Manafort sentencing, Huawei sues America, Antarctic icequakes

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Paul Manafort is sentenced. Donald Trump’s former 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.”

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 says sorry. 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 a deepening political crisis related to allegations of attempts to influence a corruption case.

The European Central Bank delivers bad news. At a regularly scheduled meeting, the central bank is expected to cut its growth outlook in a move that could set the stage for fresh stimulus measures. The ECB ended its quantitative easing in December.

Supermarkets check their receipts. Investors will be eyeing profit margins at Costco closely, as the retail giant deals with rising expenses. Meanwhile, Kroger will report its latest quarterly earnings a week after Amazon said it would expand its grocery business beyond Whole Foods.

While you were sleeping

Huawei sued the US government. In a lawsuit, the Chinese telecommunications giant argued that a US statute barring government agencies from using Huawei equipment is unconstitutional. In a press conference, Huawei’s chairman Guo Ping said the suit was “a proper and last resort.”

The US government secretly kept tabs on journalists. NBC reported that Homeland Security created a clandestine database and individual dossiers on more than 50 people, including 10 journalists, focused on the Central American migrant caravan. Customs and Border Protection detained or questioned at least 21 of them while crossing the US-Mexico border.

R. Kelly went back to jail. The R&B singer was detained yesterday after telling a judge he could not pay the $161,000 in child support owed to the mother of his three children. The news came after CBS began airing the first of a two-part interview in which the 52-year-old denied having sex with underage girls. R. Kelly is facing multiple charges of sexual abuse.

Jeopardy‘s Alex Trebek said he has cancer. The longtime game show host announced on YouTube that he has stage four pancreatic cancer, and vowed to fight on. Fans and former contestants took to social media to express their support for the Jeopardy host.

DHL failed to deliver. The German logistics company posted a decline in profit for 2018. It also said that earnings would be a bit lighter than analysts were expecting this year, but stressed that it didn’t see “a noticeable slowdown on the horizon” for global trade.


We continue our deep dive into Brexit via a conversation with Catherine McGuinness, who leads the City of London, aka the group that represents London’s financial community; as well as a deeply revealing infographic charting a troubling Brexit trend. Our Insider View feature reveals the complex relationship between the press and a company’s PR apparatus, and Private Key considers a controversial acquisition by digital-currency exchange Coinbase.

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 not always straightforward.

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

Mark Zuckerberg has a different definition of “privacy” than you and me. Facebook’s new 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.

Murder from beyond the grave. Two days after a German gardener was found dead from unknown causes, two people were injured and one was killed by booby traps he had laid.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, asteroid countermeasures, and alternative recycling methods 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 Jason Karaian.