Green New Deal vote, Brexit takeover, honeymoons for one

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

The US Senate holds a procedural vote on the Green New Deal. Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell has pushed for a quick vote on the climate-change and economic stimulus proposal, calling it a “socialist fantasy.” Democrats have decried the move as a political ploy and are expected to block it by voting “present” instead of for or against.

A federal ban on bump stocks starts in the US. In December, the justice department gave owners a 90-day period—ending today—to destroy or turn in bump stocks, attachments that essentially allow shooters to fire semiautomatic rifles continuously with one pull of the trigger.

US and Chinese officials talk North Korea. US special envoy Stephen Biegun is visiting Beijing to coordinate policy on North Korea, days after Trump canceled new sanctions on Pyongyang. The meeting also coincides with the arrival of an unnamed and high-ranking North Korean official in China’s capital.

Emmanuel Macron hosts Angela Merkel and Xi Jinping. The leaders will discuss trade and climate issues in Paris, seeking “points of convergence between Europe and China.”

Apple and Qualcomm wait on a crucial patent ruling. The US International Trade Commission is expected to release a key decision (paywall) on a long-fought dispute over patent royalties, which could have big implications for the forthcoming 5G wireless standard and potentially limit Apple’s ability to import and sell some versions of the iPhone.

Carnival Corp sails into the new year. The world’s largest cruise company’s first-quarter earnings are expected to swell from significantly larger booking volumes. The results come days after a recent evacuation of passengers aboard a rival Viking Sky cruise ship off the coast of Norway, which sailed into a forecasted storm.

While you were sleeping

The Pentagon authorized $1 billion for Donald Trump’s wall. The funding will go toward new wall construction along the US-Mexico border. The US president had declared a national emergency in February, directing other funds to be made available for the wall and related infrastructure.

UK lawmakers seized control of Brexit. In an unprecedented move, members of parliament voted to take over the parliamentary timetable, and vote Wednesday on alternatives to prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. It was another humiliating defeat for May, with 30 Conservative lawmakers voting against the government.

Uber sealed the deal with Careem. The ride-sharing company announced today (paywall) it is buying its Dubai-based rival for $3.1 billion, ending a costly battle for market share in the region. The deal will see Careem, the region’s largest ride-sharing company, keep its app and fleet of drivers.

Australia’s far-right One Nation Party was caught seeking millions from the NRA. An undercover investigation by Al Jazeera revealed senior figures from the party lobbying for $20 million in political donations from the US gun rights group.

Brazil got a bleak new commemorative day. The country’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, directed the armed forces to commemorate the anniversary of a 1964 coup, which ushered in two decades of military rule, on March 31. Bolsonaro is an ex-military captain, and does not consider the events of 1964 a coup.

Quartz Obsession

We want to believe… that ‘Oumuamua is an alien spaceship. The first interstellar object mankind has ever observed is oddly shaped and suspiciously fast, and resembles physicists’ ideas for solar-radiation-powered “lightsails.” But the less profound theories are pretty cool, too: It could be a space “snowflake,” skeleton, or a comet with an invisible tail. Explore strange new worlds at the Quartz Obsession.


Living forever is underrated. We continue our guide to the business of immortality, looking at the stories we tell ourselves to deal with our fear of death, and the process behind cryonic preservation. Over at Private Key, Matt De Silva ponders why Jack Dorsey is doubling down on bitcoin development, while our resident economist, Allison Schrager, examines the meteoric growth of private equity.

Matters of debate

Join the conversation with the new Quartz app!

Trump’s Golan Heights move should worry India and Taiwan. It undermines international law and puts the future of other long-disputed territories in jeopardy.  

Bring back the stick shift. Technology that is meant to make driving easier instead makes us dangerously inattentive.

Human contact is becoming a luxury good. From education to eldercare, the poor are being forced to interact using screens.

Surprising discoveries

A flight leaving from London to Germany ended up in Scotland by mistake. Incorrect flight paperwork caused a British Airways plane to land in Edinburgh instead of Düsseldorf

Bohemian Rhapsody opened in China, with Freddie Mercury’s gayness edited out. Critics say the film’s strong box office showing is no victory amid heavy censorship.

Couples are starting to take separate honeymoons. Different interests, inflexible work schedules, and other relationship quirks (paywall) are leading to non-traditional post-wedding trips.

A 30-million-page library is headed to the moon. Known as the Lunar Library, the archive traveling aboard Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft is meant to preserve humanity’s collective wisdom

NASA canceled an all-female spacewalk because of suit sizing issues. The first-of-its-kind mission was scrapped partly due to the lack of an extra medium-sized suit.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, well-fitting spacesuits, and civilization backups 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.