Good Day, Q-MHI readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
SpaceX launches its first “used” rocket. The flight-proven 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.
Rex Tillerson visits Turkey. The status of Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based cleric accused of backing last year’s attempted coup in Turkey, is straining relations between the US and its NATO ally.
North Carolina votes to repeal its bathroom law. Lawmakers reached a deal late Wednesday to repeal the law prohibiting transgender people from using restrooms that match their gender identity. The controversial law will cost North Carolina an estimated $3.8 billion in lost revenue over a dozen years from boycotts by businesses, entertainers, and sports teams. The new legislature, which still leaves restroom regulation under control of the state, goes to a vote today.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
EU and Chinese leaders reaffirmed climate change pledges. In the wake of US president Donald Trump’s order to remove Obama-era environmental regulations, leaders vowed to honor the Paris Agreement. European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker called Trump’s decision a “global disaster” (paywall).
Lloyds of London said it’s setting up shop in Brussels. Just one day after the British prime minister triggered the start of the process to leave the EU, the 329-year-old insurance market said it will open a new European subsidiary in 2019 to avoid losing business once the UK leaves the bloc.
H&M unveiled its eighth new brand. The Swedish fast-fashion retailer’s new Arket brand will be more expensive than its core H&M stores—more in line with its upmarket Cos and & Other Stories brands. Its first-quarter results showed a pretax profit dip, due in part to rising prices for clothes manufactured in Asia.
A judge in Hawaii extended the nationwide halt on Trump’s travel ban… US district judge Derrick Watson placed a stronger hold on the president’s plan to temporarily suspend immigration from six majority-Muslim countries. He had initially limited the halt—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.
Q-MHI 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.”
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Offices need boundaries. The Thinx scandal shows the dangers of a playful workplace culture.
The robots are coming for Wall Street. BlackRock is replacing about 15% of its stock pickers with algorithms and mathematical models (paywall).
Trump can’t bring back US coal jobs. The shale revolution led to a glut of cheap gas that coal can’t compete with.
China’s hottest boy band is made up of five women. The androgynous 20-somethings of Acrush have nearly as many Weibo fans as Katy Perry, who has one million followers.
“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.
Feature phones are making a comeback in Africa. An economic downturn has curbed the growth of internet-enabled smartphones.