Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Deutsche Bank pulls back the curtain. Germany’s largest lender reports its quarterly earnings and may disclose its plans for listing the Deutsche asset management brand.
China closes off the Yellow Sea for military maneuvers. The government plans to hold large-scale war games in a 40,000-square-km (25,000-square-mile) area off the coast of Qingdao, a few days before the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army.
Royal-Dutch Shell earnings. Profits are expected to double at Europe’s largest oil company due to higher prices, but recent weakness has investors nervous.
While you were sleeping
Donald Trump banned transgender troops. The US president announced a reversal of the Obama-era policy that allowed transgender people to serve in the military in a series of tweets that surprised the Pentagon (paywall). He cited “medical costs and disruptions,” though a year of military transgender healthcare is less pricey than a few trips to Mar-a-Lago.
US airports took a hard look at tablets. The US department of homeland security announced that it will soon require all electronics larger than a smartphone, including tablets and game consoles, to be removed from carry-on bags for examination. Similar rules already apply in 100 countries, due to terrorism concerns.
Venezuela began a 48-hour strike. Opposition leaders called on workers to stay home for two days to protest the upcoming constituent assembly election, which they believe is a ploy for president Nicolás Maduro to gain more power.
Facebook’s earnings got a boost. The social media giant beat analyst expectations for the 17th straight quarter, with revenue up 45% to $9.32 billion and net income rising 71% to $3.89 billion. Still, most signs point toward Facebook being unable to keep up the pace of revenue growth it’s set over the last few years.
The Fed held steady. The central bank left interest rates unchanged, noting that inflation is well below its 2% target. Separately, Brazil reduced interest rates below 10% for the first time since 2013 in hopes of jumpstarting the economy after a devastating recession.
Quartz obsession interlude
Max de Haldevang on how the family of Vladimir Putin’s US-sanctioned ally uses British companies to burnish its reputation: “Yakunin reportedly lives in a palatial mansion outside Moscow, with an Olympic-size indoor pool and one room solely dedicated to storing fur coats. After the reported fur coat room began trending on Russian social media, Yakunin denied that he’d ever worn a fur coat.” Read more here.
Fed assets for sale / All for the low, low price of / $4.5 trillion
Matters of debate
Publishers need to stop pivoting on command. Facebook’s self-interested whims suck up resources while fostering media’s unhealthy dependence.
To get ahead at work, be polarizing. As long as you’re a mensch in your personal interactions, there’s a value to bringing divisive ideas to the table.
Sanctions won’t work on Putin. Economic penalties have a long history of failure (paywall), especially when targeting a powerful country.
Guantanamo Bay has a video game library. Prisoners have long been able to borrow board games and books, but now the offerings include DVDs and PS3 games.
In zero gravity, blood pools into a dome. That’s just one of the reasons space is a terrible place to perform surgery.
A mysterious mega-swan once ruled New Zealand. The Poūwa swan, which went extinct around 1450 AD, was up to 30% larger than modern swans and semi-flightless.
Sperm counts are plunging in rich countries. Exposure to chemicals may be to blame for the 60% drop over the last four decades.
Archaeologists discovered the world’s oldest 🙂. It’s painted on a 3,700-year-old jug unearthed on the Turkish-Syrian border.
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