Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
North and South Korea prep for talks. North Korea will send a delegation to South Korea to discuss the protocol, security, and media coverage for the inter-Korean summit later this month. The two sides will meet in the truce village of Panmunjom.
Monsanto presents its quarterly results. The agro-chemical giant releases its results before the market opens. It’s expected to provide an update on the pending merger with Germany’s Bayer.
An update of the US trade deficit for February. Today’s data from the Commerce Department is expected to show a slight increase, to $56.8 billion, for the month. The president will be thrilled.
While you were sleeping
Brazil’s top court sent a former president to jail. It ruled former leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva can be jailed while he appeals a corruption conviction. Currently running for president and leading in the polls, “Lula” says the charges are a ploy to keep him off the ballot.
An American private equity firm snapped up Australia’s biggest winemaker. The Carlyle Group will buy Accolade Wines, which owns well-known labels such as Hardy’s, for A$1 billion (US$769 million). Australia, the world’s fifth-largest wine exporter, does a roaring trade with China—wine exports to that market grew by more than 60% last year.
South Korea arrested cryptocurrency executives over fraud allegations. The CEO of Coinnest was one of the execs detained as part of the government crackdown (paywall) on virtual currency trading. While it has not imposed a complete ban on trading, ramped-up controls have caused a dramatic drop in Korean cryptocurrency trading volume this year.
7-Eleven pinned its hopes on the US. Seven & i Holdings, the Japanese company that owns 7-Eleven convenience stores, said growth in the US—where it currently has around 10,000 stores—is counteracting a dip in sales in its home market. It predicted that its full-year profit will rise by 6%.
Trump officially ordered National Guard troops to the US border with Mexico. He said they’ll help stem illegal crossings and that the situation had reached a “point of crisis,” even though border apprehensions are at historically low levels.
Quartz obsession interlude
Olivia Goldhill on how Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophical work is all but forgotten. “Textbooks, movies, and TV shows often suggest that King’s quest for racial and economic equality was ultimately successful. Yet half a century since his assassination, King would be dismayed by the ongoing inequality and racism in the US. And the complexities of his ideas are often overlooked.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Utopia is a dangerous ideal. We should instead aim for protopia, or improvement achieved in incremental steps.
It’s possible to change Facebook by using your account for good. Individual deletion won’t have much impact, but the platform is still the best place to gather around a movement.
Spotify had a wimpy market listing, and that’s fine. Its non-traditional IPO meant low share supply, but having shareholders who are unwilling to sell isn’t a bad thing.
Clean air is China’s new luxury amenity. Hotels, restaurants, and shops hope to attract guests by touting filtered air.
Boracay has been shut to tourists for six months. Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte said dumped sewage had turned the paradise island into a “cesspool.”
A 17-year-old seagull debacle was laid to rest. A Canadian hotel lifted a ban on a man who left a stash of pepperoni near an open window, inviting a “tornado of seagull excrement” in the room.
Balanced fluids may be the new saline drip. Sterile salt water has become the hydration standard in hospital IVs, but an alternative solution could save more lives.
Martin Luther King Jr. persuaded lieutenant Uhura to stay on Star Trek. The civil rights leader told African-American actress Nichelle Nichols her presence on the show was important to the movement (paywall).
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, clean air, and Canadian spiced meats 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 Jill Petzinger and edited by Jason Karaian.