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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—In-flight calls, Hilton’s IPO, India’s gay sex ban, LinkedIn clichés

By Lauren Davidson

What to watch for today

New rules on in-flight phone calls. The US Federal Communications Commission votes on whether airplane passengers should be allowed to make calls from cell phones in flight. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is said to be in favor of lifting the ban, despite appeals from Congress members and petitions from the public.

Chile and Peru could cut rates. Among a spate of central-bank policy decisions today—including in Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea—Chile and Peru are the most likely to cut rates. Both countries knocked off 0.25 points in November and are grappling with slowing economies.

Promising figures for US retail. Sales for November are expected to have climbed by 0.6%, the biggest increase in six months. The November data includes half of Thanksgiving weekend, although Cyber Monday will fall under December retail sales this year.

Putin talks all things Russia. To mark Constitution Day, Vladimir Putin will deliver his state of the nation address and is expected to talk about his strategy for economic growth, immigration, judicial reform, Eurasian integration and military capabilities.

While you were sleeping

Hilton set its IPO price. The hotel chain will sell some 11% of its shares at $20 per share, valuing the company’s equity at $19.7 billion. If the shares sell it will be easily the biggest hotel IPO ever, and Blackstone Group, which bought the chain in 2007, will notch up the second biggest private-equity profit of all time.

More slaps on the wrist for banks. RBS agreed to hand over $100 million to US regulators, to settle civil allegations that it broke sanctions against financial dealings with Iran; Lloyds was fined a record £28 million for threatening its sale staff with demotions and pay cuts if they missed sales targets; and JP Morgan is nearing a settlement (paywall) for failing to alert US authorities to concerns about Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

The UN disliked Uruguay’s new weed laws. Uruguay became the first country to legalize the growth and sale of marijuana—but the UN’s drugs watchdog said the move breaks international treaties and called claims that it will reduce crime “precarious and unsubstantiated.”

The West cut a lifeline to Syrian rebels. The US and the UK suspended non-lethal aid to northern Syria—including medicine, vehicles and communications equipment—in an attempt to prevent supplies meant for moderates ending up in the hands of the jihadists who increasingly dominate the opposition forces.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on the distant origins of India’s newly upheld ban on gay sex. “[T]he law that India’s supreme court just upheld is one of the most resilient relics of the British Empire. Known as Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, it imposed Victorian values on what colonial rulers viewed as unpardonable tolerance toward homosexuality throughout their empire… Section 377 originated from a 1536 English law instituted by Henry VIII.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

HBO is wrong not to treat Netflix as a serious competitor. Both companies compete for content, subscribers and international viewers—and Netflix knows it.

The radicalization of Syria’s rebels could help end the conflict. None of the world powers wants an al-Qaeda victory, so they’ll have a stronger incentive to intervene.

There’s another kind of euro crisis coming. The EU’s defense readiness and spending are falling just as its military needs are increasing.

Lawyers are the real winners with the Volcker rule. The ambiguous guidelines for banks represent hundreds of millions of dollars in compliance costs and potential litigation.

Surprising discoveries

The most overused words on LinkedIn. You’re “responsible,” “strategic” and “creative”—but so is everyone else.

Instagram is bad for your memory. Taking photos diminishes what we naturally remember about things we’ve seen.

Paris is being likened to the Bronx. Although some take issue with this supposedly unflattering comparison.

The poster child for globalization is Nutella. The hazelnut spread’s ingredients come from four continents.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, LinkedIn clichés and memorable Instagram snaps to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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