Skip to navigationSkip to content
STAR WARS

Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Apple earnings, Turkey threatens Facebook, Kurds take Kobani, Tesla hotel

What to watch for today

Apple talks earnings. The company is expected to report that it sold a record number of iPhones in the last three months of 2014 after making the phone bigger. Analysts also expect a 15% increase in sales of Macs and a similar-sized drop in iPads.

Yahoo talks taxes. CEO Marissa Mayer will reveal what the internet company plans to do with its roughly $40 billion stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which went public last year. The key question is how Yahoo can sell some of the shares without a massive tax bill.

Obama visits the new Saudi king. The US president is cutting short his visit in India to pay his respects to King Salman after the death of King Abdullah. Some think he shouldn’t be going.

The world remembers Auschwitz. Ceremonies and films (including a recently-unearthed documentary that Alfred Hitchcock helped make) will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the notorious Nazi concentration camp and celebrities and statespeople will converge at the site in Poland.

While you were sleeping

Turkey threatened to ban Facebook. A court ruled that the social network must ban pages that insult the prophet Muhammad, or face a possible ban. So far, it appears Facebook has complied (paywall). Last year, Turkey banned Twitter and YouTube after government conversations were leaked.

Greece and the EU squared off. After winning Sunday’s Greek general election, radical-left party Syriza formed a coalition with the rightwing but equally populist Independent Greeks. EU ministers said the new government’s demand for a debt writedown was out of the question. Markets seemed unperturbed, though.

Barbie’s boss quit. Bryan Stockton is no longer the head of Mattel after the toy company’s profit this past holiday season plummeted 59%. Mattel has been battling a rapid and steady decline in Barbie doll sales, and losing the merchandising license for the hit movie Frozen as of 2016 won’t help either.

Harman invested $1 billion in the future of audio. One of the world’s biggest makers of audio systems, with brands such as Harman Kardon, JBL, and Infinity, said it’s acquiring two companies that will give it a foothold in delivering music wirelessly to internet-connected devices, from smartphones to cars.

ISIL was driven out of Kobani. The four-month battle between a US-led coalition and the Islamic State has finally ended, according to activists, and Kurdish forces have taken control of the Syrian town near the border with Turkey. The fighting has killed 1,600 people, displaced 100 times more, and destroyed half of Kobani.

A throwback to Cold War espionage. The FBI arrested a man it accuses of being a Russian spy. Evgeny Buryakov worked at a Russian bank in New York, according to the complaint. Officials say he and two other men were trying to transmit information to Moscow on potential US sanctions, among other things.

Quartz obsession interlude

Zachary M. Seward on how the future of TV has finally arrived. “For sports fans, Sling TV will be an appealing option because it’s the cheapest way to access ESPN. For everyone else, the service is more symbolic—worth following, if not subscribing to—because it shows what TV is becoming as it moves to the internet.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Don’t hold your breath for a flying car. Predictions about the future of transport tend to underestimate how much it’ll cost.

Syriza will have some hard choices to make. Greeks want Greece to stay in the euro, and the new government can’t do that and keep all its campaign promises.

Ditch your smartphone. And buy a dumb Nokia instead, because it’ll save your sanity and make you a better real-life friend.

Obama’s visit to India was more talk than substance. It was a lovefest, but the US president offered little in the way of investment.

Tech firms have become as arrogant as Wall Street. And they could suffer a similar fate (paywall) if they keep resisting laws that protect people and jobs from their disruptive side-effects.

Surprising discoveries

India’s prime minister loves himself. The pinstripes on the suit he wore when meeting Barack Obama are actually his name in tiny letters—over and over again.

Icebergs aren’t white. The bit below the surface, at least, is a rather remarkable color.

Cars are the new real estate. A man in the US put his Tesla Model S up on Airbnb for $85 a night as a “Tesla hotel.”

Just because it looks like a bank, it doesn’t mean it is one. A fake bank in China has swindled $32 million from roughly 200 “customers”.

A French couple tried to name their child “Nutella.” A judge ordered it changed because it might “lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts.”

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, car hotel listings, and food-inspired baby names to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.

Subscribe to the Daily Brief, our morning email with news and insights you need to understand our changing world.

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.