Trudeau in India, Renault on a roll, mullet mania

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 prime minister Narendra Modi. He’s also expected to promote the rights of women and girls during his week-long visit.

May meets Mutti. British prime minister Theresa May will sit down with Angela Merkel in Berlin to talk about the sputtering Brexit negotiations. Germany, frustrated at the lack of progress, has asked the UK to offer more “concrete” plans.

The Munich Security Conference begins. The EU’s role in global security and Donald Trump’s stance on security alliances will likely dominate a lot of the discussions at the conference, which runs today through Sunday.

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 blocked the sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange by a Chinese-linked consortium. The decision capped a two-year takeover battle that saw political opposition to the deal in Congress. Critics said the sale would create a backdoor for the Chinese government to influence America’s financial infrastructure.

Renault is on a roll. The French car giant had a bumper 2017, with European demand driving operating profit to an all-time high (paywall) of €3.8 billion ($4.7 billion). CEO Carlos Ghosn, who has run the company since 2005, was reappointed for another four years. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is now the world’s largest car company, depending on how you count.

Rick Gates is finalizing a plea deal with Robert Mueller’s office. Donald Trump’s ex-aide is ready to cooperate in the special investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to CNN. Gates, along with Paul Manafort, was indicted in October 2017 on counts of alleged money laundering and making false statements about work for the Ukrainian government and a Russia-linked Ukrainian political party.

Chinese babies boosted Danone’s bottom line. Sales of Danone’s infant formula were up 10% last year on demand from China and the rest of Asia, which offset a dairy slump elsewhere. Danone is scrambling to adapt to healthier consumer choices; it bought organic produce company WhiteWave in the US last year.

Japan reappointed Haruhiko Kuroda as its central bank chief. Set to serve another five-year term, the 73-year-old has pledged to maintain the Bank of Japan’s ultra-easy monetary policy. Expectations that major central banks will dial back their crisis-mode stimulus rattled global markets recently.

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

The war on science is bipartisan. Contempt for science is neither new, lowbrow, nor confined to the political right.

Immigration has defined the American smile. Smiling, and showing emotions in general, is more common in countries that are culturally diverse.

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.”

Surprising discoveries

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 small town in Australia is holding a mullet competition. Kurri Kurri claims to be the national home of the retro haircut that’s short on top and long at the back (ie, business up front, party in the back).

The Netherlands is drowning in dung. The WWF has demanded a 40% reduction in dairy herds to protect the environment, as a lack of space forces farmers to illegally dump cow poop.

A transgender woman has breastfed her baby for the first time. An experimental hormone-and-drug regimen enabled her to produce 8 oz of milk a day.

McDonald’s is removing cheeseburgers from Happy Meals in the US. It’s part of a move to limit meals to 600 calories—though 🍔 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 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 Jill Petzinger and edited by Jason Karaian.