Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Qatar dries out, Russia-Turkey tension, fish feelings

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What to watch for today

François Hollande visits Vladimir Putin. The French president is going to Moscow for the same reason he went to Washington earlier this week—to talk about terrorism, specifically the recent attacks in Paris and the downed Russian passenger plane over Egypt, and anti-ISIL efforts in Syria. Hollande is appealing to both Russia and the US to unite for a common cause.

Schools and businesses reopen after crippling floods in Qatar. A downpour that drenched Doha with a year’s worth of rain in one day and forced stores and schools across the country to close is expected to finally let up, leaving behind a soggy mess of questions. The government will begin investigating at least five companies for possible negligence exposed by the storm’s damage to brand-new buildings and roads.

India’s parliament begins its winter session. The most contentious issue lawmakers have to settle during the coming month is a proposed goods and services tax, which would go into effect in April 2016.

The US celebrates Thanksgiving. Many Americans will be loosening their belts and sharpening their tongues for traditional family feasts associated with the holiday, which, fittingly enough, originates from a refugee story. US equity and bond markets are closed, as are most (but not all) major retail stores.

While you were sleeping

Tensions rose between Turkey and Russia. A day after Turkey shot down a Russian military jet, a war of words had the Turkish president accusing Russia of lying, and Russian officials announcing they would deploy anti-aircraft missiles in Syria, less than 30 miles from the Turkish border. Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said that his country seriously doubted the downing of the plane was unplanned.

More arrests over the Petrobras scandal. The head of Brazilian investment bank BTG and the Senate leader of the ruling Workers’ Party were detained as part of the massive corruption probe into state-run oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA. The scandal has already rocked Brazil’s establishment, with authorities arresting former Petrobras executives accused of funneling money to political parties.

The UN confirmed a troubling warming trend. The World Meteorological Organization, a branch of the United Nations, announced that 2015 is firmly on pace to be the hottest year on record, capping what would be the warmest five-year period (2011-2015) on record. The scientists attributed the warming trend to man-made climate change, as well as a strong El Niño effect.

Russia turns off the gas to Ukraine. Alexei Miller, the chairman of the Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom, told reporters that it has ended its supplies to Ukraine after it received no payment for future orders. The move is likely part of a tit-for-tat response (paywall) to Ukraine’s blockade of Crimea.

US consumer spending data was uninspiring. Spending rose only slightly in October, indicating Americans were putting their rising incomes into savings accounts, and suggesting growth in the fourth quarter will be only moderate. Analysts say that with other economic indicators remaining strong, conditions will still be sufficient for the Fed to raise interest rates during its meeting in December.

Quartz obsession interlude

Anne Quito on the secret history of everyday patterns. “As it turns out, cheerful polka dots once signaled disease. English royalty’s posh sport coat pattern of choice, the houndstooth, originated from the commoners. And those preppy stripes were reserved for prisoners and prostitutes in the medieval ages.” Read more here.

Quartz markets haiku

Pfizer lifts up Dow

Who says the whole world hates a

tax inversion deal?

Matters of debate

Internet use should be regulated like gambling or drugs. User experience designers build websites to be habit-forming.

Steer clear of double-dippers. Their party foul is also a legitimate health concern.

We have to teach kids to code. It’s the simplest way to make the internet less racist, less sexist, and generally less offensive.

Surprising discoveries

Showing signs of sadness can help you win negotiations. It only works if you are already perceived as powerless.

Fish have feelings, too. They can experience an “emotional fever” in response to stress.

A painting survived 500 years because it was turned over. The portrait of the betrayal of Christ should have been destroyed in the Reformation.

Donald Trump’s hat factory is full of Mexicans and Salvadorans. And many don’t pay his bombastic remarks about immigrants any mind.

Smiling has evolved. An algorithm found increasing lip curvature over time in high school yearbook photographs dating back to 1905.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, smilier smiles, and undiscovered paintings to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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