Zuma resigns, inflation shrug, diversity trade secrets

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

China begins its lunar new year holiday. Officials are warning of dangerous air pollution levels due to fireworks and unfavorable weather conditions during the celebrations. Investors are pulling funds out of the stock market and into less risky assets before markets close on Thursday afternoon.

Iran’s president visits India… Hassan Rouhani will seek billions of dollars in Indian investment. India has been hesitant to expand its business ties with Tehran as US president Donald Trump threatens to end the Iran nuclear deal.

…And Rex Tillerson goes to Turkey. The US secretary of state’s visit comes at a fraught moment, as Turkish forces battle Kurds in Syria who are fighting alongside US special forces. Turkey’s president has vowed to “bury in the ground those who are with terrorists.”

While you were sleeping

South African president Jacob Zuma resigned. The embattled leader ceded to demands from the ruling African National Congress that he step down in the face of mounting corruption allegations. “No life should be lost in my name and the ANC should never be divided in my name,” Zuma said.

Investors shrugged off evidence of rising US inflation. The S&P 500 rose more than 1%, despite a higher-than-expected increase in the US consumer price index. According to US data, rent, gasoline, healthcare, clothes, and food got a bit pricier.

Netflix signed a blockbuster production deal. Star producer Ryan Murphy, creator of shows like “Glee” and “American Crime Story,” signed a five-year deal worth a reported $300 million as Netflix ramps up its independent production efforts. Murphy’s exit is a blow to Disney (paywall), which is buying his longtime home, 21st Century Fox, for $52.4 billion.

A US regulator backed SpaceX’s plan for satellite internet service. Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai urged the approval of an application by Elon Musk’s rocket company to offer broadband access in the United States and around the world.

Morgan Tsvangirai, Robert Mugabe’s most tenacious rival, died of cancer. The face of Zimbabwe’s opposition was one of the few politicians who stood up to the longtime dictator. In the wake of Mugabe’s ouster, Tsvangirai’s death will certainly weaken an already struggling opposition movement.

Quartz obsession interlude

Noël Duan on the dogs subjected to society’s unrealistic beauty expectations: “‘Different dog breeds have different hair textures, like humans,’ Lulu Rodriguez, a professional dog groomer who was manning a booth for the Spanish grooming products brand, Artero, told me. So, for example, a dog like the Flynn the snow-white Bichon Frise—who won Best in Show this year—would need a specialized shampoo like the brand’s Blanc Bath, which helps brighten white coats. ” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The Olympics don’t matter. Today’s games are less about geopolitical struggle and more about TV ratings.

Fear is good for markets. A healthy dose of volatility is the only thing that can shake up the market’s longtime complacency (paywall).

PhD students need to be trained as thinkers. Doctoral programs are churning out able specialists, but are failing to produce the creative problem-solvers society needs.

Surprising discoveries

Beijing’s elite prison is running out of cells. Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive has prompted Qincheng prison to pull the plug on lunar new year visits.

Strands of George Washington’s hair were found in a book. The locks—a common keepsake in Washington’s era—were hiding in a 1793 almanac.

Tech giants are battling over diversity “trade secrets.” IBM is suing an executive, formerly in charge of creating a more diverse workforce, who left to work for Microsoft.

There’s a dating site for gorillas. It uses complex algorithms and is now a key to survival (paywall) for the critically endangered species.

A New York developer has to pay $6.7 million for erasing graffiti. 5Pointz, known as the “United Nations of graffiti,” was whitewashed, bulldozed, and turned into luxury condos.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, presidential locks, and gorilla tinder to hi@qz.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 Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz and Adam Pasick.