Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The impeachment trial ends. Senators are expected to clear the US president on both articles of impeachment. Trump’s State of the Union address last night, which avoided all mention of the trial, had the air of a campaign rally.
Spotify reports earnings. Analysts expect the company to show that it’s steadily moving towards profitability. It’s a busy week for earnings: after disappointing reports from Snap and Tinder owner Match Group on Tuesday, General Motors, Qualcomm, and Peloton report today.
The wait continues in Iowa. After a faulty app delayed the results on Monday, an update showed Pete Buttigieg with a small lead over Bernie Sanders on Tuesday, with about 70% of precincts counted. It’s still unclear when the final result will come.
While you were sleeping
Two cruise ships in Asian waters were placed in quarantine. In Japan, 3,700 passengers on the Diamond Princess are confined to the ship for at least two weeks after 10 people tested positive for the virus. In Hong Kong, 1,800 passengers are quarantined after three tested positive. China said 65 people died on Tuesday, a new daily record.
Olympic organizers showed concern over the outbreak. The virus has already affected some preliminary competitions. The chief of the organization committee said he hopes it’s “eradicated as quickly as possible,” and the mayor of the Athletes’ Village said he will do all he can to protect competitors.
Vodafone said it will remove Huawei’s technology from its core network. The move, which will cost $220 million, comes after the UK and the EU issued new rules regarding the Chinese company, in part over fears of Chinese spying fueled by the US. Fellow UK telco BT announced a similar move at a cost of $650 million (paywall).
Imperial Brands issued a profit warning. The tobacco group warned investors it doesn’t expect growth in profit this year. Demand for its vaping products fell in the US, the biggest vaping market in the world, because of a ban on some flavors there.
Dubai’s airport recorded its first annual decline in traffic. The world’s busiest airport for international travelers handled 86.4 million passengers last year, a 3% decline from the previous year. It blamed the figures on a runway closure, the collapse of an Indian airline, and the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max plane.
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.
Quartz daily obsession
Hundreds of thousands in Mumbai get their home-cooked lunches in Tiffins. The multi-layered stainless steel cylinders are in the hands of dabbawalas (literally, “the container guys”), who pass them along the city’s subways via a highly efficient analog system. Break it down in the Quartz Daily Obsession.
Matters of debate
Depleted European countries want their brightest and best back. A lot of smart young people left struggling economies during the debt crisis in the early 2010s.
Airbus isn’t taking advantage of Boeing’s problems. Here’s why.
A crackdown on Indians living overseas could hurt investment in India. But too many of them use their non-resident status to avoid taxes.
Archaeologists discovered the oldest wooden structure in the world. It’s a 7,000-year-old well in the Czech Republic.
Owls are on the brink of war in California. The arrival of barred owls is a threat for the spotted owl and its entire ecosystem.
A new solar panel can create light from the dark. Pointing a warm source toward cold space at night could generate energy.
Disney+ is adding subscribers faster than expected. The streaming service added 2.1 million in January, to a total of 28.6 million subscribers.
A student loan company sent a US man 55,000 identical letters by mistake. The company blamed a glitch in its mail system.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, 55,000 identical letters, and 7,000-year-old wells 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 Hasit Shah.