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What to watch for today
Travel disruptions across Europe. Hundreds of flights and trains have been canceled as storm Ciara (or Sabine in Germany) lashed the UK and the continent over the weekend. Strong winds helped a British Airways flight break the New York to London speed record on Saturday.
China’s economy hobbles back to life. After an extended Lunar New Year holiday due to the coronavirus outbreak, some companies, including Apple (paywall) and Tesla, are expected to resume manufacturing today. However, much of the country remains closed to contain the spread of the virus, which has claimed over 900 lives.
An Uber challenger launches in London. India’s Ola, which is also backed by SoftBank, is playing up its safety features in its bid to become the dominant ride-hailing service in the UK capital.
The White House releases its budget proposal. The Trump administration is expected to seek cuts to social safety net programs and foreign aid, while also requesting $2 billion in new funding for border-wall construction. House Democrats probably won’t play along.
Over the weekend
Parasite won big at the Oscars. The Korean-language film, directed by Bong Joon-ho, became the first non-English film to win best picture, and also picked up awards for best original screenplay, international feature film, and director. New Zealand’s Taika Waititi, who won best adapted screenplay for Jojo Rabbit, is the first indigenous person to win an Oscar.
Ireland’s election upended its two-party system. Sinn Féin, once frozen out of politics due to its connections to the IRA, won the most votes and will try to form a coalition. However, both of the main center-right parties have ruled out entering government with it.
Interethnic violence left eight dead in Kazakhstan. The clashes took place in a southern province near the Kyrgyz border, home to a large number of the ethnic Chinese Dungan minority, though the origins of the unrest remain unclear. Refugees are fleeing to Kyrgyzstan.
Thailand saw its worst mass shooting. A soldier who was reportedly angry about a financial dispute killed at least 29 people and wounded dozens of others at a military base and shopping mall in the country’s north. Police shot him dead after a long standoff in the mall.
Switzerland voted to criminalize homophobia. In a referendum, 63.1% voted in favor of legislation that makes discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and identity illegal. Next, parliament is due to discuss a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.
By nearly every measure, the venture industry has boomed. Venture capital has evolved from small-scale, hyperlocal deals to a global industry that invests $250 billion each year. Quartz contributor Dave Edwards reports on the forces that transformed VC—and lays out what the explosion of private investment means for all of us.
Quartz daily obsession
Acceptance speeches are a rare peek beyond the highly filtered veil of modern celebrity. Winning a major award can throw some stars way off, or prompt them to deliver a formulaic litany of thank yous. Other performers use the platform to make a statement, get clever, or even recite poetry. The Quartz Daily Obsession would like to thank its readers with a look at the unscripted spotlight.
Matters of debate
Hong Kong is showing signs of a failed state. Coronavirus-fueled panic buying of toilet paper is a sign of how little trust there is in the government.
Selling mattresses is not a tech business. Casper is paying the price for wrapping itself in the trappings of tech stardom to pump up its valuation.
Humans should hide away in winter. Taking cues from animals that hibernate, we can use the cold months as a time for restoration.
Alaska bought itself a higher fertility rate. When the state started paying an annual dividend to every man, woman, and child, fertility shot up 13%.
Something in space is sending radio bursts to Earth at regular intervals. Scientists are still debating what is creating the waves, which follow a steady 16-day cycle.
Netflix uses as much power as 40,000 US homes. The streaming giant’s energy use leapt 84% last year, but executives promise they have carbon offsets to match.
Spending billions is hard work. Even after sinking $1 billion a year into space travel, Jeff Bezos still struggles to offload everything he earns.
North Korea’s internet use surged 300% since 2017. It reflects the regime’s embrace of cybercrime in response to toughening sanctions from the Trump administration.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, spare billions, and messages from space 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 written by Isabella Steger and edited by Tripti Lahiri.