Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today and over the weekend
Justin Trudeau makes his first state visit to India. The Canadian prime minister—known for his bhangra dance moves—will try to kickstart a better trade relationship when he meets his counterpart, Narendra Modi. Arriving tomorrow for the weeklong visit, he’s also expected to promote the rights of women and girls.
The UK shares retail sales numbers for January. In December they fell 1.5% from the previous month, the biggest monthly decline since June 2016, when the Brexit referendum happened. Economists expect an anemic rebound of 0.2% month on month.
Automakers contribute up to $130 million for Takata’s US settlement. Today a judge will review a proposal by manufacturers who used the company’s faulty airbags, which killed over 20 people and injured hundreds around the world. The funds would help compensate victims.
While you were sleeping
The US Senate rejected a series of bills to protect the “Dreamers.” It failed to produce the 60 votes needed to move forward on various proposals, meaning the future of 1.8 million young adults brought to the US illegally as children is still in limbo. A bill backed by Donald Trump got the fewest votes, with 14 members of his own party opposing it.
Japan reappointed Haruhiko Kuroda as its central bank governor. Set to serve another five-year term, he has pledged to maintain the Bank of Japan’s ultra-easy monetary policy. Expectations that major central banks will whittle down their crisis-mode stimulus have rattled global markets in recent weeks.
Congress grilled Steve Bannon in its Russia probe. The ousted White House advisor refused to answer any questions about whether the Kremlin colluded with Trump’s campaign, apart from 25 queries that had been pre-screened by the administration. Special counsel Robert Mueller has also questioned Bannon this week.
The US blocked the sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange to a group including Chinese investors. The decision capped a two-year battle (paywall) that saw political opposition to the deal in the US Congress. Critics said the sale would create a backdoor for the Chinese government to influence the nation’s financial infrastructure.
Streaming helped CBS beat expectations. Licensing its shows to services like Netflix helped the company overcome a slump in TV advertising. CBS also attracted more subscribers to its own streaming services, including All Access, home to Star Trek: Discovery. Sales from licensing its programs jumped by 33%.
Cryptocurrency industry groups in Japan will launch a self-regulating body. To regain trust and establish voluntary regulations, the Japan Blockchain Association and the Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association will merge in April (paywall). Last month, hackers stole $530 million from Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck.
Quartz obsession interlude
Adam Epstein on how Fox News covered the school shooting in Florida. “While railing against advocates for gun control for ‘politicizing’ the tragedy, the network’s stable of talking heads were far quicker to blame the school’s administration, its security guard, the shooter’s parents, drugs, and the students themselves than they were the machine the shooter used to kill 17 people.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Genetics won’t solve your dating woes. A startup that promises to help you find love through a $15.99 cheek-swab kit is peddling dubious science.
Americans have been getting hummus all wrong. The bland tubs of chickpea slurry in many grocery stores bear little resemblance to the creamy Middle Eastern delicacy.
The survivors of the Valentine’s Day shooting are the sanest voices on gun control. “We’re children. You guys are the adults,” one student pleaded to Congress. “Get something done.”
Muscovites found an ingenious way to get the city to clear snow. They’re inscribing snowbanks with the name of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
A convict escaped from jail by drugging his identical twin. Alexander Delgado dragged his visiting brother into his cell, swapped their clothes, and walked out.
Immigration has defined the American smile. Smiling, and showing emotions in general, is more common in countries that are culturally diverse.
A transgender woman has breastfed her baby for the first time. An experimental hormone-and-drug regimen enabled her to produce 8 oz (227 g) of milk a day.
McDonald’s is removing cheeseburgers from Happy Meals. It’s part of a move to limit meals to 600 calories—though the cheeseburgers will still be available on request. 🧀🍔🤫
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, contraband cheeseburgers, and snow-removal strategies 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 Steve Mollman and edited by Alice Truong.