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A medic receive Russia's Sputnik-V vaccine in Tver on Oct. 12.
Image copyright: Reuters/Tatyana Makeyeva
A medic receives Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine in Tver on Oct. 12.

Here’s what you need to know

The world is watching the UK’s vaccine distribution plans. It became the first western country to authorize the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, and has the centralized systems in place to ship, store, and deliver it. That’s in contrast to the US approach, which would be state-by-state. Meanwhile, Russia starts voluntary large-scale vaccinations next week.

Chinese companies could soon be kicked off US exchanges. They must comply with US auditing rules or face expulsion once president Donald Trump signs the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act today. It passed the House yesterday and the Senate in May, and although the new law applies to all foreign firms, it’s really about China.

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai was denied bail. The founder of the independent Apple Daily newspaper was arrested in August under the city’s national security law. Yesterday he was charged with fraud instead, and will be detained until his next hearing in April.

Former president of France Valéry Giscard d’Estaing died aged 94. He was a key architect of European integration during his presidency from 1974 to 1981. Together with his German counterpart, he launched a monetary system that preceded today’s single currency, the euro.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

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Markets haiku: Guess it’s not too bad

The brothers Marciano, Guess? clothing line founders Armand, Paul, and Maurice Marciano in 2002.
Image copyright: Reuters/Fred Prouser
Guess? clothing line founders Armand, Paul, and Maurice Marciano in 2002.

Guess who’s still got it?
Hint: Remember the ’80s?
Come on, guys! Just guess!

Guess? reported a decrease in sales and revenue, but a much smaller one than projected, and overall it beat expectations across the board. Other big names in fashion retail have seen Covid-19 become the final rivet in their despair-washed jeans, but Guess? seems to be holding on.

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Hong Kong’s stock exchange shakeup

There’s a change coming for Hang Seng, Hong Kong’s counterpart to the S&P 500 or Dow Jones Industrial Average. For decades, the equity benchmark index has been the primary tracker of Hong Kong’s economic fortunes. But in recent years, it has shifted to reflect China’s economic rise, as more and more Chinese companies listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

On Monday (Dec. 7), Swire—one of Hong Kong’s colonial-era conglomerates and one of the founding members of the index—will be booted off the Hang Seng. Meituan, the upstart Chinese food delivery app, will replace it.

Meituan will be just one of China’s biggest tech firms to be added to Hang Seng—others include Alibaba, Tencent, and Xiaomi. Not all of China’s tech giants are represented in Hong Kong yet, but more are likely to eye the city for their IPOs as the financial hub that is Hong Kong becomes increasingly Chinese.


Charting Americans’ changing wealth

Millennials suffered the biggest financial blow from the Great Recession in 2009, and some have worried this group could be a lost generation when it comes to building household wealth. But there are signs that their wealth has caught up over the past five years, and was fairly similar to that of Gen X as of the second quarter of 2020, Fed data show. Both generations still lag behind baby boomers. John Detrixhe looks into what this could mean for millennials’ long-term economic prospects.


Management classics

Yes, the past year has been characterized by upheaval. But the coronavirus crisis also has been an opportunity to test the usefulness and effectiveness of classic management strategies. In the midst of turmoil and heightened stress, which practices hold up? And which approaches are likely to endure even as the workplace continues to evolve?

Our latest field guide on leading through change has the most up-to-date advice on what managers should hold on to, even in the face of immense change. It includes tips on how to:

📢  Articulate priorities clearly and confidently

📝  Fight bureaucracy

💭  Make decisions strategically

🏅  Understand what you’re incentivizing

🤝  Lead with empathy

Read our updated guide to modern leadership.

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Surprising discoveries

Ireland’s travel restrictions have a notable exemption. Santa Claus has been cleared to enter the country without a visa, Covid test, or quarantine.

The winning numbers in a lottery were 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. South Africa’s lottery commission is now looking into the improbable sequence.

Archaeologists discovered 12,500-year-old rock paintings in the Colombian Amazon. Tens of thousands of artworks depict humans and Ice Age animals including mastodon, horses, and fish.

The UN no longer considers marijuana among the most dangerous drugs. The decision opens new gateways for cannabis to be used for medicine and research.

Giphy released its most viewed gifs of 2020. For a year like the one we’ve had, they seem surprisingly sincere.


Read the latest from your gif-loving pals at Quartz.

A gif of Skeletor leaving through a mirror and then smashing the mirror.
Image copyright: Giphy