Algerian president drops bid, Boeing stock tanks, Iditarod dog strike

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Judgement day for Theresa May. Britain’s prime minister faces another bleak situation as parliament is expected to vote down a second Brexit deal.

The EU raises Huawei espionage concerns. A European Parliament resolution will raise persistent worries (paywall) about Beijing spying via the world’s biggest telecom equipment maker.

The US presses India to stop buying Venezuelan oil. Washington is threatening the possibility of sanctions against New Delhi, which is Venezuela’s second-largest cash-paying oil customer.

While you were sleeping

Algeria’s president dropped his controversial re-election bid. There’ll be no fifth term for 82-year-old Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was facing intense pressure to step down from the public and more than 1,000 judges. But Bouteflika’s National Liberation Front, which has ruled the country since its independence from France, may yet remain in power.

The US gave Germany a Huawei ultimatum. Washington threatened to scale back (paywall) intelligence sharing operations if Germany decided to incorporate Chinese technology in its 5G infrastructure. A German ministry spokesperson has already said that the request isn’t remotely feasible, even if it were legal.

Boeing sank 11% in the aftermath of the Ethiopian Airlines 737 crash. The company’s stock fell to levels unseen since the Sept. 11 terror attacks (paywall), as investigators began recovering evidence to piece together what happened. Indonesia and China have grounded 737 Max planes, and India is restricting flights to veteran pilots only.

Levi targeted a $6.2 billion IPO valuation. The iconic denim maker said it would list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “LEVI,” aiming to raise more than $500 million. The company has posted steady annual growth but hopes to reach new levels by establishing itself as a lifestyle brand.

The World Health Organization raised the alarm about a coming flu pandemic. WHO’s updated global influenza strategy warned that a global outbreak “is a matter of when, not if.”


Hi, members! Today we have a new state of play on sovereign wealth funds, which have become major players in finance and venture capital, commanding about $8 trillion in combined assets—equal to around 10% of global GDP. With much longer investment horizons and nation-state backing that leaves some ambiguity about their ultimate goals, they are ever more active players in the global economy.

We also have an analysis of calls to break up big tech, and a video about Japan’s shrinking workforce.

Quartz Obsession

The Little Ice Age: The term often refers to a moderately cold period in the 17th and 18th centuries that hit Europe especially hard. But it may have gone as late as the 19th century and began—or was at least triggered—in the 13th century. Either way, the Little Ice Age caused famines, sparked witch hunts, altered wars, toppled dynasties, and may show us what lies ahead with climate change. Read up on the era in our Quartz Obsession.

Matters of debate

Join the conversation with the new Quartz app!

Automation isn’t the problem—capitalism is. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says we could be more excited about robotic labor if being unemployed wasn’t effectively a death sentence.

Credit card perks are built on the backs of the poor. People effectively locked out of the financial system subsidize bonus points by paying merchants’ higher prices.

The US House speaker thinks impeaching Trump is “not worth it.” Nancy Pelosi says removing the president from office without an election would be too “divisive.”

Surprising discoveries

New Zealand is using barking drones to herd sheep… But during wet weather, dogs are still the best.

…And the Iditarod frontrunner lost a big lead after yelling at his dogs. Frenchman Nicolas Petit’s team refused to keep going (paywall) in the Alaskan sled-dog race.

A woman won $10,000 for reading the fine print. A travel insurance company buried the prize to encourage customers to pay attention (paywall).

UBS cut bonuses for female staff who took maternity leave. The Swiss banking giant reportedly told one banker that “being a working mother was a ‘lifestyle choice,’” the FT reported (paywall).

The chicken-growing arms race has given rise to “spaghetti meat” and “woody breast.” The unappetizing syndromes, while not dangerous, are a symptom of bigger problems (paywall) in the poultry industry.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, dog labor strikes, and fine-print windfalls to Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written and edited by Adam Pasick and McKinley Noble.