Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Big Soda earnings season begins. PepsiCo’s fourth quarter earnings will update Wall Street on the status of Big Soda as it pivots from sugary drinks (paywall) and toward La Croix-loving millennials. Coca-cola reports later this week.
Chinese officials visit the Philippines to discuss a maritime dispute. A second round of talks will address contested territory in the South China Sea, following reports that Beijing is transforming reefs into military bases.
The UK releases crucial inflation data. Economists expect the consumer price index to tick down from 3% to 2.9% (paywall) on an annualized basis. Investors are antsy for the figures following two weeks of volatile global markets.
While you were sleeping
Donald Trump unveiled his infrastructure plan. The proposed $4.4 million budget cuts domestic programs and entitlements while boosting military spending, and withdraws funding from the International Space Station in favor of private space exploration. The blueprint, which has little chance of being enacted in its current form, adds over $7 trillion to deficits over the next decade.
Amazon laid off hundreds of employees in Seattle. The company is reducing corporate staff (paywall) as it automates many business functions, even as it adds thousands of employees in other parts of its expanding businesses. Some of the cuts took place at subsidiaries such as Zappos and Quidsi.
Unilever threatened to pull its ads from Facebook and Google. The world’s second-biggest advertiser (and maker of Marmite) threatened to pull billions of dollars in ad spending unless tech companies improve transparency about news, protect children from toxic online content, and crack down on hate speech.
Remington prepared to file for bankruptcy. The 202-year-old gunmaker has suffered from a sharp drop in revenues, along with its competitors, after the election of Donald Trump, a self-proclaimed “true friend” of the sector. The company, which was saddled with huge debts by hedge fund Cerberus Capital, will hand over most of its equity to debtholders.
The wife of Donald Trump Jr. was hospitalized. Vanessa Trump was admitted to the hospital for observation after opening a piece of mail containing a suspicious white powder, though it was later determined to be harmless.
Quartz obsession interlude
Sriram Iyer on the rise and fall of India’s Singh brothers: “Ranbaxy in some ways embodied the success of India’s generic drugs industry. Valued at $4.6 billion at the time of its sale in 2008, the company was not just a Singh family jewel, it was India’s moment of reckoning on the global pharma stage.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
China is cramping innovation for its tech giants. If Beijing keeps overruling the desires of customers and shareholders, its companies will struggle.
Should porn be censored? It’s warping the development (paywall) of an entire generation, but is also a major driver of tech and media innovation.
Our climate change targets are dangerous. Limiting warming to near-preindustrial levels is not only unattainable (paywall), it gets in the way of better solutions.
The US busted a fishing mogul known as “The Codfather.” Carlos Rafael misclassified fish like cod (paywall), which are subject to strict overfishing quotas.
A suspected poacher was devoured by lions in South Africa. His grisly remains were found near South Africa’s Kruger National Park—perhaps as a warning to others.
Iceland will use more electricity mining bitcoins than powering homes this year. The country’s cheap access to renewable energy is fueling the cryptocurrency boom.
Swedes are literally skating on thin ice. “Nordic skaters” seek out precarious black ice, which is sometimes only a few dozen millimeters thick and emits laser-like sounds.
Desperate scientists created a Match.com profile for a frog. Romeo, who lives in a Bolivian museum, might be the last of his species.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, black ice, and lonely frogs to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 by Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz and Preeti Varathan, and edited by Adam Pasick.