Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Delhi’s Uber compromise, Abenomics tax cut, Petrobras default risk, stolen fingerprints

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What to watch for today

Petrobras faces the threat of a default. Distressed-debt fund Aurelius Capital is pushing for bondholders of the Brazilian state-run oil company to issue a notice of default for $54 billion of its foreign-held debt, after it failed to publish its third-quarter results within a required 90-day period. The delay is due to an ongoing bribery investigation.

The fate of a Russian anti-corruption blogger. A verdict in the trial of Alexei Navalny and his brother was due to be issued on Jan. 15, but authorities moved up the date to pre-empt a planned protest. The brothers face up to 10 years on embezzlement charges that they say are politically motivated, due to 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.

While you were sleeping

China and the US joined the search for AirAsia #8501. Ships from both countries and an aircraft from China are en route to the Java Sea to assist the Indonesian-led mission to find the missing airliner. The search is largely focused underwater.

Delhi regulators tried to change everything about Uber. The banned on-demand car company must adhere to standard rules for taxis, including painting all cars white and using only licensed cab drivers. The ruling was hailed by the incumbent taxi industry; Uber complained that the regulations will not help drivers or passengers.

Japan forged ahead with Abenomics. The ruling coalition approved a corporate tax cut that will bring down rates to 32.1% from 34.6% in April, and confirmed earlier promises to reduce corporate tax to below 30% in the next few years. Japan’s cabinet is expected to approve the measures early next month.

Korean manufacturing got a boost. Industrial output rose by a seasonally adjusted 1.3% in November from October, beating expectations of a 1% rise. But output is still down year-on-year, and analysts expect an interest rate cut in the next few months due to the deflationary effects of low oil prices and weak domestic consumption.

LA police shot a young black man in the back. A newly released postmortem confirmed that Ezell Ford was shot three times, including once at such close range there was a muzzle imprint. Police officers argued Ford attacked them; Ford’s parents filed a civil rights lawsuit saying officers were aware of his mental illnesses.

Ebola came to Glasgow. 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.

Shake Shack filed for an IPO. Started in 2001, the American hamburger and milkshake chain now has 63 restaurants worldwide. It had $82.5 million in revenue last year and expects to raise $100 million on a $1 billion valuation.

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

Don’t make new years’ resolutions. If you actually want to change, just start today.

Yahoo will try to buy CNN. Even if it’s “a spectacularly bad idea.”

2015 is going to be rough for Europe, due to unemployment, slowing growth, immigration concerns, and Russia.

ET will be a robot. Any civilization capable of interstellar travel will give its biology an upgrade.

Surprising discoveries

At least 22 species of animal went extinct this year. That’s more than double the estimated rate in 2013.

The European parliament is literally a maze. The confusing headquarters has nearly made grown men cry (paywall).

Your Facebook posts could change monetary policy. The Bank of England watches them for a timely read on the economy.

No fingerprints required. A hacker cloned the prints of Germany’s defense minister by examining close-range photos.

New York’s newest trophy building is a lie. “423 Park Avenue” actually opens out to unglamorous 56th Street.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, dishonest addresses, and extraterrestrial robots to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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