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Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Australia terror arrests, TV anchors away, Apple’s new peak, pot as PED

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

SpaceX tries yet again. Extreme winds postponed yesterday’s launch attempt, so Elon Musk’s company will try at 6pm ET to launch—and then land—its reusable rocket. Separately, SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon safely splashed down in the Pacific after a trip to the International Space Station.

Another Ukraine confab. Ukrainian, Russian, German, and French leaders are gathering in Belarus to discuss the increasingly tense situation in Ukraine’s east, and decide whether Russia will be slapped with fresh sanctions.

Greece negotiates with the euro zone. Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis meets his euro zone counterparts in an attempt to get a $10 billion bridge loan. German chancellor Angela Merkel is not having it.

Sweden goes even more negative. The Swedish central bank may take its benchmark rate further into negative territory in a desperate effort to fend off deflation. Neighboring Denmark has cut rates four times in the past month.

Europe’s largest IPO in 12 months. Trading begins in shares of Aena (paywall), the Spanish government’s airport operator, which raised €4 billion ($4.5 billion) when it priced its shares at €58 each on Tuesday, valuing the company at €8.7 billion.

Earnings reports. Companies reporting include: ARM, Banco do Brasil, Cisco, Heineken, PepsiCo, Tesla Motors, Whole Foods, and Time Warner.

While you were sleeping

América Móvil fell well short of estimates. Carlos Slim’s telecom giant reported fourth-quarter net income of 3.1 billion pesos ($207 million), down 82% from a year earlier, and well short of the 20 billion pesos expected. The company blamed regulatory costs in Mexico and volatile foreign exchange rates for the drop.

Australia foiled a terrorist attempt. Police who arrested two men in a raid on a Sydney home found a homemade ISIL flag, a machete, and a video of the men talking about an attack planned for this week. Australia has been battling home-grown terrorism in recent months, mostly by citizens sympathetic to the Islamic State.

News anchor Brian Williams was suspended. The NBC Nightly News host has been ordered off the air for six months without pay for embellishing a story about a helicopter ride in Iraq. Analysts are skeptical that Williams, whose show is the most-watched US newscast, can return to TV.

Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show. Comedy Central confirmed that the fake-news host will stop anchoring the show later this year. The Daily Show, which Stewart has anchored since 1999, is likely to continue with an as-yet unnamed replacement.

Halliburton announced job cuts. The oil company is slashing between 6.5% and 8.5% of its global workforce, or 5,000 to 6,500 people. The cuts did little to assuage investors; Halliburton’s stock fell 3%.

Apple breached $700 billion. The company’s market capitalization set a new corporate record when it closed above $700 billion. Before the bell rang, Apple also announced that it would be investing $850 million in a new solar farm in California.

Quartz obsession interlude

Lily Kuo on how countries react to the love holiday. “Tongue-in-cheek ‘Anti-Valentine’s Day’ parties are de rigueur in cities from Los Angeles to Singapore these days. But in some other parts of the world, opposition toward the holiday runs much deeper and is tangled up in politics, religion, and national identity.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Lord of the Rings has an ominous lesson for startups. Everyone thinks they can change the world for the better.

Don’t celebrate oil’s bounce-back. The recent surge is just a brief respite on the way down.

Stop insulting Islam and start punishing ISIL. Anti-Muslim rhetoric does nothing to combat the real threat.

Binyamin Netanyahu shouldn’t speak to the US congress. He will hurt Israel by derailing negotiations with Iran (paywall).

Surprising discoveries

Jeb Bush published his constituents’ social security numbers. He was trying to show he is tech-savvy.

Marijuana is a performance-enhancing drug. It helps ultramarathon runners withstand pain and nausea (paywall).

Greece’s finance minister is a sex symbol. Germans in particularly have the hots for Yanis Varoufakis.

There is buried porn in YouTube. The site failed to remove videos that were disguised with Irish-language titles.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Yanis pinups, and Gaelic porn titles to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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