Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Apple reveals how far iPhone sales have fallen. In the wake of a Jan. 2 profit warning from CEO Tim Cook, who blamed sluggish smartphone sales in China for a rare earnings miss, analysts expect revenues of $84 billion, down significantly from the previous year.
Boeing closes in on a $35 billion ANA jet sale. The deal to sell 30 737 MAX planes to the Japanese carrier would be a setback for Airbus, which counted ANA among the first customers for its competing A320neo jet.
Trump advisor Roger Stone is arraigned in DC. Stone, a key figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, will face seven charges of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering.
While you were sleeping
Fears of a China slowdown tanked Caterpillar and Nvidia. The bellwether construction equipment giant fell 8% after it reported weak demand in China. Nvidia sank 14.8% after it slashed its revenue outlook (paywall) due to a steep fall-off in China gaming revenue, and the broader US stock market fell more than 1%.
The US slapped sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company… The new restrictions will block $7 billion in payments to Petróleos de Venezuela unless Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro hands over control to self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó.
…And prepared criminal charges against Huawei. Ahead of Wednesday’s deadline to file for extradition of CFO Meng Wanzhou from Canada, prosecutors indicted (paywall) the world’s biggest telecom equipment maker for stealing tech from T-Mobile US—specifically, a smartphone-testing robot named Tappy—and evading US sanctions against Iran.
The US government shutdown cost the economy $11 billion. A damage report from the Congressional Budget Office found three-quarters of the total was due to delayed spending, but the remainder is gone for good.
The US and Taliban agreed to a framework to end the Afghanistan war. Seventeen years after the conflict began, the two sides are working on a deal that would have the US withdraw from the country in exchange for a ceasefire and security guarantees.
Quartz obsession interlude
The human liver is vastly underrated. Despite all our attempts to ruin it—booze, fad diets, and general malnutrition—the liver has a regenerative healing factor that just won’t quit. Unlike the heart or the lungs, there’s no machine that can replace it. Read our latest Quartz Obsession to learn about the famously resilient organ.
The Earth’s water crisis is already dire. We don’t have nearly as much useable H2O as we think, and more than 700 million people already lack access to clean water. Quartz’s breakdown of our planet’s looming shortage shows how our most critical resource is drying up, where the scarcity could cause wars, and how we could bail ourselves out of trouble.
Matters of debate
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America doesn’t need a centrist candidate. Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz would just split the vote and help Donald Trump, says Michael Bloomberg.
“Rise and grind” is an Instagrammable lie. “Hustle culture” and “toil glamour” is a millennial-inspired spin on the soul-crushing burnout of the modern-day rat race.
France’s yellow vest protests are getting dark. Thousands of people are sustaining devastating injuries amid rampant public unrest.
UAE’s gender equality awards were swept by men. The presenters of the Gender Balance Index awards were all men, too.
Ancient quinoa may rewrite food history. New seed samples found in Canada suggest it was part of extensive North American crop trading 3,000 years ago.
Denmark has an anti-pig border fence. The government’s 70-km (43-mile) barrier protects a multibillion-dollar pork industry from African swine fever.
Japan is working on flushable adult diapers. Thanks to historically low birth rates, adult diaper sales surpassed infant sales years ago.
China is coming for the world’s avocados. Imports skyrocketed from 154 metric tons in 2012 to over 31,000 in 2017.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, diaper innovations, and avocado dumpling recipes 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.