Assange extradition, potential pandemic, Bieber vs. Elvis

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Julian Assange starts his fight against extradition to the US. In a London court, the WikiLeaks founder is set to argue, once again, that the spying charges against him are politically motivated. A final decision could take years.

Los Angeles hosts a memorial service for Kobe Bryant. At least 20,000 people are expected to gather at the Staples Center to pay their respects to the NBA legend, who died in a helicopter crash last month alongside his teenage daughter and seven others.

Britain’s home secretary is on the ropes. Priti Patel, who’s responsible for internal affairs, national security, and immigration in the UK, has been accused of bullying her staff. There are also allegations that she is distrusted by intelligence chiefs. The government has denied the claims.

Over the weekend

Donald Trump addressed a huge rally in India. The US president found himself in a cricket stadium in Gujarat, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s home state. Pleasantries aside, the two leaders are talking serious business, with a long-awaited trade deal still looking unlikely.

The global spread of coronavirus accelerated. The epidemic has spread to more and more countries, with Italy, Iran, and South Korea reporting surging numbers of infections. Contagion now seems to be happening between countries a long way from China and its containment efforts.

China has delayed its most important political gathering. Nearly 3000 legislators from around the country were due to meet in Beijing next month, but it has now been postponed because of coronavirus. No new date has been set.

Bernie Sanders showed he’s still the Democratic frontrunner. The Vermont senator crushed his rivals in the Nevada caucuses, while former vice president Joe Biden thinks he’s back in the game after finishing what appears to be a distant second.

Justin Bieber overtook the King. His new album Changes debuted at number one on the US charts—a feat the 25-year-old Canadian has now pulled off seven times. Bieber is a year younger than Elvis was when he did the same thing in 1961, with Blue Hawaii

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. Prepare for turbulence, it’s the Quartz Daily Obsession.

Matters of debate

Corporations speak “garbage language.” What does “parallel path” even mean?

Has the coronavirus outbreak become a pandemic? Although the WHO doesn’t use this term any more, it’s now clear the virus won’t be contained.

Making friends as an adult doesn’t have to be so hard. Just approach it like dating.

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.

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.

The North Pole is responsible for the world’s warmest winter yet. A low-pressure system has drawn a jet stream north, locking frosty temperatures away.

Some ants use their poison to disinfect foods. Unless, of course, they choose to spray that acid at enemies.

Roadside chapels might be Europe’s next big spiritual trend. An upcoming facility in Switzerland is modeled after the 50 or so prayer pit stops in Germany.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, favorite corporatespeak, and bitcoin passwords 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 Adam Rasmi and Hasit Shah.