Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today and over the weekend
A tense G20 kicks off today in Argentina… The future of global trade will hinge on a high-stakes dinner between Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping tomorrow, with US trade adviser Peter Navarro as a third wheel. Trump announced on his way to Buenos Aires he won’t meet with Vladimir Putin, while Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is expected to meet separately with the three world leaders (paywall). German chancellor Angela Merkel will miss the opening due to plane troubles.
…While the US, Canada, and Mexico sign their new trade pact. Leaders of the three countries are expected to ink the deal on the sidelines of the G20 summit today, though their legislatures will all need to ratify it afterward.
SpaceX launches 64 satellites at once. A Falcon 9 rocket will carry cargo for 34 customers from 17 countries on Sunday. It’s the biggest payload for a single mission (paywall) from the US and includes an art project by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Robert Mueller reveals some of his cards. The US special counsel will detail how former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who won’t be in court today, violated his plea deal by lying to investigators.
More protests in Paris. The “yellow jacket” protests will continue at the Champs-Elysées on Saturday. Though the demonstrations originally focused on fuel-tax hikes, the list of demands from France’s working class now includes increasing the minimum wage and lowering all taxes.
While you were sleeping
Some people from the migrant caravan began a hunger strike. A group of 15 women, with more expected to join them, are protesting the slow pace at which they’re allowed to apply for asylum. They’re demanding expedited humanitarian visas, to halt deportations against migrants, and to increase the number of asylum seekers allowed to cross into the US.
Sheryl Sandberg directed Facebook staff to research George Soros. The company’s second-in-command made the request in an email to a senior executive in January, reported the New York Times (paywall). The email, which asked for information on Soros’s financial interests, was sent days after the investor attacked the social network in a speech at Davos.
Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled were charged for their ICO promotions. The US Securities and Exchange Commission said the two promoted initial coin offerings without disclosing payments they received. The two settled the charges—with Mayweather paying more than $600,000 and Khaled over $150,000—without admitting or denying the allegations.
Trump’s company planned to give Putin a $50 million Moscow penthouse. BuzzFeed reported that the plan was formed as the Trump Organization negotiated a real-estate deal for a 100-story building during the 2016 campaign. The president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified in court he lied to Congress about the plan, which ultimately fizzled, to protect Trump.
The Charlottesville murder trial began. Neo-Nazi James Fields is facing life in prison, if not a possible death sentence, in the death of Heather Heyer after he drove a car into counter-protestors during last year’s Unite the Right rally. Even if Fields sticks with claims of mental illness and self defense (paywall), he will face a second trial and likely be the seventh person convicted for crimes connected to the rally.
Loneliness is spreading like a virus. Social isolation is bad for our physical health, so much so that governments around the world have launched initiatives to combat it. But how we truly treat this modern plague is a matter of debate. Read all about it in today’s Quartz Obsession.
“In a way, it makes sense that spider’s milk would have 4x the protein of cow’s milk. Spiders eat other insects, which are almost all protein.”
—Katherine Ellen Foley, health and science reporter at Quartz, on “Some spiders produce milk – and it’s more nutritious than cow’s milk”
Get a front-row seat to the fashion industry. Two almost-simultaneous trends—the rise of millennials and the rise of Asia—have given new direction to the fashion world. We’ve distilled that world down to this master list of experts you can consult when wanting to stay on top of the latest developments. From Instagram influencers to Wall Street analysts, our tool kit will make sure you remain current on what’s au courant. Read the list here.
Chinese traffic cameras caught cheating marathoners. Nearly 250 runners opted to take a shortcut at the Shenzhen Half Marathon.
Photosynthesis makes a sound. When algae convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into energy and oxygen, the bubbles that are created go “ping.”
Google’s AI assistant appreciates good manners. It won’t scold you for not saying “please” and “thank you,” but it will be nicer if you do.
A teen was freed from an abandoned Florida bank vault. An employee who used to work there opened the vault using the code after firefighters failed to drill through the wall.
Reggae is now protected by UNESCO. The music genre is described as “being at once cerebral, socio-political, sensual, and spiritual.”
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Bob Marley songs, and cures for loneliness to email@example.com. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Alice Truong and edited by Isabella Steger.