Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The mood in the markets. Janet Yellen’s farewell, rising wages, and the Federal Reserve’s inflation expectations have left markets skittish. The Dow tumbled 2.5% on Friday, its worst day in more than two years. Keep one eye on Wells Fargo; late Friday, the Fed announced sanctions that the company said could reduce its profit by up to $400 million this year.
Rex Tillerson visits Latin America. The US secretary of state will kick off his tour in Colombia, where the crisis in neighboring Venezuela and drug trafficking are expected to be high on the discussion agenda. He’ll also visit Mexico, Peru, Argentina, and Jamaica.
Uber and Waymo head to court. A San Francisco jury will decide whether Uber stole trade secrets when it hired Anthony Levandowski, a top engineer from Google-owned Waymo who allegedly treated himself to a parting gift of 14,000 internal files. Waymo wants at least $1 billion in damages, but will have to prove trade secrets were stolen and used by Uber for “unjust enrichment.”
Over the weekend
The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl. The Philly team beat the favored New England Patriots 41-33 in Minneapolis to win the title for the first time. Justin Timberlake’s half-time show, in part a tribute to Prince, was widely panned.
Samsung’s heir was freed in a shock verdict. Lee Jae-yong, heir apparent to the Samsung empire, walked out of a Seoul appeals court after his sentence was unexpectedly suspended. He had been in detention for over a year after a conviction linked to a corruption scandal that brought down the former South Korean president. The court said the extent of bribery was less severe than earlier believed.
Ryanair declared a summer price war. Europe’s largest low-cost carrier said it will keep planes at maximum capacity even if that means selling tickets at “bargain basement prices.” It also warned investors to expect disruptions from pilot walkouts as it battles with unions in Ireland and Germany.
Yellen’s not mad—just disappointed. “I would have liked to serve an additional term and I did make that clear, so I will say I was disappointed not to be reappointed,” the recently departed Fed chief said in a PBS NewsHour interview. This week, Yellen joins the Brookings Institution; her successor, Jerome Powell, is sworn in on Monday.
A busy weekend in world politics. Bigwigs from South Africa’s ruling party failed to convince scandal-plagued president Jacob Zuma to quit. Germany’s coalition talks missed yet another deadline. Nikos Anastasiades won a second term as president of Cyprus and pledged to reunify the divided island. A petition calling for the resignation of Thailand’s deputy prime minister over undeclared assets gathered support. Ecuador voted to impose presidential term limits, blocking former leader Rafael Correa from running again. Costa Ricans voted to put two Alvarados into a presidential runoff.
Quartz obsession interlude
Heather Timmons on the risks of dismissing the FBI’s Russia memo. “For the country and its people, the system that apportions specific powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches stands as a guarantee of the rule of law and a bulwark against authoritarian rule. When the intended balance is disturbed by one branch failing to follow the law or even long-standing standard protocol, the very idea of a representative democracy is threatened.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The driverless revolution will be delayed. Autonomous technology is progressing, but not at the speed we were led to believe.
American football will keep killing players until we change the way it’s played. But taking hard tackles out of the game to prevent brain damage would probably end the sport entirely.
Xinjiang shows the reality of what a Chinese surveillance state will look like. Daily life in China’s far western region means being filmed by cameras (paywall) on every street corner, and relentless bag and body scans.
North Korean hackers may have stolen millions in bitcoin. South Korean officials claim hackers from the north stole millions of dollars from crypto exchanges last year, and show few signs of letting up.
Amazon patented a way to tell Alexa to ignore “Alexa.” The company uses “acoustic fingerprinting technology” to help its voice assistant discern between a commercial and a command.
Trump’s tax plan may spur divorces. In 2019, a 76-year-old deduction for alimony payments will be eliminated—lawyers are advising clients to split up ASAP.
No, there won’t be another Crocodile Dundee movie. The fake trailer for Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home, starring Chris Hemsworth, was a Super Bowl-linked stunt to promote tourism to Australia.
Apple Music could overtake Spotify this summer. Apple’s US subscribers have been growing (paywall) about 5% monthly, compared with 2% for Spotify.
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