Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Theresa May visits China. The British prime minister arrived in Wuhan and is expected to discuss trade with Beijing, although May warned that the two countries don’t always “see eye-to-eye” on the issue. She is also under pressure to raise the issue of Hong Kong’s democratic freedoms with Beijing.
Janet Yellen’s final Fed meeting. The US central bank’s monthly confab is unlikely to result in any interest rate moves, but markets will be looking for signals about the likelihood of more than three planned hikes this year.
There’s a blood moon on the rise. For the first time in 152 years, a total lunar eclipse will coincide with a supermoon, blood moon, and blue moon, when Luna appears 14% bigger and 30% brighter. From eastern Asia to western North America, the moon will take on a reddish hue.
While you were sleeping
Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address. The US president declared that (paywall) “this is our new American moment” and that “there has never been a better time to start living the American dream” in the speech. He also extolled the virtues of “beautiful clean coal,” lauded the African-American unemployment rate, and ordered Guantanamo Bay to be kept open.
Australian state secrets were exposed in a second-hand filing cabinet. National broadcaster ABC found thousands of secret documents spanning five governments that were left inside locked cabinets sold at a used-furniture shop in Canberra. The files included military and counter-terrorism plans; the prime minister has launched an urgent investigation.
The White House dropped its nominee for ambassador to South Korea. Victor Cha, a Korea expert at Georgetown University who previously worked in the George W. Bush administration, is no longer being considered for the long-vacant post, reportedly over disagreements with Trump over North Korea. Cha later confirmed the news in an op-ed, and laid out why he is against a military solution (paywall) in North Korea.
Fujifilm neared a deal to buy Xerox. Media reports said that the deal would combine the American photocopier giant with the 50-year-old joint venture that it currently operates with Japan’s Fujifilm. Both companies have been trying to refocus their photocopier businesses as demand for printing falls.
Quartz obsession interlude
Heather Timmons on JFK’s millennial grandnephew, Joseph Kennedy III. “Should a centrist white man speak for the Democratic party, when there’s plenty of pressure for it to move out of the center?… Growing grassroots groups like the Progressive Democrats are pushing for the party to upend the status quo on issues such as refugees and government-supported child care. While Kennedy supports transgender rights, he’s voted repeatedly against that most mainstream of progressive causes, marijuana legalization.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Emmanuel Macron’s pledge to wipe out coal is meaningless. Economics, not politics, will drive coal’s future.
Social media itself is the problem—not fake followers. The desire for attention from a vast audience is limiting our ability to express ourselves.
“Begpackers” are an ethical problem. Intentionally touching down in a country with no financial means to support yourself effectively guarantees you will be a drain on the local economy.
Trump’s list of Putin cronies was cribbed from a Forbes rich list. Russia’s elite think the US “oligarchs list” is hilarious.
An Australian politician overrode a public vote to make a boat joke. After a A$100,000 ($80,000) contest to name a ferry, transport minister Andrew Constance falsely claimed that “Ferry McFerryface” had won.
Tinder discriminates against older people. A California court ruled that the Tinder Plus feature, which is cheaper for people under 30, made an “arbitrary, class-based generalization” about the incomes of older users.
Mardi Gras beads are clogging New Orleans. The city’s been working hard to fix its drainage problem, but the plastic beads aren’t helping.
A Grammy-nominated Burkina Faso band didn’t even know they had been recorded. Musicians say an American producer made the album without their consent.
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