Huawei sues the US, major HIV milestone, post-Brexit chicken

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Huawei sues the US government. The Chinese telecoms firm is preparing to file a lawsuit focused on a constitutional provision that forbids legislation targeting specific companies (paywall). Also today, the company is opening a “cybersecurity center” in Brussels which it will use to share source code and discuss spying concerns with EU lawmakers, part of Europe’s push to place restrictions on the company that stop short of an outright ban.

Democrats aim to halt changes to the Title X family planning program. Twenty-one states will file a lawsuit (paywall) seeking to block a Trump administration plan to strip millions of dollars of funding from on-site abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

Top Brexit officials meet in Brussels. The EU’s top Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, will meet with Britain’s negotiating team to continue talks on any possible changes to the divorce deal, after prime minister Theresa May’s original plan was overwhelmingly defeated by parliament in January.

A health check for US retailers. The outlook for department store Kohl’s is mixed, while analysts are predicting strong fourth-quarter results from Target. The chain has outperformed other retail rivals, but is grappling with falling profit margins (paywall).

While you were sleeping

China cut its GDP target. Premier Li Keqiang lowered the country’s growth target during the annual National People’s Congress meetings, setting it at 6% to 6.5%. He also announced a major tax cut (paywall) aimed at boosting the manufacturing sector.

Hillary Clinton ruled out another presidential bid. The former Democratic presidential nominee told a local New York broadcaster she would not run in 2020, but that she would play an active role in helping candidates. More than a dozen Democrats have announced campaigns for the 2020 presidential nomination so far.

Macron called for a “European Renaissance.” In an oped that ran in multiple European newspapers in 22 languages today, the French president set forward his vision for a united Europe ahead of EU parliament elections in May. Macron’s proposals include an EU minimum wage, an agency (paywall) to stop election cyberattacks and fake news, and a harder European border.

Trump plans to end preferential trade treatment for India and Turkey. The president announced that he will no longer allow products from the two countries to enter the US duty-free as part of a beneficiary program. He said that India has not assured the US of complete access to its markets, and that Turkey is no longer a developing country.

Carlos Ghosn’s bail was put on pause. State prosecutors quickly said they would appeal a decision to grant the former Nissan chairman, accused of financial misconduct,  ¥1 billion ($8.9 million) bail. Ghosn, who was arrested nearly four months ago, will remain in custody until a new hearing is held.

A second person was reported to have been possibly cured of HIV. Researchers said that an HIV-positive man in the UK has been cleared of the virus that causes AIDS after he received a bone marrow transplant from an HIV-resistant donor. Scientists cautioned that it was too early to say the patient was cured, but the discovery has raised hopes of a possible end to AIDS in the near future.


Brexit. We have an exclusive interview today with Sir Stephen Wall, a historian and former diplomat, on Britain’s tumultuous relationship with the EU and what might happen next. In our business-book primer series, we review Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy. And over at Private Key, Matt De Silva breaks down how Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency could democratize banking.

Quartz Obsession

Pallets are the secret ingredient of the global economy. It’s hard to imagine where we’d be without the pallet, a mundane-yet-groundbreaking invention that reduces fruit, materials, and other goods into basic units for easy shipment. Its roots date back to ancient Egypt, while the modern version is the source of complicated business wars. Read more in our Quartz Obsession.

Matters of debate

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Automation won’t stop humans from being wanted. Companies are investing as much in human talent as they are in promising new technologies.

Leaving Neverland is a devastating indictment of Michael Jackson. The new documentary leaves no room for doubt about the King of Pop’s alleged abuse of children.

Balenciaga’s parkas make it a true fashion innovator. The brand’s ability to reimagine technical outerwear is proof of its special knack for turning the familiar into something new.

Surprising discoveries

A name change for the Cook Islands.  The government has tasked a committee with finding a new indigenous name for the country.

Virgin Atlantic stopped requiring makeup for female flight attendants. The airline isn’t exactly known as a paragon of women’s empowerment.  

Someone ditched 1,529 turtles and tortoises at Manila’s main airport. Police discovered the unfortunate duct tape-bound reptiles smuggled inside luggage.

Volvo is setting a speed limit on its cars. Future models will top out at 180 km/h (110 mph), in a bid to cut down reckless speeding (paywall) along Germany’s autobahns.

Brits eat a lot of chicken, but almost none from the US. Brexit could change that.  

Correction: Yesterday’s Daily Brief stated that Canada approved Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou’s extradition to the US. In fact, only the extradition proceedings were approved. We apologize for the error.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, rescued reptiles, and country name suggestions to Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Adam Rasmi and edited by Jackie Bischof.