Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Those left standing in the Iran nuclear deal get together in Vienna. Britain, France, and Germany have raised concerns over Iran’s continued efforts to separate itself from the deal, triggering the commission’s formal dispute process in hopes of striking a bargain that will convince Iran to come fully back into the fold.
Apple meets with its investors. During its annual Cupertino gathering, shareholders will vote on whether Apple must disclose all censorship requests by any government, after the company was repeatedly accused of acquiescing to China’s demands to block certain apps. Apple has said the vote is unnecessary.
Democratic US presidential hopefuls face off once more. The candidates are likely to turn their sights on Bernie Sanders, fresh off a 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.
While you were sleeping
Disney replaced its CEO. Bob Iger was instrumental in hammering out the company’s purchases of Marvel Entertainment, Fox assets, and Star Wars. Disney announced he’d stay on as executive chairman of the board, with Bob Chapek, formerly chairman of Disney Parks, taking his place as CEO.
Coronavirus continued its global journey. The South Korean drug authority said it was considering clearing regulatory hurdles for an antiviral drug from Japan, while a member of the International Olympic Committee indicated that the upcoming Tokyo games could be at risk of cancellation. The US urged Americans to prepare themselves for an inevitable outbreak within its borders.
The EU and UK solidified their trade positions prior to negotiations. British and European ministers both signed off on their side’s respective demands and warned that they were prepared to be firm on their particular talking points once negotiations begin on Monday. The UK aims to have complete independence from Europe by Jan. 1, 2021, regardless of the trade deal.
2019 was not a great year for global trade. Figures from the CPB World Trade Monitor indicated the first full-year drop since 2009, thanks to the US-China trade war, Germany’s industrial slowdown, and nascent coronavirus fears as the year drew to a close.
Amazon opened a new cashier-less store in Seattle. The new automated grocer is four times larger than the one attempted by the company in 2018. Customers are tracked by hundreds of cameras and smart shelves before checking out via the app.
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Quartz daily obsession
Lazy rivers are far from it. As people float along manmade trails of water—spotted in water parks, but also in malls, hotels, Airbnbs, and even college campuses—they may not be aware that “the most complex engineering design there is” lies underneath them. The craft can also be dangerous with a lack of US regulation; but rest assured, the lazy river remains largely safe. Float on with today’s Quartz Daily Obsession.
Matters of debate
Victoria’s Secret’s woke pivot is too little too late. For years, it was led by men, promoted uniform beauty standards, and ignored trans women.
The world of newborns has become “hypergendered.” Shoppers are pushing back against designs specific to boys and girls.
Let the apostrophe die. People misuse the confusing punctuation mark, and language should evolve organically.
Activist musicians recorded every possible melody. They hope to undermine lawsuits in which one artist accuses another of ripping off their sound.
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.
There’s an animal that doesn’t need to breathe. The salmon parasite is the first animal known to live without any breathing apparatus and no mitochondria.
Almost all local Indian birds are dying out. An alarming 79% of the country’s species have been declining in population.
A Hong Kong bookseller who mysteriously disappeared got a harsh jail sentence. Gui Minhai has been convicted of “illegally providing intelligence overseas.”
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, neutral green baby clothes, and apostrophe eulogies to email@example.com. 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 Susan Howson and Nicolás Rivero.