Skip to navigationSkip to content

Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Kiwi milk threat, Credit Suisse’s new boss, Baidu’s autonomous car, Kanye air sale

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

What to watch for today

India’s prime minister goes island hopping. Narendra Modi will begin a tour through Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Mauritius, and the Seychelles, offering governments there both military and civilian assistance. The visit to Sri Lanka will be the first by an Indian prime minister in nearly three decades.

Sina struggles. The Chinese internet company is expected to post a sharp drop in earnings. Its once-popular microblogging service Weibo has fallen behind rival chat app WeChat, especially in the wake of a government crackdown on dissent.

Barnes & Noble’s remainders table. The retailer’s fiscal third-quarter revenue is expected to decline as book sales continue to slide and demand for its Nook e-reader remains weak.

While you were sleeping

An eco-terrorist threat to New Zealand’s milk supply. An anonymous letter addressed to Fonterra, the world’s biggest dairy company, threatened to contaminate New Zealand’s infant formula supply with a toxic pesticide called 1080, unless New Zealand stops using it by the end of the month. The country sprays 1080 to kill invasive possums and rats that are threatening the country’s natural fauna with extinction.

Credit Suisse picked a new CEO. The Swiss bank has chosen Tidjane Thiam, currently the head of UK insurer Prudential, to replace its current chief Brady Dougan after eight years at the top. Thiam, the first black CEO of a FTSE 100 company, will be only the second non-Swiss head of the bank.

Twitter opened a Hong Kong office. The microblogging service’s first office in greater China will be aimed at mainland companies seeking international exposure. Twitter says it has no plans to re-enter the Chinese market, where it has been blocked since 2009.

French industrial data got a surprise bump. Industrial output rose 0.4% in January, compared with an expected 0.4% drop. That’s the first time in over half a year that the volatile measure rose for two consecutive months, and follows a positive surprise from Germany earlier this week.

Chinese inflation picked up. Consumer prices rose by 1.4% in February due to an upswing in the cost of fruits and vegetables. But producer price deflation deepened, with factory gate prices falling 4.8% from a year earlier, underscoring the pressure on economic policymakers and corporate profit margins.

Baidu may release an autonomous car this year. The Chinese search giant said it has been working with automakers for some time, without naming them. A Baidu car would be years ahead Google’s own driverless car project, suggesting that the functionality may be more of a driver-assist “autopilot.

Quartz obsession interlude

Hanna Kozlowska on the non-believers. “Americans excel at denial. Take climate change. There’s overwhelming scientific evidence that human activity has accelerated climate change. But a staggering 52% of the population agreed with the statement ‘The climate change we are currently seeing is a natural phenomenon that happens from time to time,’ in a global poll published last year. It comes as little surprise, then, that some of the country’s officials have successfully pretended that human-induced climate change does not exist.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The Apple Watch Edition’s true innovation is class anxiety… The device is unaffordable for everyone but the obscenely wealthy.

…But it may actually save time in the end. It will allow users to take action without undue distraction 

The euro zone is killing itself slowly. The monetary union that was meant to pull the continent together is tearing it apart.

Murderers are both born and made. A warrior gene makes some men more likely to kill, but childhood trauma also plays a role.

Silence is a luxury good. We must now pay to find solace from brands demanding our attention (paywall).

Surprising discoveries

A Malaysia Airlines towelette washed up on an Australian beach. Authorities are checking if it came from the missing MH370.

Ghostbusters is getting mega-franchised. Sony is already planning an all-male lineup to follow the forthcoming all-female sequel.

There’s an app that donates to charity when you exercise. Running is worth 25 cents per mile.

There’s a dog that can smell cancer. Frankie’s nose has an 88% success rate in detecting tumors.

People are selling air from a Kanye West concert. EBay has been flooded with plastic bags purportedly full of the stuff.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Kanye oxygen, and Ghostbuster sequel ideas to 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.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

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