Canada apologizes, Huawei sues the US, Antarctic icequakes

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

The European Central Bank props up the euro zone. The central bank is expected to cut its growth outlook in a move that would set the stage for fresh stimulus measures. The ECB only ended quantitative easing in December.

The UN censures Saudi Arabia. The Human Rights Council, led by Iceland, will call on the kingdom to release jailed activists and cooperate with a UN probe into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Iceland joined the HRC when the United States withdrew.

Justin Trudeau apologizes. The Canadian prime minister will deliver an apology on behalf of the government for the way Inuit with tuberculosis were treated during the mid-20th century. Separately, Trudeau will address the deepening political crisis surrounding allegations of his administration’s attempts to influence a corruption case.

Paul Manafort’s sentencing.  Donald Trump’s previous campaign manager was found guilty last year of bank and tax fraud. He faces up to 24 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines. In a memo filed Tuesday, special counsel Robert Mueller slammed Manafort for his “lack of remorse.”

While you were sleeping

Huawei sued the US government over a product ban. In a lawsuit, the Chinese telecommunications giant argued that a US statute barring government agencies from using Huawei equipment is unconstitutional because it singles out the company for penalty without a fair trial. In a press conference, Huawei’s chairman Guo Ping said the suit was “a proper and last resort.”

Amazon ended its pop-up retail experiment. The company said it would close all 87 of its pop-up stores (paywall), which have been selling devices like Alexa speakers and Kindle e-readers in malls and grocery stores since 2014. It will instead shift toward expanding its branded book and “four-star” stores, which feature selected top-rated goods from

Leaked documents show the US government tracking journalists and activists. According to the documents, the government created a secret database of immigration activists and journalists linked to the caravan of migrants who traveled from Central America to the US border.

Microsoft said Iranian hackers are conducting “massively destabilizing” attacks. Researchers tallied up hundreds of millions of dollars in losses (paywall) at thousands of targets, including oil companies, machinery manufacturers, and conglomerates in Saudi Arabia, Germany, the UK, India, and the US.

Mark Zuckerberg vowed to shift Facebook toward “private” messaging. The company’s CEO said the social network would emphasize encrypted and ephemeral communication on Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, instead of the shared social posts that built the company. Messages will be safe from “hackers and overreaching governments,” Zuckerberg said—though he said little about Facebook’s own data collection.


We continue our examination of Brexit with an essay from Eshe Nelson that channels Joni Mitchell: You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. The UK is hoping to reach an agreement with the EU that will protect access to the continent, while also maintaining British sovereignty and independence. In other words: very much the same agreement the country and the union have had for decades.

In Tipping Points, Allison Schrager looks at the economics of digital fitness coaches, and how telepresence and mobile technologies may allow fewer workers to serve more people. And in other money coverage, we have a close look at Lyft’s forthcoming IPO and whether investors should buy into the ride-hailing company.

Quartz Obsession

Jet streams: The powerful rivers of wind whipping high above the Earth deliver droughts and snowstorms. They both aid and impede modern air travel, and played a key role in WWII. But thanks to climate change, their effects may be getting more unpredictable.

Matters of debate

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Goldman Sachs’ new “flexible” dress code is not as easy-going as it sounds. Picking “appropriate” attire is easy only if you’re privileged.

Recycling is failing. Contaminated waste and China’s refusal to accept trash are making it increasingly expensive to be environmentally friendly.

Mark Zuckerberg has a different definition of “privacy” than you and me. Facebook’s new privacy plan conveniently sidesteps the need to protect user data.

Surprising discoveries

One Hundred Years of Solitude will be made into a Netflix series. It’s the first ever screen adaptation of Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel García Márquez’s seminal novel.

Sleep enables our nerve cells to recharge. They can’t repair DNA damage when we’re awake.

Hollywood got asteroid demolition all wrong. Hitting giant space rocks with foreign objects leaves their massive cores intact.

Antarctica has “icequakes” every summer. Temperature swings cause thousands of explosions as ice contracts and expands.

A German gardener allegedly committed murder from beyond the grave. Two days after he was found dead from unknown causes, two people were injured and one was killed by his booby traps.

Correction: An item in this section yesterday incorrectly referred to Hello Kitty as a feline. She is actually a British schoolgirl

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, destroyed asteroids, and alternative recycling plans to Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Mary Hui and edited by Isabella Steger.