Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
Jean-Claude Juncker addresses the European Parliament.Drawing from a new white paper, the president of the European Commission will describe a handful of different paths the bloc could follow, ranging from a fully fledged federalist EU to a multi-speed Europe. The idea is to have national leaders pick one before year’s end.
The Saudi king visits Indonesia with an enormous entourage.King Salman is reportedly bringing at least 1,500 people and over 450 metric tons (500 tons) of luggage on a nine-day trip to the world’s largest majority-Muslim country.
Germany’s economy update. February jobless figures and inflation data will signal whether Europe’s largest economy is still gaining momentum.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Donald Trump delivered an un-Trumpian speech to the US Congress. The still-new president appealed to political unity and spoke in an even timbre instead of the usual hectoring tone. But investors eager for details on tax reform, infrastructure spending, or the repeal of Obamacare were unimpressed by the broad generalizations.
The Obamas sold their memoirs. Penguin Random Houseannounced it has acquired two upcoming books, one each by Barack and Michelle Obama. That followed an intense bidding war between some of the biggest US book publishers, among them HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.
A French sniper accidentally shot two people during a presidential speech. A policeman stationed on a roof in western France inadvertently fired a bullet into a tent where Francois Hollande was speaking. It passed through a waiter’s thigh before striking another person’s calf.
YouTube launched a streaming service for live TV. Users, who already stream a billion hours of video every day (paywall), will get four US broadcast channels and 30 pay channels for $35 a month.The new service (US-only for now) is aimed at cord-cutting millennials; 40% of them use the internet only for entertainment.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Echo Huang and Josh Horwitz on the woes of China’s bike-sharing startups: “The ‘park anywhere’ policy is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand it increases the likelihood that bikes will be found in one’s immediate vicinity. But it also allows riders to park their bikes in remote locations with no nearby foot traffic. As a result, bikes parked along freeways are now a common sight in China.” Read more here.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
The need for exponential growth kills innovation. Silicon Valley’s obsession is damaging a generation of startups.
The best way to reduce police brutality is to hire more female cops. They’re just as likely to use force, but less likely to use it excessively.
Big Data and AI could mean the end of democracy as we know it. They will bring a sea change to the way society is organized.
Barcelona wants fewer tourists. The city is contemplating a planthat will hike property taxes on short-term rentals and raise costs for day-trippers.
There’s an island that divides its time between France and Spain. The two countries have joint custody of Pheasant Island, near the Basque town of San Sebastian.
There could be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.Humanity’s “throwaway culture” is to blame.
A Chinese tailor won Warren Buffett’s lifelong loyalty. The founder of Dalian Dayang Trands started sending him free suits after a chance encounter.
Netflix is thinking about how to entertain AIs. In 50 years, CEO Reed Hastings isn’t sure if his customers will even be human.
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