Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The ANC discusses Jacob Zuma’s ouster. The South African ruling party will talk about the “management of the transition,” after the president resisted calls to resign amid corruption allegations. Zuma’s deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, took over as party leader in December and is the front-runner to replace him.
India’s central bank meeting. The Reserve Bank of India is expected to maintain the status quo for interest rates, but even the slightest hint of hawkishness could have an effect, given the turmoil that has roiled global stock markets.
The sale of the Los Angeles Times could be announced. Billionaire doctor Patrick Soon-Shiong is reportedly close to buying the publication, one of the most prominent US newspapers, from Tronc. Valued at about $500 million, the deal would also include the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Tesla reports its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings. Investors want to know how much progress it’s made in overcoming manufacturing bottlenecks with its Model 3 sedan. Last quarter, Tesla suffered a much bigger loss than expected and pushed back its timeline for hitting a production rate of 5,000 Model 3 cars per week.
While you were sleeping
SpaceX successfully launched the Falcon Heavy rocket. The maiden test of the world’s most powerful rocket was a vindication of Elon Musk’s disruptive move into the space business, as he competes with Boeing and Lockheed Martin for lucrative government contracts. As a test cargo, the Falcon Heavy sent Musk’s Tesla Roadster into orbit around the sun.
At least four people were killed in a Taiwan earthquake. More than 220 were injured in the eastern coastal city of Hualien by the magnitude 6.4 quake, with reports of survivors still stranded in toppled buildings. Over 140 people are listed as missing.
Casino mogul Steve Wynn resigned following sexual misconduct claims. While denying the numerous allegations against him, the billionaire left his post as CEO of Wynn Resorts, having also stepped aside last month as finance chairman for the Republican National Committee. Matt Maddox, the company’s president, took over as CEO.
US stocks went on a roller-coaster ride. The S&P 500 index swung wildly between big losses and gains as investors grappled with fears of higher interest rates. Markets ended the day in positive territory, with the S&P 500 up 1.7%.
Travis Kalanick took the stand in the Waymo-Uber trial. The former Uber CEO faces claims the ride-hailing giant, under his watch, boosted its autonomous-car efforts with trade secrets stolen from Alphabet subsidiary Waymo. Among the questions were what he had meant by wanting a “pound of flesh,” a phrase he allegedly used in a related meeting in 2015.
Quartz obsession interlude
Tracy Chou on the need for diversity in the tech industry. “There is the very human moral case, and there’s also the business case. The quality, relevance, and impact of the products and services put out by the technology sector can only be improved by having the people who are building them be demographically representative of the people who are using them.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Stock market volatility is a test for investors. If big drops make you squirm, you’re in too deep for your own good.
Just-in-time manufacturing has a fatal flaw. Recent scandals in Japan are proof that timeliness and quality can be mutually exclusive (paywall).
Job automation will hurt women first, but men most of all. By the 2030s, the most affected industries will be those that employ more men.
Google and Facebook employees can only ask out co-workers once. In an effort to cut down on harassment, the tech giants may have made things even more confusing.
Ecuador will debut in this year’s Winter Olympics. Known for tropical rainforests, the country first had to create a ski federation.
Nintendo is thinking about Mario’s belly button. The mustachioed plumber appeared shirtless in Super Mario Odyssey with nipples but no navel, to fans’ dismay.
Smartphone usage is illegal for drivers in France, even when they pull over to the roadside. To combat an uptick in crashes, France is covering all the bases.
A 100-million-year-old spider had a tail. The discovery of the species raises big questions about arachnid evolution.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, video-game navels, and workplace dating rules to email@example.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.