Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—US jobs, China tops in trade, Indian diplomat indicted, kimchi nomenclature

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

This post has been corrected.

What to watch for today

The US jobs report. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics releases data for December, and while the 7% unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged, there are plenty of other important numbers to watch for.

EU referendum bill debate in the UK. The House of Lords is set to discuss a bill that would permit a 2017 vote on the country’s European Union membership.

Celebrating Latvia’s euro entry. Top European officials visit Riga to welcome the country to the single currency. Only 20% of citizens supported the move, but Latvia will be the fastest-growing of the bloc’s 18 economies, making it a poster child for austerity.

CES winds down. The Consumer Electronics Show wraps up in Las Vegas after a week that has featured everything from a Michael Bay meltdown to ambitious Google Glass competitors and several weird gadgets you will probably never use.

While you were sleeping

Indian diplomat “asked to leave.” Devyani Khobragade, the focus of dissension between Washington and New Delhi after she was arrested for underpaying her housekeeper, was granted diplomatic immunity, indicted for visa fraud, and asked to leave the US. The attempt at a compromise may not placate Indians who are irate at how Khobragade was treated.

China overtakes US in trade. Beijing said exports increased by a less-than-expected 4.3% in December, while imports beat expectations by jumping 8.3%, pushing its 2013 total to $4.16 trillion—almost certainly higher than the US, for the first time ever. But as Quartz has reported, the accuracy of Chinese trade data is questionable.

Pakistan police chief assassinated. Senior anti-terror official Chaudhry Aslam and at least two other people died in a bomb blast in Karachi. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility.

Philippines exports rose. Despite Typhoon Haiyan hitting the country in November, exports advanced 18.9% from a year earlier, beating estimates.

Australian new home sales skyrocketed at the fastest pace in four years in November, up 7.5% from the previous month, suggesting that low interest rates are helping the country’s economic recovery.

Syrian troops killed dozens of rebels. The government said it killed more than 37 fighters who tried to break the army’s year-long siege of the central Syrian city of Homs. At least 100,000 have died in the country’s civil war.

Quartz obsession interlude

John McDuling on how South Africa’s largest company went from apartheid mouthpiece to tech giant. “It might surprise you to learn that South Africa’s biggest corporation doesn’t mine the earth for diamonds, gold or silver. It doesn’t extract oil, or even produce beer. Rather, the biggest company headquartered on South African soil  is an internet company. And its remarkable history tells you as much about the country’s troubled past, as it does about its promising future.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Women face an education penalty. Better educated women suffer stiffer career consequences when they get married and have children. 

There’s a pot bubble building. Shares in marijuana companies are shooting upwards as investors pile in.

A bee deficit is killing Europe’s buzz. Not only are honeybees dying off, wild pollinators like bumblebees are at risk, too.

You don’t need a fancy diet to eat healthily. In the face of mounting food anxiety, the basic principles of intuitive eating still hold.

Surprising discoveries

Most members of Congress are now millionaires. For the first time in history, a majority of congressmen and senators have an average net worth of at least $1 million.

Our brains have limited space for friends. When we make new close friends, cognitive demands mean we’re forced to relegate other pals to lesser status.

A complete guide to Jewish surnames. Many have meanings or stories behind them.

Koreans really, really care about kimchi. Enough to tell other countries what they should call it.

Best wishes from Quartz for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, simple diet suggestions and alternative names for kimchi to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.

Correction (Jan. 9, 2014): An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the UK House of Lords is set to discuss a bill on a referendum to enter, rather than to leave, the European Union.