What to watch for today
Alexei and Oleg Navalny’s fate. Sentencing for the Russian anti-corruption blogger and his brother was due for Jan. 15, but it’s been moved up to Dec. 30 to pre-empt a planned protest. They face up to 10 years on embezzlement charges that they say are politically motivated by their campaign against president Vladimir Putin (paywall).
Palestine gets a thumbs-down. The territory submitted a resolution to the UN security council on Monday calling for Israel to leave its occupied lands by the end of 2017. Palestinian negotiators say they are hoping for a vote today or tomorrow. The US will probably veto it—but that’s all part of the Palestinians’ plan.
Day three of the search for AirAsia flight QZ8501. According to the head of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency, the Airbus A320 and the 162 lives onboard are ”at the bottom of the [Java] sea.” Today the search area will be widened, and several other countries—including the US—will pitch in.
While you were sleeping
An emergency landing went off without a hitch. Pilots onboard Virgin Atlantic flight VS43—traveling from Britain’s Gatwick airport to Las Vegas—discovered a problem with the landing gear on their Boeing 747 shortly after taking off. After dumping fuel and doing a few laps in the sky, the flight landed safely.
Greek lawmakers failed to elect a president. Stavros Dimas, the government’s candidate, did not get the 180 votes he needed. That forces a general election on Jan. 25, 18 months earlier than planned. The left-wing Syriza party is likely to gain power and some fear it will destabilize the euro zone—but it has been sounding more moderate of late.
Confusion over the Norman Atlantic ferry’s death toll. Sunday’s fire on the Italian-owned vessel claimed at least 10 lives. The ferry was evacuated but it’s still unclear exactly how many people it was carrying; dozens may be unaccounted for. No one is sure what started the fire either, but a criminal investigation has been opened.
Shake Shack filed for an IPO. Started in 2001, the American hamburger and milkshake chain now has 63 restaurants all over the world. It had $82.5 million in revenue last year and expects to raise $100 million at a $1 billion valuation.
London’s iconic guardsmen were pulled back. The Queen’s Royal Guards—recognizable for their red coats and tall bearskin hats—were withdrawn from posts outside palaces, after Britain’s intelligence services warned of a possible attack similar to the 2013 slaying of guardsman Lee Rigby.
Ebola came to Glasgow. According to the Scottish government, a healthcare worker returning from Sierra Leone on Sunday night has been diagnosed with the virus and is currently in isolation. Another British nurse who caught Ebola earlier in the year recovered and went back to Sierra Leone to keep working.
Quartz obsession interlude
Steve LeVine on how 2014’s most surprising dip will affect 2015. “You can count on two things in the new year: oil prices will occasionally rise—as they have today. And 1 million barrels per day of new supply will join the already gushing global surplus, guaranteeing that prices also will dive, as they did last week and generally have been doing since June.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Yahoo should buy CNN. The internet company would get a solid brand (paywall), a vast content archive, and the chance to build serious finance and sports news.
2015 is not going to be fun for Europe. High unemployment, slowing growth, immigration concerns, and a difficult relationship with Russia are going to make next year rough.
Let Greece write off a big chunk of its debt. Because Europe can’t afford any instability when Greeks take to the polls next month and vote in a party that doesn’t care about the euro.
Predictions for 2015. US GDP growth won’t turn into wage growth; Germany might join Italy and France in their slump; and everyone will give up on Abenomics. These and more from Tyler Cowen.
European politics are hard to navigate. The European parliament’s headquarters is literally a maze (paywall) that brings grown men close to tears.
Your Facebook posts could be changing monetary policy. The Bank of England has started using things like social media posts and internet job searches to give it a more timely read on the economy.
Austria is renting out Hitler’s childhood home for €5,000 a month. Specifically, it’s paying the woman who owns it to not let the building become a neo-Nazi memorial.
Venezuela’s economic crisis has claimed an unlikely victim. A milk shortage has forced an ice cream shop that holds the Guinness World Record for the most flavors—863—to shutter its doors.
Expect to start seeing politicians in gloves. Hackers were able to clone the fingerprints of Germany’s defense minister just by taking close-range photos of her.