Trump in India, Malaysia intrigue, prayer pitstops 

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Trump arrives in India. The US president will visit Ahmedabad, the hometown of prime minister Narendra Modi, and inaugurate the world’s largest cricket stadium. The two-day trip should smooth relations strained by trade tussles.

Julian Assange starts his fight against extradition to the US. In a London court the WikiLeaks founder will argue that the spying charges against him are politically motivated. Factoring in appeals, a decision could be years away.

The EU works on its post-Brexit mandate. The bloc aims to strengthen its negotiating position (paywall) before trade talks with the UK open. Britain hopes to secure a Canada-style deal with few tariffs before Dec. 31, the end of the Brexit transition period.

Over the weekend

Malaysia’s political intrigue intensified. Would-be leader Anwar Ibrahim warned of plotting to change the ruling coalition and deny him the premiership. Mahathir Mohamad, now prime minister, promised ahead of last year’s election that former rival Anwar would eventually take over.

Coronavirus cases jumped in random places. Italy, Iran, and South Korea reported surging numbers of infections, and fears intensified that transmission is now happening between countries independent of China and its containment efforts. In China the death toll passed 2,440.

Hardliners triumphed in Iran’s parliamentary elections. Nationalists and religious conservatives soundly defeated reformists, leading to speculation that president Hassan Rouhani could face impeachment proceedings. Turnout was low amid coronavirus fears.

Bernie Sanders solidified his front-runner status. In the US presidential race, the Vermont senator crushed his Democratic rivals in the Nevada caucuses, while former vice president Joe Biden declared a comeback after finishing second.

Intuit neared an agreement to buy Credit Karma. The TurboTax maker will pay about $7 billion for the personal-finance portal, according to the Wall Street Journal, in a deal reported as soon as today. California-based Intuit’s market value is roughly $77 billion.

Quartz daily obsession

We are awash in fluids we don’t understand. The air we breathe and the blood in our veins are liable, at any moment, to slip from a predictable flow into turbulence. Predicting the behavior of fluids—using a set of equations called Navier-Stokes—remains a challenge for physicists and super computers alike. Yet, animal bodies and behavior have been shaped by the physical reality of fluid dynamics, as robots will be in the future. Prepare for turbulence, it’s the Quartz Daily Obsession.

Matters of debate

Don’t fall for “ethical” companies that do one good thing. Touting a single positive practice makes for good marketing, but doesn’t make the world a better place.

The temperature gun needs a redesign. The thermometers used to scan people for coronavirus need not look so violent.

Corporate boards are too toothless to do their jobs. Warren Buffett says board members are often bad businesspeople who won’t stand up to CEOs.

Surprising discoveries

The UK’s new passports aren’t very British. The blue travel documents were designed by a French firm and printed in Poland.

Tesla claimed victory over “tree pirates.” A German court gave the company permission to clear a forest, despite protests from swashbuckling environmentalists.

Europeans are making prayer pitstops. A million visitors stop at roadside chapels in Germany each year, and the structures are spreading through Western Europe.

An Irish drug dealer lost bitcoin passwords worth $60 million. He stashed them in a fishing rod case, but his landlord threw it out after he was arrested.

A North Korean prisoner escaped with her guard. They became the first such pair to make it out of the country.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, brassy board members, and discarded fishing rod cases 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 Steve Mollman and Nicolás Rivero.