Benny Gantz’s turn, Brexit limbo, hesitant hitmen

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What to watch for today

Benny Gantz tries to form an Israeli government. The centrist politician will formally get his chance to assemble a ruling coalition after longtime prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he could not cobble together enough support in the divided Knesset.

Sochi hosts the first Russia-Africa summit. Russian president Vladimir Putin will meet with leaders of at least 47 African countries for an economic forum and political summit, marking his country’s expanding ties on the continent.

Botswana goes to the polls. In the first genuine challenge to the Botswana Democratic Party, in power since the country’s independence from Britain in 1966, an opposition coalition led by human rights lawyer Duma Boko is hoping to unseat the ruling party in the parliamentary elections.

Earnings reports expect turbulence. Boeing is projected to announce a 23% drop in revenue as it struggles to contain a drip of damaging headlines from its 737 Max scandal. Meanwhile, investors expect the death of Windows 7 to be a boon to Microsoft’s sales, but worry that Tesla may not deliver as many cars this year as expected.

While you were sleeping

Brexit legislation entered limbo. The UK parliament voted in favor of prime minister Boris Johnson’s deal, but rejected his proposal that they give it their final approval in three days. MPs, who had been scheduled to debate the bill today and tomorrow, will instead resume discussion on the government’s domestic agenda.

WeWork accepted a bailout from SoftBank. The troubled co-working giant, which abandoned its public offering last month, agreed to a rescue package that would see its largest investor provide some $9.5 billion in funding and take an 80% stake in the company. Its founder, Adam Neumann, will walk away with more than $1 billion.

A ride-hailing entrepreneur is Indonesia’s new education minister

. Gojek co-founder Nadiem Makarim stepped down as CEO to join president Joko Widodo’s

second-term cabinet

. Opposition leader Prabowo Subianto, who ran against Widodo in April’s tight elections, will serve as defense minister.

China has a plan to replace Carrie Lam. If Xi Jinping approves, an interim leader would be installed by March and serve out the rest of her term until 2022, according to the Financial Times. Meanwhile, the murder suspect whose case kicked off Hong Kong’s extradition saga was released from prison after serving time for money laundering, and promised to turn himself in to Taiwanese authorities.

Russia and Turkey teamed up against Syrian Kurds. Putin gave Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan his blessing to clear out the remaining Kurdish forces from northern Syria, cementing Moscow and Ankara as the main foreign players in Syria and filling a void left by retreating US troops, who had fought alongside Kurdish fighters against the Islamic State for the past five years.


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India’s hard push on renewables isn’t about climate change—yet. After spending 25 years working in the financial markets, Tim Buckley, head of the Australasia bureau of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, has dedicated himself to understanding and accelerating the transition to clean energy. On a smoggy afternoon in Delhi, Buckley spoke to Quartz about India’s challenge to provide its people with increasing amounts of energy while lowering its dependence on fossil fuels.

Quartz Obsession

Data compression makes Netflix and chill possible. As we send more and more data through the internet, we constantly test the limits of mathematics, computing power, and perception to reduce communication to its essence. The Quartz Obsession leaves out only the unessentials.

Matters of debate

Flight shame doesn’t work for everyone. It’s an enviable goal to avoid air travel, but for many there are no real alternatives.

Cyborgs should have their own bill of rights. Mutants deserve equality, too.

Hidden cameras miss the point. Obvious surveillance devices deter criminals on one hand, and lessen paranoia on the other.

Surprising discoveries

Hesitant hitmen were jailed for their botched assassination plot. They kept subcontracting to each other until their plan crumbled.

Space farmers could grow crops on the moon and Mars. Using simulated lunar dust and Martian soil, researchers grew tomatoes, rye and radishes in the lab.

The dinosaur-killing asteroid disrupted marine life. Flash acidification threw a major wrench in the ocean’s food chain.

Massachusetts could outlaw the “b-word.” It’s demeaning to women and everyone else, really, says a proposed bill.

Gull poop pollutes islands, but it’s our fault. The birds scavenge among garbage, then carpet bomb their natural habitats with wrappers and chemicals.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, subcontracting jobs, and guano deposits to Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Mary Hui and edited by Tripti Lahiri.