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Quartz Daily Brief—TV anchors away, Greece & Ukraine talks, Samsung’s OLED gamble, pot as PED

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 seek a lasting solution to ending the violence in eastern Ukraine. If no new deal is agreed, Russia could face fresh sanctions.

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

Europe’s largest IPO in 12 months. Trading begins in shares of Aena (paywall), a state-controlled Spanish airport operator, which raised €4 billion ($4.5 billion) when sold a minority stake on the Madrid exchange, valuing the company at €8.7 billion.

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

While you were sleeping

Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show. The longtime fake-news host told viewers he 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.

A UK chipmaker celebrated strong earnings. ARM Holdings, a key supplier for the iPhone and “internet of things” devices, said fourth-quarter pre-tax income rose 25% to £118.9 million ($182 million), thanks to a growing number of companies licensing its semiconductor designs (paywall). Revenue rose 19% to £225.9 million.

Heineken toasted healthy earnings. The world’s third-largest brewer reported an 11% rise in net profit last year to €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion), due to sales of higher-margin premium beer brands and the World Cup. Heineken said 2015 will be tougher, but raised its dividend by 24% (paywall).

Samsung put its faith in screens. The South Korean technology company announced it would spend 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion) developing OLED displays for smartphones and tablets, as its own smarthphone unit struggles to maintain market share. The company will reportedly release a new Galaxy S handset next month featuring a three-sided glass display.

Asiana bought 25 aircraft from Airbus. The Seoul-based airline signed a $2.8 billion contract with the European aircraft maker, nearly doubling the 36 it already has on order.

Australia foiled a terrorist attempt. Police arrested two men in a raid on a Sydney home. They found a homemade ISIL flag, a machete, and a video of the men talking about an attack planned for this week.

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.

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

The universe didn’t start with a Big Bang. A new physics model suggests it may have existed forever.

China will pay the price for fining Qualcomm. Picking on foreign companies will hinder domestic competitiveness.

Lord of the Rings has an ominous lesson for startups. The dangers of trying to change the world for the better.

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. Derailing negotiations with Iran will hurt Israel (paywall).

Surprising discoveries

This is what a gorilla punch looks like. A photographer was waylaid by a mountain gorilla drunk on bamboo stems.

There is paparazzi-proof attire for the photo-averse. Embedded glass nanoparticles reflect light from flashes.

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 particular have the hots for motorcycle-riding Yanis Varoufakis.

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

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