Trump cabinet pull-out, Tillerson G20 trip, honeybee whoops

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Indian legislators visit Taiwan, enraging China. It’s a reciprocal trip, after three parliamentarians led by the Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party’s legislator Kuan Bi-ling visited New Delhi on Monday. That drew a diplomatic protest from Beijing.

Rex Tillerson’s first overseas trip could be a tough one. The US secretary of state beings a two-day meeting with counterparts from the G20 in Germany. There should be plenty to talk about, from Kremlin-White House relations to the US “One China” policy.

Malaysia completes the autopsy on Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother. Kim Jong-nam died suddenly on Monday in the Kuala Lumpur airport, in a suspected assassination by North Korean agents. Malaysia rejected North Korea’s request to claim the body before a post-mortem.

While you were sleeping

The US labor secretary nominee pulled out. Fast food CEO Andy Puzder withdrew his nomination after weeks of growing pressure over domestic violence accusations and hiring an undocumented maid. Puzder’s withdrawal adds chaos to an already-struggling Trump administration, still reeling from national security advisor Michael Flynn’s firing.

Trump said he could “live with” a one-state solution in Israel. The president discarded a long-standing US foreign policy priority, touting his deal-making expertise and trust in son-in-law and unofficial Middle East envoy Jared Kushner. “I’m looking at two states and one state,” the president said at a press conference alongside Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Russia said there’s no chance it will return Crimea to Ukraine. The Kremlin shot down a White House demand that the territory, annexed by Russia in 2014, revert to Kyev’s control. “Russia does not discuss its territorial integrity with foreign partners,” a spokeswoman said.

UK wages barely grew faster than inflation. Worker salaries increased by 2.6% in the last three months of 2016, compared with an increase of 2.7% a year earlier. Despite Brexit worries, the unemployment rate declined to 4.8% as the labor market crept closer to full employment.

Verizon is shaving about $300 million off its Yahoo purchase price. The $4.8 billion acquisition is reportedly being renegotiated in the wake of Yahoo’s catastrophic hacking incidents. Both companies will be legally and financially responsible for damages related to the data breaches.

Quartz obsession interlude

Jenny Anderson on the mathematician who proved there’s no such thing as a bad math student. “John Mighton has identified two major problems in how we teach math. First, we overload kids’ brains … Second, we divide classes by ability, creating hierarchies which disable the weakest learners while not benefitting the top ones.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Kim Jong-un is securing his reign. The North Korean dictator’s potential rivals are nearly all dead.

People who lose power tend to embrace conspiracy theories. US Democrats, for example, are now more vulnerable to misinformation.

The Fed should reconsider taking things slow. The central bank needs to raise interest rates more quickly.

Surprising discoveries

A US trade court ruled that Snuggies are blankets, not garments. The decision is a win for its manufacturer, which will now pay a lower import duty.

Kanye West trained an AI to rap. A high school student used the rapper’s verses to show a neural network the basics of hip-hop.

Honeybees “whoop” when they bump into each other. The vibrational pulses were previously thought to be requests for food.

Lloyd’s of London banned boozy lunches. The move was reportedly prompted by “stories of brokers sitting in pubs handing out contracts like Jabba the Hutt.” (paywall)

Ebola “super-spreaders” are largely responsible for outbreaks. More than 60% of people with the virus got it from 3% of infected people.

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