Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Singapore air show, Supreme Court battle, Kanye’s fundraising

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What to watch for today

The aviation world flies to Singapore. The Singapore Airshow—one of the major events where airplane makers like to announce big orders—kicks off in a time of uncertainty. While increased air traffic in Asia is driving much of the industry’s growth, many are bracing for a potential slowdown.

An unusual potential Grammy award winner. The US music industry award show is set to take place in Los Angeles. One particularly interesting world-music nominee: A group of inmates from Malawi’s Zomba maximum security prison.

Oil ministers meeting in Doha. Amidst an oil glut, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister will reportedly speak with reps from Russia, Venezuela, and Qatar. Oil prices rose almost 2% yesterday on the news.

While you were sleeping

The next US Supreme Court nominee faces a fierce partisan battle. Republicans vow to block any nominee from President Barack Obama before November’s election. Democratic minority leader Sen. Harry Reid called a year-long vacancy a “shameful abdication” of responsibility. The White House says it’s moving ahead with a nomination.

France said EU industries shouldn’t have to pay for carbon. Until other blocs set a carbon price, heavy industries that want to leave the EU because of energy costs should get EU Emissions Trading System permits free of charge, France’s economic minister Emmanuel Macron said.

European banking stocks rebounded. The FTSEurofirst 300 index rose another 3.1%. It’s still down 12% overall from Jan. 1. European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi insists stocks are better protected from collapse than before the credit crisis.

Pilots are angry about lasers. A New York-bound Virgin Atlantic flight was forced to return to Heathrow after the plane was struck by a laser. One pilot needed medical treatment upon landing. A UK pilots union wants lasers classified as an offensive weapon.

Merkel supported a no-fly zone in Syria. The German chancellor echoed Turkey’s call to secure an area within Syria for refugees. Yet both Turkey and Russia bombed targets in the country yesterday.

Quartz obsession interlude

Jenni Avins on fashion designer Mona Kowalska’s measured small-business practices. “In a culture where the pressure to produce bigger! faster! more! is relentless, Kowalska purposefully keeps her business at a size that’s manageable for her—and her management style is one many of us could learn from.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

What comes after Moore’s law. The end of processor acceleration is nigh, so chipmakers are turning to—uh-oh—the cloud.

It’s time to talk about period pain. Menstrual pain can be as “bad as having a heart attack.” Medical support for women with period-related cramps is terribly lacking, and a culture of silence is making it worse.

Opposing ideologues can be friends. Why the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a fire breathing conservative, had a warm friendship with the court’s leading liberal, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

This is the greatest film about the Amazon. Oscar-nominated “Embrace the Serpent” is surreal but not exploitative.

Surprising discoveries

Maybe winter isn’t that depressing after all. New research suggests Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a flawed concept—and our brains may work more efficiently during the colder, darker months.

Kanye West is $53 million in debt. Or so he tweets. The rapper also asked Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for a $1 billion investment. West says he is lacking the resources necessary to make the world dope.

There’s a US factory in revolutionary Cuba. Probably the only place where a tractor factory is disruptive.

Scientists have successfully printed bone, muscle, and ear tissue. They used a 3D printer to lay down water-based solutions that contain human cells.

Australian police found $700 million of liquid meth hidden in padded bra inserts and art supplies. The Minister for Justice says the drug bust will keep 3.6 million hits of “ice” off the streets.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, commuter-jet orders, and Kanye-inspired business plans to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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