Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Mr. Pichai goes to Washington. The House Judiciary Committee will question Google CEO Sundar Pichai, focusing on the company’s controversial Chinese search engine, antitrust criticisms, and alleged anti-conservative bias.
China and India’s joint military drill. The neighbors and rivals will begin a two-week exercise as both nations try to tamp down tensions along their shared border. The “Hand-in-Hand” drill in the southwestern city of Chengdu was cancelled last year due to a military standoff.
Australia’s harsh new luggage rule takes effect. Airlines will start cutting down on excessively stuffed carry-ons, limiting bags on domestic flights to 7 kg (15.4 lbs) to cut down on crew injuries and flight delays.
While you were sleeping
Theresa May was forced to call off a pivotal vote on her Brexit deal. The prime minister, who was facing a humiliating defeat in parliament on Tuesday evening, said she would go back to the EU to negotiate a new agreement. The pound plunged on gloomy prospects for an orderly exit, and Brussels officials said they would not re-open talks.
Qualcomm won a legal victory in China that banned the sale of many iPhone models. The preliminary injunction affects several iPhones—the 6S through the X—that had older versions of Apple’s iOS software. Apple, which is fighting a protracted battle against Qualcomm on tech patents, claims that all its devices are still for sale with updated software.
Accused spy Maria Butina cut a deal. Lawyers for the Russian graduate student and gun enthusiast withdrew her “not guilty” plea and requested a hearing with the judge overseeing her case. Butina may be able to reveal communications between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Russia, and the National Rifle Association.
The US sanctioned three North Korea officials. The Treasury Department accused high-level Pyongyang diplomats, including Kim Jong Un’s second-in-command, with human-rights abuses over the imprisonment and death of American student Otto Warmbier.
Google is shutting its social network after another data breach. The company announced that 52 million Google+ accounts have been improperly accessed, as it retires the site several months ahead of schedule. Google says that an API bug accidentally exposed names, emails, and job information, but financial data and passwords weren’t accessed.
Scooters are having a moment. And not just the dockless kick scooters creating a buzz in America. In China, India, and Southeast Asia, electric scooters could radically reduce noise and pollution. Even Vespa is going electric. Hop on at the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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The US fears Huawei spying because it did the same thing. The NSA has asked US tech companies to export hackable hardware.
Your apps are selling your data to the highest bidder. Even anonymized data can reveal sensitive details and identities.
The US health insurance sector is based on a screwed-up perk. Atul Gawande, tapped by Amazon and JP Morgan to reshape the industry, has long been its most thoughtful critic.
Beyond the Tesla bubble: The future of electric cars is being written in China, where the government has invested nearly $60 billion to develop a manufacturing and consumer base. This year, the country is expected to sell more than one million electric vehicles (EVs), nearly as many as the rest of the world combined. To read more about the other contenders, check out this week’s Field Guide.
Japan’s famously lethal fugu are creating new hybrid species. The pufferfish are breeding with their close cousins, after climate change forced them into new waters.
US farmers are betting on a bumper hemp crop. New farm legislation would make it easier than ever to grow industrial cannabis that’s high in CBD.
Canada won’t tell anyone where a newly discovered cave is located. The massively beautiful complex is being kept under wraps because Instagram tourists are the worst.
Nearly a third of US phone calls are either scams, robots, or both. It’s no wonder Americans don’t answer the phone anymore (paywall).
US regulators are warning against eating raw cookie dough. ‘Tis the season to get salmonella, if you’re not careful.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, mutant fugu, and pasteurized cookie dough to firstname.lastname@example.org. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written and edited by McKinley Noble and Adam Pasick.