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Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—AIG lawsuit, Dish/Clearwire, Abu Ghraib settlement, MBA glut

By Zach Coleman
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

Will AIG sue the US? The board of the insurance company American International Group meets over whether to join a $25 billion lawsuit against the government, for allegedly ripping off shareholders when it bailed out the company to the tune of $205 billion. Quartz’s Gwynn Guilford explains how the lawsuit is even more ridiculous than it sounds.

Tim Cook in China. The Apple chief executive is meeting with government officials and partners in Beijing on his second visit in less than a year, but Apple won’t confirm whether he will hold talks with China Mobile to enlist the country’s largest mobile operator as a sales channel for the iPhone.

Biden and the NRA talk guns. US vice president Joe Biden meets with the National Rifle Association to discuss gun control after a shooting at a Connecticut school killed 20 children.

There’s no money in disks. Virgin Megastore France is to file for insolvency after four years of losses as ever-greater numbers of consumers abandon CDs and DVDs for downloads.

Argentina welcomes its ship back. President Cristina Fernández will greet the return to port of the Libertad, an Argentine navy training ship that was detained in Ghana for more than two months in a dispute with US hedge funds holding defaulted Argentine bonds.

While you were sleeping

Dish made a bid for Clearwire. Dish Network made an unsolicited offer for US wireless broadband service Clearwire that values the company at $5 billion. Sprint Nextel had reached a deal last month to buy the half of Clearwire it doesn’t already own for $2.2 billion. Dish, a satellite television company, would use Clearwire to build out a new mobile phone network after already investing $3 billion in spectrum.

US defense contractor settled Iraq abuse claims. L-3 Systems, now part of Engility Holdings, paid $5.3 million to 71 former inmates of Abu Ghraib and other US-run detention centers in Iraq to settle claims that its staff participated in their torture and abuse.

China newspaper unrest spread. The Communist Party official serving as publisher of the Beijing News resigned after propaganda officials forced his newspaper to reprint an editorial blaming protests at the Southern Weekly newspaper in Guangzhou on foreign meddling. Meanwhile, Southern Weekly staff are expected to return to work after officials agreed to stop pre-screening their work.

Chávez to miss his own swearing in. Venezuela’s ailing president Hugo Chávez will miss his inauguration on Thursday (Jan. 10). Opposition leaders are calling for the supreme court to rule on whether Chavez can be considered president if he misses the ceremony.

US stocks fell. US equities fell for the second day in a row as investors wait for earnings season to get underway.

Monsanto had good news. The world’s largest seed company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, driven by high corn-seed sales. The company can expect even more from its soybeans, particularly from Brazil—set to be the world’s next soybean king, writes Quartz’s Matt Phillips.

Quartz obsession interlude

Christopher Mims on why 2013 will be the Year of Samsung: “Samsung has announced a fourth-quarter profit for 2012 double what it was the year before, capping a record year for the company. Analysts from Nomura and Macquarie Securities are projecting that Samsung’s stock will rise 40%-50% in 2013, on the back of a 35% increase in smartphone sales, to a mind-boggling 290 million units. Apple, by contrast, is expected to sell 180 million.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Europe could still mess everything up. The exit of some euro-zone banks from the ECB’s long-term refinancing operations could push remaining banks to pay up and get out before they are ready.

Keynesianism doesn’t work. Sound economies in northern Europe versus battered ones in southern Europe show that austerity trumps government-directed stimulus.

Weighty decisions. Policy-makers in London are considering a proposal to take away the welfare benefits of overweight residents if they don’t complete mandated exercise regimens.

Surprising discoveries

A budget iPhone? The word is Apple is working on one, and it’ll cost $100-$150.

Female recruits spurning Delhi. Women are declining job offers in the Indian capital after last month’s gang rape incident, even though jobs elsewhere often pay less.

Asteroid mining could be big money. Some billionaire investors believe they can make trillions of dollars from minerals found on asteroids using robots.

A glut of MBAs. Schools are handing out more advanced degrees than ever, but pay for grad-school alums has stagnated.

Australia, so hot right now. It’s so hot down under that the Australian bureau of meteorology was forced to add more colors to its heat maps.

How big would a $1 trillion platinum coin be? This big.

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