Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
China lowers its benchmark lending rate. The central bank is widely expected to cut rates in response to the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown. The finance sector has had to put off hiring, while global businesses have seen sales sputter and supply chains disrupted. Meanwhile, Macau is expected to reopen its casinos, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged caution for travelers to Hong Kong.
Japan paints a rosy picture of the economy. Despite new data showing the sharpest contraction in six years, the Japanese government will likely report that the economy is still in a recovery period. Meanwhile, Tohoku Electric Power Co. is set to sell the first “green bond” from a Japanese utility, and California’s state assembly votes on an apology for Japanese Americans’ internment during World War 2.
The IMF heads to Lebanon. A team of International Monetary Fund experts will provide advice as the country faces an economic meltdown. Lebanon has not yet asked the IMF for financial assistance, but Wednesday was the worst day on record for the heavily indebted country’s bonds.
US Democratic presidential candidates debate in Nevada. Six candidates will take the Las Vegas debate stage including early delegate leader Pete Buttigieg and national polling frontrunner Bernie Sanders. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg will make his first debate appearance, even though he’s not on the ballot in Nevada.
While you were sleeping
The Federal Reserve said the US economy has gotten “stronger.” The US central bank released details of its late January meeting including improved economic growth forecasts and concerns over trade tensions and the Wuhan coronavirus.
Developers got an early peek at Android 11. Usually released in March, Google’s mobile operating system’s latest version includes updates for 5G, foldable screens, and streaming game services like Stadia.
The European Union dug into artificial intelligence regulation. The executive branch of the 27-state body kicked off 12 weeks of discussions aimed at protecting EU citizens from the negative effects of AI and facial recognition. New regulations and laws are expected to follow later this year.
New research put more atmospheric methane blame on humans. Analysis of ice cores in Greenland found that the share of methane—a super-potent driver of climate change—attributable to fossil fuel extraction has been underestimated by up to 40%.
The world remembered computer user interface pioneer Larry Tesler. The computer scientist, who spent time at Xerox and Apple, was best known for giving us cut, copy, and paste. He passed away on Monday.
Lots of companies say they want to balance profit with purpose, yet fewer than 3,300 have become certified B Corporations. Their ranks are growing, however, and they have a great deal to teach other companies about success. Quartz’s Cassie Werber brings you essential lessons from the world of B Corps.
Quartz daily obsession
Zeno’s impact has been felt for millennia. The philosopher challenged the way we understand the physical world with brain teasers and thought experiments, which mathematicians and philosophers sought to prove and explain in the thousands of years afterward. Toy with your minds in the Quartz Daily Obsession.
Matters of debate
There’s no substitute for experience. Raj Raghavan, SVP and head of HR at IndiGo, India’s largest airline, told Quartz that no schools can teach the skills that his teams rely upon. Find more advice on the future of jobs in India.
Sticker shock is keeping new skiers off the slopes. But if you know what you’re doing, hitting the sport can be cheaper than ever.
Coronavirus numbers are much more uncertain than they seem. Even metrics like the number of deaths are tricky.
People are lining up to buy red Oreos. The cult skateboard brand Supreme is releasing a special edition of the classic snack.
The youth league of the Chinese communist party launched two anime idols. The state-sanctioned characters were later pulled after being ridiculed on social media.
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.
The sun cooked to death hundreds of thousands of mussels in New Zealand. Midday low tides during a heatwave left the mollusks exposed.
The $120,000 art banana is back. The artist who ate the tongue-in-cheek sculpture is launching an edible food museum styled after New York City corner stores.
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