Davos wraps up, birth tourism, brain glass

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What to watch for today and over the weekend

Davos wraps up. The World Economic Forum comes to an end today with a final panel featuring International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva, European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde, and US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. Get the news first by signing up for our special Davos Daily Brief.

The coronavirus overtakes the Lunar New Year. Public holiday celebrations are canceled in Beijing and several other cities are on lockdown due to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Some Chinese e-commerce sites have gone so far as to freeze prices on face masks to avoid price gouging. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization says it’s still not ready to declare the outbreak a global health emergency, and China’s toxic relationship with information transparency has shackled some relief efforts.

India celebrates Republic Day. The country is marking the 71st anniversary of its constitution on Sunday with a parade in the capital that is slated to highlight India’s startup ecosystem. Eyes will also be on the country’s guest of honor, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.

The world of music gathers in Los Angeles. The 62nd annual Grammy Awards, hosted by the singer Alicia Keys, is scheduled to take place this Sunday. Highlights include a performance from Arianna Grande following a five-year absence from the extravaganza. Industry insiders will surely be whispering about the sudden ouster of Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan over allegations of misconduct.

While you were sleeping

The UN’s highest court ruled on Myanmar. The country “caused irreparable damage to the rights of the Rohingya,” according to a new ruling from the International Court of Justice. The judges ordered the country to avoid any further genocide, refrain from destroying evidence, and file periodic progress reports with the court.

The US cracked down on so-called “birth tourism.” The White House announced that the US will no longer issue temporary visas to pregnant women seeking to enter the country to secure birthright citizenship for their unborn children. The move comes amid a government-wide effort to restrict immigration to the US.

Britain cozied up to Huawei. UK government officials formally recommended “a limited role” for Huawei network equipment, including radio antennas, to build out a national 5G network. The US has repeatedly pressured the UK and its allies to shun the Chinese telecom giant.

Korean Air Flight 858 wreckage may have been found. Reports say that debris from the plane has been spotted in the Andaman Sea near Myanmar with the assistance of 3D sonar.  The flight was blown apart by a North Korean spy in 1987, killing 115 people.

The Doomsday Clock ticked closer to midnight. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set its clock that symbolizes the likelihood of human-made global apocalypse to 100 seconds to midnight, the nearest to doom in the organization’s history.

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Matters of debate

Ending legacy admissions can fight inequality in America. Johns Hopkins also doesn’t consider the students’ financial status when making admission decisions.

America is addicted to bathrooms. Over the past 50 years, the number of bathrooms per capita has doubled for absolutely no good reason.

Companies should stop blocking websites at work. Motivated employees will figure out ways to get around the firewall, which just wastes more time.

Surprising discoveries

The ancient Mount Vesuvius eruption turned its victims’ brains into glass. The 79 AD blast burned with a heat so intense that it vitrified a man’s brain, newly discovered fragments suggest.

Google has a husband problem. Type a woman’s name into Google and there’s a good chance that “husband” or “wedding” will come up as an automatic suggestion. For men, not so much.

Tech budgets could be a clue in the next financial crisis. Banks that adopted more IT before the credit crunch in 2008 had fewer defaults when the panic hit.

Listen to the voice of a mummy, if you dare. Scientists have recreated the voice of a 3,000-year-old mummified Egyptian priest. What you do with that information is up to you.

Nigerian terms have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Find out what colloquialisms like “next tomorrow” and “send-forth” mean.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, spare bathrooms, and curse-free mummy raps to hi@qz.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 Patrick deHahn and Max Lockie.