Silicon Valley’s crisis meeting, Romney’s big win, randy starfish

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Lawmakers vote on an immigration compromise. The potential agreement is not between the left and the right, but between those Republicans wanting more moderate policies versus those pushing tougher measures. Few expect the bill to pass, but it may fare better than a hard-line bill that failed last week.

Silicon Valley discusses a crisis in consumer privacy. Execs from Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and other tech firms will convene in San Francisco. They’ll talk about a way forward in the wake of the EU’s strict new personal-data rules and Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal.

General Mills reports earnings. Investors predict a drop (paywall) in fourth-quarter profit for the Cheerios owner, as a result of higher freight and commodity costs.  The company’s stock has fallen 19% over the past year.

While you were sleeping

Mitt Romney easily won the Republican Senate nomination in Utah… That makes him the strong favorite to prevail in the fall general election, given that the state hasn’t had a Democratic senator since 1977. Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, could pose problems for Donald Trump, whom he once called a “con man.”

…And a top Democrat lost to a 28-year-old woman. House representative Joe Crowley, who has been in Congress since 1999, was widely viewed as a successor to minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Instead he was beaten in a New York primary by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist, who recently worked as a bartender.

A federal judge ruled that agents can no longer separate immigrant parents and children. Judge Dana Sabraw also ordered that those families already split up and in custody must be reunited. More than 2,300 migrant children have been detained away from their parents since Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy came into force in May.

Facebook ditched its drone quest. It said it would stop designing and developing high-altitude drones to bring internet to the world’s remotest places. However, Facebook’s partners will still carry on with the Aquila project, which started four years ago, but the social media giant won’t build the drones in-house anymore.

A Japanese space probe met up with an asteroid. After traveling 2 billion miles in four years, the Hayabusa 2 arrived at its target—a rock named Ryugu. The probe will survey and collect samples from the asteroid; it’s expected to bring them back to earth in 2020.

Quartz Obsession interlude

Simon Chadwick on China’s record fan presence at the World Cup—despite not qualifying. “[It] plays to a narrative now routinely associated with China’s increasingly affluent population: people who are keen to engage with the world’s biggest and best football tournament for the status it confers upon them, which they may also consume in conjunction with supporting a similarly status-laden national team or superstar.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The US crackdown on sex workers will backfire. Banning legal brothels and escort websites puts vulnerable women at greater risk.

Law enforcement shouldn’t use facial-recognition software. It infringes on individual rights and is susceptible to racial discrimination.

“Find your passion” is bad advice. Psychologists recommend seeking personal growth over waiting for sudden inspiration.

Surprising discoveries

California starfish are frantically breeding to survive. The sea stars have also developed protective genes to bounce back from a recent brush with extinction.

Amateurs “fixed” a piece of priceless art. A 500-year-old Spanish statue of St. George was either irretrievably damaged or majorly improved, depending on your taste.

Kids found a loaded gun at an IKEA in Indiana. An armed customer left his firearm on a showroom sofa, resulting in a gunshot but no injuries.

The US imported more seafood in 2017 than any other year. More than 90% of the seafood the public consumes is brought in from elsewhere.

Robot dragons are the new robot dogs. A serpentine, floating aircraft made of synced thrusters can fit in tight spaces and carry cargo.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, unimproved art, and randy echinoderms 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 Lianna Brinded.