Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Data hint at how bad the Black Friday stampedes will be. As America begins winding down for Thanksgiving, initial jobless claims and the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index are released, both of which might give some hints about how much people will shop in the traditional post-Thanksgiving mad rush. Either way, new data suggest that most of them will be buying things for themselves, not gifts for other people.
A truce in Gaza? The city is still shaking from the effect of Israeli air strikes, and the death toll has reached 136 Palestinians and five Israelis. A ceasefire has been discussed by Hamas, the Islamist movement controlling Gaza, and Egypt, which is trying to play peacemaker. Hillary Clinton is due to visit the West Bank and Cairo following her trip to Jerusulam. Still, at the time of writing, no deal had been reached. The building that houses news agency AFP’s office in Gaza has been hit by Israeli strikes, though AFP said none of its staff were hurt. Here is the conflict in pictures. And it has some modern twists.The Israeli military has taken its campaign onto Twitter, with mixed reviews. And Gaza is being patrolled by deadly robot cars. Israel’s scary unmanned smart cars carry 660 pounds of cameras, electronic sensors, and weapons.
Fallout from Eurocrat indecision over Greece. Europe’s leaders fueled fresh doubt about their ability to resolve the euro crisis after nearly 12 hours of talks in Brussels failed to produce a debt-reduction plan for Greece. The failure by euro zone finance ministers, leaders of the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank to reach consensus keeps emergency aid on hold. The leaders praised Greece’s economic reforms so far, but said to wait for another meeting arranged for Nov. 26.
Fish appreciation day is upon us. Celebrants of World Fisheries Day would like to remind you that more than a quarter of the protein consumed by humans worldwide is provided by fish captured by an industry that provides a livelihood for half a billion people. But two-thirds of the world’s fisheries have been overfished, and the long-term trend is a total collapse of world fishing stocks.
While you were sleeping
Hostess negotiations failed to save Twinkie. Late Tuesday, the company announced that talks with union leaders had failed and liquidation proceedings would begin on Wednesday. It’s not over yet. Buyers are snooping around, while bakeries still make artisanal versions of Hostess treats.
Reformist candidates for China’s top decision making body were blocked by retired leaders, it was claimed by Reuters, in a news story confirming what many China watchers had suspected would happen.
UK regulators cracked down on Cypriot banks. Fearing further exposure to euro zone problems, British regulators are pushing two of Cyprus’s top banks to alter the legal structure (paywall) of their British units to make them subject to greater oversight. The Financial Services Authority requested the change earlier this year. Bank of Cyprus has restructured its British arm, while Cyprus Popular Bank is in the process of making changes, according to a spokesperson.
Quartz obsession interlude
The world is awash in new oil fields such as those in Iraqi Kurdistan, says Quartz’s Steve Levine, but getting the stuff to market is a major obstacle. “Agile companies such as Genel Energy, headed by BP’s former boss, Tony Hayward, are finding other ways out. Genel is using up to 500 trucks a day to ship 75,000 barrels a day of crude from its Taq Taq field north to Turkey, to be picked up by oil traders. Hayward is counting on cutting the costs and raising production by getting a 1-million-barrel-a-day independent pipeline through Turkey by 2014. But a pipeline is risky, since technically speaking Baghdad is in charge of the borders.”
Matters of debate
A funeral for Samsung. The story of Samsung’s victory in the mobile market is best told in charts. But they won’t tell the story of a feud within the Lee family, which runs the Samsung empire. It’s gotten so bad, they can’t even be at the same funeral for their patriarchs, reports Quartz’s Euny Hong.
Asia is America’s new best friend. Sorry, Europe, but America has a new best trading and strategic partner: The 50% of the world’s population that lives between the Indian subcontinent and the scattered islands of the Pacific.
San Francisco lawmakers order people to wear clothes. City officials voted 6-5 to force everyone over five to cover up their private parts in public, except at street fairs and special events. Some people took off their clothes to protest the ban.
London bankers are becoming landords. London bankers are losing their jobs and the smart suits, but not the ability to sniff out market opportunities. Rents in the city are soaring as lenders continue to restrict mortgages.
Looks like all that industrialization was for nothing. Modern container ships now move slower than sailing ships of yore, in order to save fuel.
Pirates lead to worse weather forecasts. An Indian Ocean aswarm with pirates is an Indian Ocean in which scientists can’t gather data about air and water temperatures. As a result, meteorologists are failing to predict major, market-moving shifts in medium-term weather patterns.
Bosses who feel guilt are the best bosses. Great leaders feel a lot of guilt, a study says. It makes them want to get things done.
China’s Great Firewall is actually quite porous. Internet censorship is un-effective, as netizens mobilise technology and slang to jump over the wall.
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