Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Lieberman’s verdict, India’s rocket, art haul, pirate booty

What to watch for today

Nuclear talks with Iran. The latest round of negotiations between Iran and six world powers begins in Geneva, but recent comments from Abbas Araqchi, the Iranian nuclear negotiator, suggest no concrete steps will be agreed today.

Lieberman gets a verdict. A Jerusalem court delivers its verdict on Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s former foreign minister, on charges of fraud and breach of trust. If acquitted, Lieberman will return to his old job, but he has said that if convicted, he would leave politics.

Twitter names its price. Twitter is expected to set the final price per share for its public offering ahead of debuting on the stock market on Thursday. The social networking site recently raised its IPO price range to $23-$25, making its IPO potentially the second-largest ever by an internet company.

Japan’s monetary policy details. The Bank of Japan releases the minutes of its October monetary policy meeting today. Although no policy changes will be announced, the minutes could shed light on which board members dissent from the committee’s fiscal decisions.

While you were sleeping

India sent a rocket to Mars. The data-collecting mission costs a total of $73 million—just a fraction of NASA’s $671 million price tag for its next venture to the red planet—but some have questioned whether a country with such severe poverty should be bothering with space missions at all. (We argue that isn’t an obstacle.)

The EU talked to Turkey. After a near-three-and-a half-year suspension, negotiations resumed between Turkey and the European Union on the country’s 26-year-old application to become a member of the EU. They discussed the EU’s standards of job creation, innovation and sustainable development.

A big phone deal in the Middle East. Emirates Telecommunications (a.k.a. Etisalat), which has operations in 15 countries including four in North Africa, will buy Vivendi’s 53% stake in Maroc Telecom for about $5.7 billion, in the Middle East’s largest takeover of a phone carrier. The deal is set to complete early next year.

Art masterpieces discovered. Paintings by Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse were among the 1,400 art pieces—worth a collective $1.35 billion—found in an apartment in Munich. Experts believe this to be one of the most significant discoveries of Nazi-looted art.

Quartz obsession interlude

Todd Woody on why even California can’t stop catastrophic climate change. “The good news is that under all the scenarios California easily meets its 2020 goal of cutting carbon emissions to 1990 levels. But even under the most optimistic scenario, the state will still be emitting 208 MtCO2 in 2050, or 145% above the emissions cap necessary to avoid climate Armageddon.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The endless cycle of seasonal diets is unhealthy and destructive. If you can’t fit into your Christmas party dress, it’s the wrong size for you.

The US is guilty of hypocrisy. It venerates Malala Yousafzai, whose attackers were the Taliban, but ignores Nabila Rehman, who lost her family to an American drone strike.

There’s no point to long periods of paid maternity leave. They bring no more benefits to the economy or children’s welfare than shorter periods.

China’s growth needs aren’t just economic. China won’t be able to fix its economic woes without dealing with its censorship and human rights issues—says Google’s Eric Schmidt.

Surprising discoveries

Why you hate your daughter’s boyfriend. A computer model suggests kids might choose unsuitable partners to guilt their parents into giving them more money.

Glow-in-the-dark ice cream. It can be made from jellyfish protein or tonic water, but costs $225 a scoop to make.

Name that panda. You can vote on what to call the Washington-based National Zoo’s new female panda.

Pirates’ miserable booty. The men who board boats off the Horn of Africa pocket as little as 1% of ransom money—most goes to the financiers behind them—and fritter it away on booze, cars, and prostitutes.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, luminescent desserts and potential panda names to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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