Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Trump delivers his 2019 budget. The US president will call for dramatic cuts in domestic spending. But like last year, it will probably just be for show—Congress hasn’t been willing to cut spending and curtail the deficit, which is soaring under the Trump administration.
Jacob Zuma’s fate could be sealed. The South African president’s party, the African National Congress, will meet today to discuss his future, and could ask him to step down. Zuma’s nine-year rule has been mired by corruption, but he has stubbornly clung to power.
Rex Tillerson visits the Middle East. The US secretary of state will visit Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey on his five-day trip (paywall). He won’t stop in Israel, but the country looms large over the visit after it attacked Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria and lost one of its F-16’s in the process.
News from over the weekend
A Russian jet crashed with 71 aboard with all presumed dead. The Saratov Airlines flight fell out of the sky minutes after taking off from Moscow, but the cause of the crash wasn’t immediately clear. Russia has a terrible history of airline safety, and Saratov was briefly banned from making international flights a few years ago.
Harvard named a new president. The university named Lawrence Bacow, an economist and lawyer who was formerly president of Tufts and chancellor of MIT, as its new head. Bacow was serving on the Harvard committee in charge of finding its next leader until he started interviewing for the role himself.
New York’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against Weinstein & Co. Eric Schneiderman sued Harvey Weinstein, his brother Bob Weinstein, and their production company alleging serious violations of civil rights, human rights, and state business laws between 2005 and 2017.
The Olympics were hit by a cyber attack. Suspicion immediately fell on Russia, which is banned from this year’s games because of its doping conspiracy, but Olympic officials wouldn’t reveal any details.
Pakistan’s most important human-rights activist died. Asma Jahangir, who suffered a cardiac arrest, died at 66. Jahangir frequently clashed with the Pakistani government, which jailed her in 1983 and put her under house arrest in 2007.
Quartz obsession interlude
Heather Timmons and Eshe Nelson on deciphering the Trump administration’s views on trade. ”Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda will shrink the US trade deficit and overturn ‘decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies,’ the president promised… But translating that rhetoric into concrete trade policy is a thorny task for Trump’s top advisors.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Should a self-driving car swerve and kill one person to save five others? The “Trolley Problem” forms the basis of a series of algorithms created to see how autonomous vehicles would react in morally precarious situations.
Acting single is great for marriage. Finding the right mate is no substitute (paywall) for having friends and other interests, and people who are good at being single are more likely to end up in happy marriages.
Stop glamorizing Kim Jong-un’s sister. It’s best not to romanticize a powerful member of a brutal authoritarian regime.
In the future, your robot babysitter will know when your child has a fever. Researchers created the first self-healing and fully recyclable electronic skin, which can mimic the functions and properties of human skin.
Male dogs are at an advantage at the Westminster dog show. They’ve won “best in show” more than twice as often.
Poor punctuation cost $5 million. A group of delivery truck drivers settled with their employers over unpaid wages originating from the lack of an Oxford comma in Maine’s overtime laws.
Scientists created a Match.com profile for a frog nearing extinction. They’re raising money through the dating site to fund their search for a female to mate with Romeo, a Sehuencas water frog who lives in a Bolivian museum.
Teens are running for governor in Kansas. There’s no minimum age to run for office in the US state, a loophole that six high-school students are currently exploiting.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, robot babysitters, and mates for Romeo to email@example.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android. Today’s Daily Brief was written and edited by Isabella Steger and Tripti Lahiri.