Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Democratic presidential hopefuls face off once more. The candidates are likely to turn their sights on Bernie Sanders, following his win in the Nevada caucuses, at the debate in South Carolina tonight. The Vermont senator released a $1.5 trillion universal childcare proposal ahead of the event.
Post-Brexit trade developments. British ministers will sign off on the country’s negotiating demands, while the EU will publish a list of its priorities. The UK aims to have complete independence from Europe by Jan. 1, 2021, whether or not there’s a trade deal.
Amazon opens a new cashier-less store in Seattle. The automated grocery shop is four times larger than the one trialled by the company in 2018. Amazon uses hundreds of cameras and smart shelves to track what customers are buying before they checkout using the app.
While you were sleeping
Stocks stabilized. Global trading tentatively recovered from Monday’s biggest selloff in two years, triggered by investor concerns over government responses to the coronavirus. South Korea, home to the most cases outside of China, announced new containment measures, including a mass testing of 200,000 church members.
The US and India signed an arms deal. Donald Trump says India has committed to buying $3 billion in military equipment, though a broader trade deal is still out of reach. The president’s two-day visit to New Delhi coincided with deadly protests over a controversial citizenship law.
Nancy Pelosi criticized the White House’s coronavirus budget request. The speaker of the House said that the $2.5 billion plan was “long overdue” and “completely inadequate.” Pelosi also indicated that the House will propose a better funding package “that fully addresses the scale and seriousness” of the coronavirus outbreak.
Revolut was valued at $5.5 billion. US venture capital firm TCV, which counts big names like Netflix, Spotify, and Airbnb as previous investments, led the $500 million funding round. Revolut plans to use the money to launch lending products, expand operations in Europe, and improve customer service. It starts operating in the US later this year.
Germany stalled. The Federal Statistical Office confirmed previous estimates that showed German GDP growth flatlining at 0% in the fourth quarter, as exports and consumption fell, and government spending remained weak. The numbers indicate that the German economy was in bad shape even before the coronavirus outbreak started.
TikTok is China’s first truly global app. With hundreds of millions of monthly users and burgeoning TikTok stars, ByteDance’s hit video app is here to stay. But “TikTok’s roots are a double-edged sword,” writes Quartz reporter Jane Li. This week’s field guide for members tells you why.
Quartz daily obsession
Leopard print spottings are on the rise. The fabric has historically been the preserve of royalty, the priesthood, high society ladies, and pinup models. Today it’s for anyone who’s bold enough to wear it. Accessorize your mind with the Quartz Daily Obsession.
Matters of debate
Italy’s coronavirus hysteria is reminiscent of the Black Death. Mobs are taking their anxieties out on scapegoated minorities.
Victoria’s Secret’s woke pivot comes too little too late. Its rebranding efforts won’t make up for years of male leadership and pursuit of uniform beauty standards.
The world of newborns has become “hypergendered.” Shoppers are pushing back against designs specific to boys and girls.
Video conferencing is getting a boost from the coronavirus. Shares in Japanese firm V-Cube surged after people were asked to stay home due to the outbreak.
Seattle’s tech workers are making bank. They earn 56% more than New Yorkers working in finance, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Friends cast members are each making $2.5 million to hang out for an hour. That’s the price of an unscripted reunion special to publicize HBO’s acquisition of the show’s catalogue.
A lost 18th century crown made its way back to Ethiopia. The rare artifact had been stashed in the home of a political exile.
Warren Buffett finally got a smartphone. The billionaire gave up his signature flip phone for an iPhone 11 after purchasing 5.6% of Apple.
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