Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today and over the weekend
The impeachment probe resumes. After a day’s break in the hearings, Marie Yovanovitch, former Ukraine ambassador, will testify in front of cameras, while career White House official Mark Sandy testifies behind closed doors on Saturday. House speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused Donald Trump of “bribery,” and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said he had “good insurance” in case he is cast as the fall guy.
Donald Trump makes Louisiana’s governor race all about himself. The president asked voters to elect Republican candidate Eddie Rispone, who’s trying to unseat Democrat John Bel Edwards. Trump also tried to link the election to the impeachment probe. In Kentucky, governor Matt Bevin, a Trump ally, conceded defeat to Democrat Andy Beshear.
Prince Andrew breaks his silence on Jeffrey Epstein. In an interview to be broadcast by the BBC on Saturday, Queen Elizabeth’s second son spoke about his links—going back decades—with the US financier, who killed himself while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Sri Lanka elects a president. Thirty-five candidates are running, though only two stand a chance. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, brother of the former president and the nationalist party candidate, is stoking security fears about the Easter attacks that killed more than 250 people. The ruling party’s Sajith Premadasa, son of a former president, has focussed on the economy.
While you were sleeping
Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court to protect his tax returns. The president wants the high court to prevent his accounting firm from giving his tax records to Manhattan prosecutors. Trump’s lawyer argues that the president should be immune from criminal investigation while in office.
The Hong Kong protests moved to the streets of London. Teresa Cheng, Hong Kong’s justice minister, was surrounded by pro-democracy demonstrators and shouted at, during an official visit to the British capital. In the heated exchange, which lasted several minutes, she fell and hurt her arm.
London to Sydney flight broke world record. Qantas broke two aviation records. It was the longest passenger flight by a commercial airline in terms of distance and time—it covered 17,800 kilometers (11,060 miles), and it lasted 19 hours and 19 minutes.
Amazon said it will go up against the Pentagon. Jeff Bezos’ company announced that it will challenge a decision by the US defense department to award a $10 billion contract for cloud services to Microsoft, amid reports that Trump personally stepped in to influence the decision.
British election campaign throws up promises of free broadband. The Labour party promised to nationalize parts of BT and create a superfast service called British Broadband, but it’s been mocked as a fantasy plan. Meanwhile, the Conservatives promised to put money into pubs, post offices, and rail networks of neglected towns.
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Should Big Tech be broken up? As part of this week’s field guide, Quartz’s economics reporter Allison Schrager argues that the size of the major companies isn’t necessarily a problem—instead, anti-competitive behavior, poor data privacy, and misinformation are where solutions must be found.
Are crystals the new blood diamonds? Despite damning coverage of brutal industrial practices —not to mention a total lack of evidence of any tangible health benefits—enthusiasm for crystals has only grown. Unearth the sparkly trend with the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
Women’s rights conferences aren’t working. Gender equality is still considered to be generations away and endless meetings may not be the answer.
Recycling shoes is hard. Adidas has a plan for that but the tricky part is getting people to give them back in the first place.
Bolivia is an internet Rorschach test. It’s political leanings that will determine how people read the ouster of Evo Morales.
Even Nordic dads don’t take enough parental leave. Scandinavian men take just 10-30% of their allotted time off following the birth of a child.
The ideal e-bike rider is not a cyclist. Or even sporty. A Belgian startup that hit the streets of its sixth European market this week, has different plans to make its product cool.
Clamshells must flip. To spark memories of phone designs of yore. Huawei launched the foldable Mate X today. Motorola Razr goes on sale in the US in January.
Rainbow hair is no longer just for celebrities. It’s helping British women deal with the gloom of Brexit and the winter dark.
Vegan cheese is the holy grail of the plant-based industry. Entrepreneurs are racing to develop cashew camembert that’s not rubbery.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, vegan cheese, and original Razr phones to email@example.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app on iOS or Android, and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Luiz Romero and Rashmee Roshan Lall.