#Trump meets governors, awkwardness at the #Oscars, terrorizing elks

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Donald Trump meets with US state governors. The discussion is expected to focus on key infrastructure projects. Ever since Trump made “rebuilding America” a key campaign promise, governors have been drafting wish lists of big ticket projects. Expect billion-dollar price tags.

Drugmaker Perrigo reports its fourth-quarter earnings. Activist investor Starboard Value added three directors to the board earlier this month and has been pressuring the struggling Dublin-based drugmaker to make bold changes, including selling non-core assets, such as its prescription pharma business Rx Pharmaceuticals.

The US Commerce Department reports on orders for durable goods. Economists expect they rose 1.6% in January (pdf) after falling 0.5% in December. Meanwhile the National Association of Realtors will share numbers on pending home sales, with an expected increased of 1% in January.


The Oscars ceremony suffered an awkward mixup. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as the Best Picture winner, but the award was actually intended for Moonlight—Beatty says the envelope contained the wrong card. Mahershala Ali meanwhile won Best Supporting Actor for his performance inMoonlight, becoming the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar.

Australia and Indonesia restored military cooperation. They announced the development during Indonesian president Joko Widodo’s first official visit to Australia. Cooperation was suspended in January after Indonesian officials discovered Australian military training documents they claimed were “insulting.” The two sides notably did not announce joint patrols in the South China Sea, which no doubt pleased Beijing.

Opinion polls said Emmanuel Macron would win the French presidency in a runoff. The independent would defeat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who many have compared to Donald Trump. A surprise alliance with veteran centrist Francois Bayrou, announced last week, has boosted Macron’s campaign.

Warren Buffett sent his annual letter to shareholders. Along with more prosaic investment suggestions, the head of Berkshire Hathaway offered advice on how to leverage fear. He praised the US’s “miraculous” economic achievements and the country’s “tide of talented and ambitious immigrants”—a dig at Donald Trump.

Thomas Perez was elected chair of the US Democratic National Committee. His victory was seen as a blow to liberals who had backed Minnesota lawmaker Keith Ellison. Perez, the former labor secretary, will be the first Latino to hold the position. He picked Ellison to be his deputy.

Trump announced he will boycott the US White House Correspondents’ annual dinner in April. He will be the first president to skip the event since Ronald Reagan, who phoned in remarks from Camp David where was recovering from being shot.


Ephrat Livni on how our tech-dependent lifestyles can be threatened by something as ordinary as a heavy rain: “Now my awesome gig writing from home has turned into a challenge of its own—how to be a professional despite technological difficulties, and without the comforts that help to keep me organized and civilized.”Read more here.


The US could lose the second Cold War. Russia’s cyber-espionage has been remarkably successful.

Donald Trump’s policies will only further enrich the 1%. But his rhetoric is fine-tuned to make the rest of America feel taken care of(paywall).

Artificial intelligence could be more dangerous than nuclear weapons. We’re completely unprepared for the societal changesthat are coming.


Ballet dancers spin clockwise, gymnasts counter-clockwise. It isn’t clear why.

Drones cause elk to stampede. A drone operator, who was attempting to photograph the animals, received a $280 fine for “harassing” the elk.

The US military is using robots to decommission WWII-era chemical weapons. All 780,000 of them.

The Taliban is upset about deforestation. They are urging Afghans to plant more trees.

Bees can be trained to roll a ball into a goal. And they can teach their friends.

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