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Quartz will be one of the 20 publishers launching a new Facebook Watch series this summer, with a new show about the global economy called “Quartz News,” Facebook’s Campbell Brown told Axios Monday.

Why it matters: This is the digital news site’s first weekly show and it will be focused on international reporting. It’s also an opportunity for Facebook to experiment with an outlet that’s trying to weave a bot messaging experiment into the Watch experience.

How it works: A Messenger experience created by the Quartz Bot Studio will complement the programming by surfacing story headlines in chats with users, encouraging viewers to engage in conversations about the news, and asking users to send us imagery they’ve shot around the world. Quartz says its messenger bot has exchanges 99 messages with the average user.

  • “We’re creating a new kind of news show, one that is truly global, digitally native, and creative — and that makes viewers smarter about the top business issues. We’re also integrating it deeply with an interactive bot experience, drawing from our flagship Quartz for Messenger on Facebook,” says Quartz editor-in-chief and co-president Kevin Delaney.
  • Quartz says its goal is to explore unique perspectives on the economic and technological forces underpinning global events.
  • Quartz’s Preeti Varathan, an economics and finance reporter in New York, will be a reporter on the show. The show will display journalism from Quartz news bureaus around the world in Asia, Africa, India, Europe and the Americas.

Go deeper

5 mins ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).

Cuomo: "I am not going to resign"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo apologized Wednesday for acting in a way that made women feel "uncomfortable," but insisted that he has "never touched anyone inappropriately" and said he will not resign.

Driving the news: Cuomo reiterated in his first public appearance since sexual harassment allegations surfaced that he will fully cooperate with a team of independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, but suggested that demands for his resignation from were simply "politics."

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