What to watch for today
Deal or no deal? An agreement with Iran over its nuclear program still looks unlikely as today’s deadline arrives. US secretary of state John Kerry says there are still “serious gaps” between Iran and the coalition of the US, UK, China, France, Russia, and Germany. But both sides are said to be open to extending the talks in some form.
A decision, perhaps, in Ferguson. The St. Louis County grand jury is likely to reconvene to decide whether to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who killed the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, setting off weeks of street protests. Missouri has been under a state of emergency since Nov. 17 in anticipation.
Global economic data. In a quiet start to the week, look for the Ifo Institute to give some sense of direction for Germany’s weakening economy. Elsewhere, Mexico reveals its unemployment rate, Brazil updates on the state of the current account, and Israel’s central bank announces its monthly interest-rate decision.
The Vienna Economic Forum meets. The goal of the event is to promote “investment opportunities in the region from the Adriatic to the Black Sea.” The speakers include Albanian prime minister Edi Rama and Montenegro prime minister Milo Djukanovic.
Over the weekend
The world’s most sophisticated malware is on the loose. Cyber security company Symantec said the spying software called Regin was almost certainly created by a nation state, with the United States and Israel the most likely culprits. The sophisticated “back door-type Trojan” has been primarily used against government and business targets in Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Samsung may sack its mobile bosses. The South Korean electronics firm may hand over control of its struggling smartphone unit to the executive who runs its home-appliance and TV business, replacing co-CEO and mobile head J.K. Shin, who oversaw the dramatic ascent and equally steep decline of Samsung’s smartphone profits, the Wall Street Journal reports (paywall).
Containing Ebola will take longer than expected. The United Nations and the World Health Organization now hope the disease can be contained by the middle of 2015, from a previous goal of Dec. 1. Officials warned that it has the potential to spread in Mali, where hundreds of people were exposed to an imam who died from Ebola last month.
A bomber killed at least 45 people in Afghanistan. The attack at a volleyball match in the east of the country also wounded about 60 others, and came soon after Afghan MPs agreed to allow US and NATO troops to remain in Afghanistan beyond next month.
Tunisian presidential elections began. Tunisians voted for their first directly-elected president since the 2011 revolution that kickstarted a wave of revolts across the region. The leader of the secular Nidaa Tounes party is a frontrunner, though a runoff election next month will probably be necessary.
Portugal’s former prime minister was arrested. Jose Socrates, who led the government from 2005 to 2011 during the country’s financial bailout, will faces charges in an investigation into money-laundering and bribery. The current government is also caught up in a separate corruption scandal.
Quartz obsession interlude
Jenni Avins on 200 years of latex clothing, from secret fetish to high fashion. “Nearly two hundred years ago, Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh made rubberized fabric to be manufactured into waterproof Mackintosh coats (whose name acquired a ‘k’ along the way). The coats were stinky, sticky, and liable to melt if things got too hot.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Religions should get ready for aliens. Not all faiths will be able to adapt to proof of life beyond Earth.
Is China building a mortgage bomb? That depends on whether it can increase salaries for the average worker.
It’s time for Amazon to pay its employees more. The company has one of the highest staff turnover rates in tech.
Social mobility is a myth. The elite have held onto power for 28 generations.
Paris should not build any more skyscrapers. It went very badly in the past.
Human fisherman team up with dolphins. The partnerships exist in Australia, India, Mauritania, Burma, and the Mediterranean.
Disney theme parks are no-fly zones. The company was fed up with aerial banner ads.
How to make a stress-free Thanksgiving pie crust: Go ahead and make twice as much dough.
There’s now a set of emoji just for sexting. Filthy, adorable, and definitely NSFW.
Languages leave traces on your brain. Our neural matter can bear the imprint of languages we never learned.
Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.
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