Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
SpaceX launches its first flight-proven (read: gently used) rocket. The booster will carry a satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and then return to earth, in a bid to drastically cut the price of space flight. The launch window opens at about 6:30pm ET (11:30pm BST).
A South Korean court considers an arrest warrant for the former president. Park Geun-hye could face more than 10 years in jail if convicted of receiving bribes from bosses of big conglomerates in exchange for favors. She’d have a slightly larger cell than others, at least.
Rex Tillerson visits Turkey. Relations between the US and its NATO ally are tense over the status of Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in Pennsylvania who is accused of backing last year’s attempted coup in Turkey. The US secretary of state is bringing along two pool reporters, doubling the number he brought on his recent trip to East Asia.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
EU and Chinese leaders reaffirmed climate change pledges.Leaders vowed to honor the Paris Agreement in the wake of Donald Trump’s order to remove Obama-era environmental regulations. China, which has long faced pressure from the US to limit fossil fuels, is now more likely to take the lead.
A judge in Hawaii extended the nationwide halt on Trump’s travel ban… US district judge Derrick Watson placed a stronger hold on the US president’s plan to temporarily suspend immigration from six majority-Muslim countries. He had initially limited the hold, which he issued on March 15, to two weeks. The case will likely end up in the Supreme Court.
…And Seattle sued the Trump administration over its threat to “sanctuary cities.” Mayor Ed Murray contends Trump’s order to withhold federal funds from such cities amounts to unconstitutional federal coercion. He wants the courts to declare that local police—who need the trust of communities—cannot be forced into federal immigration activities.
Jeff Bezos became the world’s second-richest man. The Amazon founder has a net worth of $75.6 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, passing Warren Buffett. Amazon’s already rising stock surged after it announced this week the acquisition of Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com. Barclays expects the company’s market cap to reach $1 trillion.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Tim Fernholz on why cheap rockets could be disruptive in a bad way: “There’s a lot of money and mind-power going toward getting into space more easily. This episode of disruption has ignited a firestorm of funding for private space companies whose ideas for doing business in space have suddenly become more feasible.”Read more here.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Offices need boundaries. The Thinx scandal shows the dangers of a playful workplace culture.
Food has replaced music in social importance. Know-it-all foodies are ascendent, rock’n roll not so much.
The robots are coming for Wall Street’s jobs. BlackRock is replacing about 15% of its stock pickers with algorithms and mathematical models (paywall).
Do you like our daily news coverage? We dabble in lifestyle, too. Asking just five minutes of your Friday, Jenni Avins shares her best guidance on living with taste, health, and humor in Quartzy, an email newsletter that feels like a conversation with your smart, well-informed friend.
“Finger guns” count as weapons in court. A New York man was convicted of armed robbery for pretending to have a firearm under his sweatshirt.
Smiley emojis don’t denote friendliness in China. Some happy symbols have been repurposed to convey contempt.
The grandfather of marijuana research has never smoked a joint. Raphael Mechoulam was the first scientist to isolate THC, the plant’s psychoactive component.
Domino’s is rolling out pizza-delivery drones. A pilot program using wheeled robots from Starship Technologies will launch soon in some German and Dutch cities.
Feature phones are making a comeback in Africa. An economic downturn has curbed the growth of internet-enabled smartphones.
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