Bloomberg’s first debate, Adidas in China, Black Death

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Michael Bloomberg faces rivals for the first time. The billionaire, who has been accused of buying his way to the top of the US presidential race, will participate in his first Democratic debate in Las Vegas. Bloomberg claimed he would sell his business if elected.

Donald Trump’s chief aide meets Boris Johnson’s chief aide. Mick Mulvaney is expected to put pressure on Dominic Cummings to reverse the UK’s decision to allow Chinese company Huawei to contribute technology to British 5G networks.

The EU launches new tech and AI rules. The regulations will include limits on facial recognition and more scrutiny on monopolistic acquisitions by US tech giants like Facebook, and are meant to differentiate European firms on the basis of values like competition, equality, transparency, and oversight.

While you were sleeping

China’s potential economic assistance boosted markets… China is reportedly considering direct investments in airlines, and allowing them to buy smaller carriers hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

…but concern has grown for businesses operating in China. Adidas reports an 85% drop in store visits, local firms are increasingly unable to pay employees, and foreign firms that depend on Chinese parts are struggling to keep them coming.

The UK unveiled its post-Brexit migration plan. The government wants to attract “the brightest and the best,” as it closes the border to low-skilled workers and non-English speakers. Industry leaders said the new system would block essential migrants in construction, healthcare, and agriculture.

South Korea launched the world’s first air quality satellite. The Chollian 2B will monitor fine dust and other air pollutants in the East Asian region. The information it will gather could pave the way for a new disaster relief communications system.

India started persecuting VPN users in Kashmir. Police said they identified people who are using the tool to bypass a social media ban that has been in place in the disputed region for more than six months. Police claimed users were posting separatist content.

Quartz membership

Patagonia is “the poster child for purpose,” writes Quartz reporter Cassie Werber. But it wasn’t always that way. We take you inside Patagonia’s evolution and its struggle to maintain purpose and sustainability in the face of growth.

Quartz daily obsession

That’s the spirit! Cheerleading has come a long way from “yell teams” in the late 1800s: It’s now a competitive sport close to being recognized by the Olympic Committee. But it still has some way to go in addressing its dark side in safety and fair pay. Hit the mat with the Quartz Daily Obsession.

Matters of debate

Jeff Bezos should just pay more tax. His new $10 billion environmental fund ignores how Amazon makes its money.

Medical degrees have lost their relevance. What matters are doctors’ specializations.

Coronavirus numbers are much more uncertain than they seem. Even metrics like the number of deaths are tricky.

Surprising discoveries

McDonald’s and Starbucks are testing reusable cups. A trial led by the two firms involves stronger cups that can be digitally tracked.

The youth league of the Chinese communist party launched two anime idols. But the state-sanctioned characters were soon pulled after being ridiculed on social media.

Neanderthals may have used flowers in their funerals. The clues come from a skeleton found in a cave in Iraq.

Black Death victims have been found in a mass grave in England. The plague killed nearly half the country in the 14th century.

Two young sisters forced Kellogg’s to stop using “unsustainable” palm oil. But their mother is waiting to see if the company actually does it.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Atlético Madrid, and the referee to 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.