Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Former Malaysian first lady Rosmah Mansor faces bribery charges. The wife of ousted PM Najib Razak has pleaded not guilty to taking a pay-off in connection with a $365 million solar energy project. Her trial was meant to start Monday, but she called in sick.
India shows off its guns. At the country’s biennial DefExpo, Indian defence firms will tout their wares to foreign buyers. The government hopes that nurturing military manufacturers will help grow the economy.
Wuhan opens another coronavirus hospital. The 323,000-sq. ft, 1,300-bed facility, dubbed Leishenshan Hospital, was based off plans for an existing hospital and used prefabricated sections that could be slotted into place. It’s slated to open just 11 days after construction began.
While you were sleeping
The US waited impatiently for Iowa caucus results. The season’s first US primary election have been delayed thanks to a faulty app used to record vote totals. Election officials say they have paper records as a backup and will release “the majority” of results soon—but in the meantime, every major contender but Joe Biden has delivered triumphant speeches.
The US head of Softbank’s Vision Fund quit. Michael Ronen, who oversaw the $100 billion fund’s American investments, cryptically cited “issues” with SoftBank as he stepped down.
Google caught a break in its antitrust case. The US Justice Department’s head of antitrust has recused himself from the investigation into Google’s anti-competitive practices due to his previous work as a lobbyist on behalf of the search giant. Meanwhile, Google also faces a privacy probe in Europe, alongside dating app Tinder.
Another senior Goldman Sachs banker faced consequences over the 1MDB scandal. Federal regulators have barred a third banker from working in the industry over her role in the multi-billion dollar Malaysian fraud.
Tesla didn’t look down. The electric carmaker hit a new highwater mark of $940 per share, buoyed by the news that a battery project with Panasonic turned a profit. In a further boon to the EV industry, Britain announced it would ban the sale of new gas, diesel, and hybrid cars by 2035.
Meet the unicorn breeders. Multibillion-dollar startups like Uber, Didi Chuxing, and WeWork routinely make headlines. But what about the venture capital firms that turn startups into unicorns—and profit from their rise? Quartz breaks down everything you need to know about how VC firms work, from their investment strategies to their role in IPOs.
Quartz daily obsession
Hundreds of thousands in Mumbai get their home-cooked lunches in Tiffins. The multi-layered stainless steel cylinders contain multiple parts of a homemade meal. They’re handed off to couriers called dabbawalas, who pass them along an hours-long journey across the city’s subways via a highly efficient analog system. Break it down in the Quartz Daily Obsession.
Matters of debate
China needs to make major changes if it wants to see fewer outbreaks. The problem is baked into the way its bureaucratic structure is set up.
Don’t buy Google Stadia yet. It’s still unclear what an average gamer gets from Stadia that they can’t from their current console.
The American Dream isn’t achievable in America. In Nordic countries, according to Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin, it’s alive and well.
Humans can’t read cats’ facial expressions. A new study found that participants could correctly guess feline feelings only 59% of the time.
The anti-solar panel creates light from dark. Pointing a warm source towards cold space at night could generate energy the same way traditional solar panels do.
Plant-based chicken is the final frontier. A former aerospace engineer has refocused on building new equipment designed specifically for meat alternatives.
Owls need to find balance. In California, the barred owl’s tyranny over the spotted owl has caused a significant disturbance in the forest.
Wheelchairs, gamified. A third-party adapter turns an electric wheelchair’s joystick into an Xbox controller.
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