Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
A busy day for Boeing. The US planemaker will brief pilots and regulators on a software patch and training program to address issues with the 737 Max, which was recently grounded globally in the wake of two crashes. Regulation of the company will also be at the center of a US Senate hearing today on federal oversight of commercial aviation.
UK lawmakers vote on Brexit alternatives. Parliament will cast so-called indicative votes on a range of options (paywall) to replace prime minister Theresa May’s proposed deal outlining the UK’s exit from the EU. The votes carry political weight but are not legally binding.
Google’s CEO meets with a top US military official. Sundar Pichai will sit down with general Joseph Dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, to talk about Google’s presence in China (paywall). The internet giant extended the invitation after Dunford criticized Google’s AI work in China, saying it “indirectly benefits the Chinese military.”
A private Chinese space company launches a rocket. OneSpace, based in Beijing, will launch a solid propellant rocket into orbit. If successful, it will be the country’s first privately backed orbital rocket.
China’s electric-auto giant posts its annual results. BYD grew from a mobile battery maker into the world’s largest electric-vehicle manufacturer. The company is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, and its profits may suffer as the company shifts to a quota and credit system in 2020.
While you were sleeping
A Boeing 737 Max made an emergency landing in Florida. The plane, operated by Southwest Airlines, was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff as it was being flown to California for parking. US aviation regulators have allowed airlines to conduct logistical flights of the 737 Max without passengers.
Lloyd’s of London was hit with climate troubles. The British insurer recorded a loss of $1.32 billion in 2018, driven by claims associated with natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, which totaled $3.8 billion for the year.
India joined the league of space powers. Prime minister Narendra Modi announced that the country successfully shot down a satellite in orbit using a missile, making India the fourth country to accomplish the feat. Modi is widely expected to win reelection in next month’s general elections.
Cathay Pacific Airways bought Hong Kong Express for $628 million. The purchase of the budget airline from embattled Chinese conglomerate HNA makes Cathay the dominant carrier in Hong Kong, and marks the company’s first entry into the budget market.
An airstrike on a Yemeni hospital killed seven people. A hospital supported by Save the Children was hit in a deadly airstrike that charity officials blamed on the Saudi-led coalition allied with Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, whose government was toppled in 2014 by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. The attack came as the country marked the war’s fourth-year anniversary.
We’ve all gotta go sometime. People used to end their lives at home. (In fact, the “living room” used to be called the “death room.”) But modern medicine and the rise of the funeral parlor have pushed death out of sight and out of mind—until the resurgence of the “death cafe.” Reconnect with your mortality in today’s Quartz Obsession.
How to get an airline upgrade without relying on luck: Air travel may be dominated by algorithms, surcharges, and a de-bundling of even the most basic of services, but there are still ways to claw your way out of steerage. The first step: Start plotting your strategy before you buy your ticket. Read more in our member exclusive.
Matters of debate
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The benefit workers want most is less work. They value unlimited paid time off far more than trendy perks.
A male birth-control pill would be a milestone for gender equality. It could help free women from the financial and health-related burdens of birth control.
Mexico deserves an apology from Spain for the Conquest. The passing of 500 years doesn’t excuse a colonial power from making amends for conquering another land.
Canadian scientists dug up a super-hefty T. rex. The hulking predator nicknamed “Scotty” weighed a record 19,500 lbs (8,845 kg).
The UK punished a soldier for shooting comrades in a computer simulation. He is the first service member to be disciplined for offenses committed in virtual reality.
McDonald’s wants AI to personalize your drive-thru experience. The fast-food giant is developing menus that up-sell customers based on weather, traffic, and trending orders.
UK mobsters are using dead rats to smuggle contraband into prison. Guards found several rodents that had been tossed over prison walls with cellphones and drugs stitched into their bellies.
Bitcoin trades are apparently mostly fake. A crypto-asset management firm reports that around 95% of trading volume on exchanges appear to be artificial.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, AI-powered menus, and death cafe recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.