Theranos fraud charge, May expels Russian diplomats, brain uploads

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

South Korea’s foreign minister heads to the US. Kang Kyung-wha will meet with deputy secretary of state John Sullivan to maintain “strong cooperation” with Washington, despite the departure of Rex Tillerson.

Adobe’s first-quarter results. Focus will be on the pace of the software company’s growth, which has been in full swing (paywall) since it pivoted from license purchases to a subscription service model.

China lifts its manufacturing bans. Beijing is ending its crackdown on manufacturing in 28 of its top smog-producing cities, marking the end of the nation’s four-month winter heating season.

While you were sleeping

The founder of Theranos was charged with fraud. The US Securities and Exchange Commission accused Elizabeth Holmes along with the health tech firm’s president of making false statements about products and finances to investors. Holmes paid $500,000, returned 19 million shares, relinquished voting control, and is banned from directing a public company for 10 years (paywall).

A former Equifax executive was charged with insider trading. The department of justice charged former CIO Jun Ying after he sold $1 million in Equifax stock upon finding out that his company had been the target of a massive security hack—weeks before the news was made public.

Theresa May expelled 23 Russian diplomats from the UK. The prime minister’s move came after Moscow rejected the UK’s deadline for Russia to explain its connection to the nerve agent that recently poisoned former a double agent on British soil, raising tensions between the two countries to a level not seen since the Cold War (paywall).

A Pennsylvania Democrat won an election in a majority-Trump district. In a major upset to the Republican party, democrat Conor Lamb beat out Rick Saccone, suggesting that a huge “wave election” may be coming that would give Democrats control of the US house of representatives.

Ford recalled almost 1.4 million cars for faulty steering wheels. US regulators pressured the carmaker to pull Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars from 2014 through 2018 model years because the steering wheels can detach from the steering column.

Quartz obsession interlude

Jean-Luc Bouchard on how to name a cryptocurrency: “After finally reconciling with the Jetsons-esque dumbness of the name ‘bitcoin,’ you must then come to terms with words like ‘ripple’ and ‘Zclassic.’ No, these aren’t the names of fluorescent chewing gums—they’re the names of real electronic money you can use to buy drugs and bags of hair and other dark web things.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Frida Kahlo was the opposite of a Barbie doll. Mattel lost the iconic artist’s unibrow, facial hair, wheelchair, and radical rejection of female sameness (paywall).

Game theory is giving North Korea the upper hand in nuclear talks. Considering all possible moves reveals that the US has little chance of coming out ahead.

The US should be discussing a space force. The nation, including its military, is so dependant on satellites it should consider creating an agency to handle regulations and security.

Surprising discoveries

An astronaut returned with different DNA than his identical twin. The stress of space travel and a year on the ISS may have activated “space genes.”

The Queen was paid less than her husband in The Crown. Netflix says Claire Foy will receive the highest wages moving forward.

A new startup wants to upload your brain, but first, you die. Nectome can preserve your brain for posterity, if the “100% fatal” process starts while you’re still alive.

United Airlines accidentally sent a German shepherd to Japan. Irgo’s family was presented with the wrong dog when they landed in Kansas City, Missouri.

Elon Musk is hiring writers from The Onion for a secret project. The SpaceX and Tesla CEO says humor is the next frontier, and we don’t think he’s joking.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, space genes, and lost pups 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 and edited by Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz and Susan Howson.