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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—ISIL leaders killed, oil’s continued slide, Amazon’s one-hour delivery, female Viagra

What to watch for today

Obama says his bit for the year. The White House press secretary says the US president will host an end-of-year press conference today before heading off to Hawaii for a 17-day vacation.

BlackBerry reports on its decline. Investors are expecting disappointing third-quarter earnings despite the company’s launch this week of its passport phone, the Classic, a $450 device with a 3.5 inch square display and a hardware keyboard—a bid for the loyalty of BlackBerry traditionalists in a cutthroat market.

The Bank of Japan toils over deflation. Economists expect the country’s central bank will continue pumping money into the economy with the hopes of boosting inflation. The prime minister has been urging companies to increase wages, but firms have continued to hoard cash.

Germany’s foreign minister pays Ukraine a visit. Frank-Walter Steinmeier will meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Pavlo Klimkin, though it’s not yet known what the two will discuss. Ukraine needs a $15 billion loan to prevent its economy from faltering within a few weeks.

While you were sleeping

Amazon set out to deliver you toilet paper in one hour. If you live in parts of Manhattan and are a Prime member, the online retailer has launched a new service called “Prime Now,” accessible via a new phone app (Android and iOS), which delivers “tens of thousands” of items to your doorstep in one hour for $8, or for free in two hours. For non-Manhattanites, Amazon says the service is “coming soon to a city near you.”

Marc Benioff and Eduardo Saverin funded a fake mayo company. Food startup Hampton Creek Foods, whose goal is to replace egg products in food with plant-based alternatives, scored $90 million in funding at a reported $500 million valuation. The CEO of Salesforce and Facebook cofounder backed the company despite a lawsuit from Unilever over Hampton Creek’s “Just Mayo” product, which Unilever argues can’t be called mayonnaise if it doesn’t use eggs.

Minecraft got a makeover. Telltale Games—a gaming studio that has released titles based on hit television franchises such as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead—has announced that sometime in 2015, it will launch an episodic game called Minecraft: Story Mode. It isn’t an add-on for the popular title; it’s a story-driven version of the do-it-yourself game, which was Microsoft bought for $2.5 billion in September.

Putin and OPEC’s comments put pressure on oil prices. Oil prices rallied briefly Thursday after Saudi Arabia’s oil minister characterized the price slump as “temporary,” and said crude demand would rise as the global economy improved. But the months-long slump resumed following glum commentary from OPEC leaders and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who said low oil prices could last as long as two years.

The US said three top ISIL leaders were killed in Iraq. General Martin Dempsey, the Pentagon’s top uniformed officer, told The Wall Street Journal (paywall) in an interview that the deaths of these “high-value targets” took place in recent weeks, in a push by coalition forces ahead of an offensive planned for 2015.

Quartz obsession interlude

Nikhil Sonnad peeks behind The Great Firewall. “It’s just another day in the propaganda department of Zhanggong, a district in southeast China’s modestly sized city of Ganzhou. Employees and freelancers are paid to post pro-government messages on the internet, part of a broader effort to “guide public opinion,” as the Chinese Communist Party frequently puts it. The details of these directives are usually hidden from public view. But thousands of emails obtained from the Zhanggong propaganda department by a Chinese blogger—and released on his website—offer a rare view into the mechanics of manipulating web conversation in China at its most local level.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Europe needs to read the Geneva Convention again. All those migrants landing on Italy’s shores and being denied legal entry came to the continent because their human rights are being violated at home.

Women need their own version of Viagra. Because if men can take a pill and then feel desire again, women should have that option, too. It shouldn’t matter if the symptoms are mental or physiological.

US sanctions against Venezuela make no sense. The US has no right to judge others on human rights abuses when it abuses its own people at home (paywall).

Terrorists attacked Pakistan’s most sacred institution. Over 140 children lost their lives because the Taliban knows about the great lengths Pakistani people go to to educate their children.

Jesus never existed. There is actually scant evidence to support the theory that there was a man who lived the life documented by multiple religious texts.

Surprising discoveries

Do you fall asleep in front of the TV? Two teenagers invented a bracelet that will detect when you’ve dozed off, pause your program, and record it for you to watch later.

Eighteen percent of Europeans don’t use the internet. Romania is the most disconnected country; everyone in Iceland is jacked in.

Brits are getting greener. The average person in the UK is using 10% less electricity that they were just half a decade ago. Thank tight European regulations.

There’s some really old water under your feet. Scientists think 2.7-billion-year-old water is hiding deep in the planet’s crust, and that it’s more water than all of the world’s lakes, rivers, and swamps combined.

Pregnant women should steer clear of congested cities. A Harvard study shows the chances of their child being born with autism doubles because of all the air pollution.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Minecraft narratives, fake mayo recipes, and antique water to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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