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Quartz Daily Brief—AIG lawsuit, Beijing News, 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 Cook 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

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 returned to work after officials agreed to stop pre-screening their work.

MGM approved for second Macau casino. MGM Resorts’ local joint venture received approval to build a $2.5 billion resort with 1,600 hotel rooms, 500 casino tables and 2,500 slot machines.

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.

US blaming Iran for bank attacks. Government officials believe Iran was responsible for a series of cyberattacks on US banks including Citibank and Bank of America, which have disrupted access.

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.

Nazi icons are the rage in Myanmar. Red swastikas are en vogue on T-shirts and motorcycle helmets in the country.

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

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