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Here’s what you need to know

Turkey detained 134 people involved in building contracting. After two earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria, poor engineering and a lack of code enforcement are being blamed for the collapse of thousands of structures, which contributed to the death of more than 33,000 people.

A flying object was shot down over Canada. US president Joe Biden and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau ordered its takedown. It’s the third airborne device downed by the US military since Feb. 4.

A record airplane deal is in the works for Airbus and Boeing. Air India has reportedly inked agreements with the two planemakers for more than 500 orders, which would be the largest in aviation history.

New Zealand’s biggest city braced for a cyclone. Flights have been delayed, and Auckland shuttered schools and reduced transportation services as it prepares for extreme wind and rain.

South African rapper AKA was shot dead. Kiernan Forbes was killed after leaving a restaurant in Durban, and investigators have yet to find a motive.


What to watch for

Dubai’s World Government Summit might look like a mini version of Davos’s World Economic Forum (WEF), but this year the four-day gathering of business and political leaders that started on Feb. 12 has one-upped the Swiss meeting—it expects an appearance from billionaire Elon Musk.

Musk derided Davos last month as “boring” and questioned the summit’s goals. But the serial CEO evidently feels no such qualms about the UAE-based event, committing to a 20-minute “chat” on Feb. 15 with the summit’s chairperson and UAE government minister Mohammad Al Gergawi.

While Musk may be shunning one conference for the other, several speakers are attending both.

🎤 Will.i.am, musician turned investor and philanthropist

🎥 Idris Elba, actor and UN ambassador

💻 Nick Clegg, former UK deputy prime minister and current president of global affairs at Meta

💰 Kristalina Georgieva, IMF director-general

🏔️ Klaus Schwab, WEF founder

🗺️ Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO director-general


Apple’s got the best seats to the AI showdown

Tech companies are champing at the bit to build the next generation of AI-powered search engines. It could be a ripe opportunity for Apple to make some big bucks.

For years, Google has been paying to ensure that its search engine is built by default into Apple devices. The cost is formidable. Analysts estimate that Google paid as much as $10 billion in 2020 and $15 billion in 2021, securing a prime spot to rake in search advertising revenue.

But now Microsoft has entered the wings with its own AI-augmented Bing. Should Bing overtake Bard, Apple could sit back and enjoy an ensuing bidding war between Google and Microsoft. That is, if Apple hasn’t developed its own search engine first.


How much lithium does India have?

Last week, India suddenly became the country with the fifth-largest reserve of lithium in the world, after 5.9 million tons of the resource was discovered.

The finding of such a large swath of lithium, which is used to make batteries and EVs, could not have come at a better time. It gives fuel to Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist fire and the country’s quest to become a global manufacturing leader. But there’s a catch: India will now need to create an infrastructure to refine the metal into a usable mineral, which is going to take years, and carries with it a huge environmental cost.

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Surprising discoveries

White bread is ripe for innovation. First up for the staple is substituting its usual soy ingredient for some protein-dense fava beans.

Need a place to put that toaster that reminds you of your ex? We suggest a 10,000-square-foot baroque palace in Zagreb, Croatia.

Missing nickel is costing one commodity trader $577 million. Trafigura’s nickel cargoes didn’t contain the one thing they were supposed to.

Smartphones are (finally) getting easier to fix. But repairable technology is still far from the norm.

A pocket mouse named Pat is the oldest in human captivity. Ringing in at the same weight as three pennies, the mini rodent is 9 years and 209 days old.


Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, sliced bread, and pats for Pat to [email protected]. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Ananya Bhattacharya, Samanth Subramanian, Sofia Lotto Persio, Julia Malleck, and Morgan Haefner.

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