Wells Fargo CEO out, Brexit vote #3, hovercraft moose hunt

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Looking for something to fascinating to listen to after you finish this email? In this week’s episode of Should This Exist?, experts debate whether supersonic airplanes—which travel at 2x the speed of current commercial jets—will make flying easier for everyone, or make global inequality even worse.

What to watch for today and over the weekend

The UK parliament votes on Brexit, yet again. Theresa May’s government will make a third attempt to secure approval of its withdrawal agreement. Due to some complicated tactical maneuvering, it won’t include the political declaration that outlines the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

Lyft goes public. Shares in the ride-hailing start-up are expected to price in the $70-$72 range, valuing the Uber rival around $20 billion.

After dinner, the US and China get down to business. After last night’s ceremonial meal, negotiators will have a full day of talks aimed at resolving some stubborn sticking points. China has reportedly made concessions on some key issues, including forced technology transfers.

Ukraine goes to the polls. The March 31 election is the first since the 2014 toppling of pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. Anti-establishment comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy is currently leading incumbent Petro Poroshenko in polls.

While you were sleeping

Wells Fargo’s embattled CEO stepped down. Tim Sloan, who has struggled to lead the fourth-largest US bank after it was caught creating millions of fake customer accounts, recently faced pressure from lawmakers to resign. General counsel Allen Parker will take over as interim CEO.

Facebook was accused of aiding housing discrimination. The US housing and urban development agency said Facebook’s ad platform breaks the law by letting landlords and home-sellers restrict who sees their ads based on race, religion, sex, disability, and other characteristics.

Three women activists in Saudi Arabia were temporarily released. They were among nearly a dozen activists jailed more than nine months ago, many for human rights work or contact with international journalists and diplomats. Their trials are still pending.

The US fourth-quarter GDP was revised down. The commerce department said GDP increased at 2.2% in the fourth quarter, pulling annual growth below the Trump administration’s 3% annual target. Economists knew a post-tax cut comedown was in store, but the revision suggests a harsher-than-expected sugar crash.

Donald Trump routinely lied about his financial condition. The Washington Post (paywall) obtained three years of statements Trump used to demonstrate his assets and debts to lenders, insurers, and other financial partners. The documents are now being probed by Congress and New York regulators.

Quartz Obsession

Supersonic flight: Three US companies are trying to break the sound barrier on commercial flights, which hasn’t been done since the Concorde last few in 2003. That plane represented the apex of the age, but it was extremely expensive and not especially luxurious. Should we really be trying to go beyond the speed of sound once again? Onboard at the Quartz Obsession.


What jellyfish can teach us about immortality. Anyone who has ever looked in the mirror and tried to smooth their wrinkles away might well be jealous of the turritopsis dohrnii. The tiny jellyfish has the ability to regenerate its cells and literally turn back to a more youthful version of itself. Find out more here.

Matters of debate

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The greeting card industry may be doomed. Sales have fallen almost 3% in the last five years, thanks mostly to social media, but year revenues are still about $4 billion.

When will humans trust self-driving cars? They’ll need to provide clear signals that let us read what their machine minds are planning.

Parents are helping perpetuate the cult of homework. Their views on how much homework is enough have been shaped by the system they’re frequently critiquing.

Surprising discoveries

The US Supreme Court ruled an Alaska man can shoot moose from a hovercraft. Justice Elena Kagan wrote the hunter can once again “rev up his hovercraft in search of moose.”

Scotland has a “dog suicide bridge.” Hundreds of dogs have leapt off the century-old gothic structure for unexplained reasons.

A painting long thought to be a fake Botticelli turned out to be a real Botticelli. British conservators confirmed the authenticity of “Madonna of the Pomegranate” via X-ray and infrared tests.

Pope Francis is a germaphobe. The pontiff explained it was “a simple question of hygiene” when he pulled his hand away from Catholics attempting to kiss his ring last week.

Finnish prisoners are training AI. In a modern twist on prison labor, a startup employs inmates to train its algorithms.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, obsolete greeting cards, and immortal jellyfish to hi@qz.com. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Jessanne Collins and edited by Adam Pasick