as the “Business Friendly” slogan appeared. It still gives us the creeps. We’d link to the ad, but the Bahrainis have done a better job scrubbing it from the internet than we have scrubbing its afterimage from our retinas.)

Donald Trump has declared himself the “presumptive nominee” after winning all five of last night’s primaries in the race for the Republican party’s nomination. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, took four northeastern states to Bernie Sanders’ one, suggesting we could be looking at a fall contest between the Democrats’ least-inspiring candidate and the Republicans’ most awful. The New York Times’ overview is here.

Apple snapped a 13-year streak of quarter-on-quarter revenue growth yesterday as it reported a 13% dip in second-quarter revenues to USD 50.6 bn, according to the company’s earnings release. The New York Times attributed the dip to “Apple’s already immense size, weakness in key global markets like China and the lack of another hot product to pry open the wallets of customers. Business Insider has more, including charts and a live blog of Apple’s earnings call, or check the Financial Times (paywall). Want to see how your quarterly earnings call stacks up against Apple’s? Tap here to listen for yourselves (run time: 60:17).

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