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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—US investigates Chicago police, far-right gains in France, R.I.P. Santa

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

Politicians try to craft a climate deal. Negotiators will take a draft text that has been four years in the making—which currently runs to 48 pages and has 800 points of contention—and attempt to forge a final deal by Friday. Developing countries are expected to argue against terms that limit economic growth.

The alleged London terror attacker is due in court. Muhaydin Mire will be charged with attempted murder for attacking passengers on the London Underground, seriously injuring one man. Social media celebrated a witness who yelled at him: “You ain’t no Muslim, bruv.”

The US Justice Department is to investigate the Chicago police. Regulators are expected to announce an investigation into “patterns and practices” in the city’s police force, according to the New York Times (paywall). That would bring more scrutiny to the force following the killing of Laquan McDonald.

A snapshot on the US economy. The Federal Reserve is expected to show that outstanding consumer credit fell in October to $20 billion. Meanwhile, the Fed’s St. Louis chairman, James Bullard, will deliver a speech about monetary policy, ahead of a potential rate rise this month.

Renault takes on the French government. The automaker begins rounding up boardroom support for a plan to reduce its stake in Nissan, a strategic partner. The government has pressured Renault to retain its stake in its Japanese counterpart.

Over the weekend

France’s National Front party gained ground in regional elections. The far-right party led by Marine Le Pen won the round, with over 30% of the votes. It appeared to capitalize on security and immigration concerns, and could soon be vying for the presidency.

Suicide bombs killed around 30 people in Chad. Three female attackers targeted three separate markets on an island in Lake Chad on Saturday, injuring dozens more. Boko Haram, which has recently increased its attacks in the country, was blamed for the killing.

Barack Obama delivered an address on terrorism. The US president told citizens that terror tactics are changing to become less complex and harder to detect, citing the San Bernardino shooting as an example. But Obama warned against blaming Islam, arguing that this is what groups like ISIL want.

Venezuela’s opposition won a historic majority. An alliance of opposition parties won at least 99 seats out of 167 available in a vote on Sunday, with almost all votes counted. President Nicolas Maduro accepted the outcome, which was spurred by a deep recession.

China and Africa concluded a major summit. China and 48 African nations vowed to find solutions to the continent’s security issues. That marks a change from years past, when such talks focused more on trade and economics.

Electrolux failed to acquire GE Appliances. The US appliance maker terminated an agreement to sell itself to its Swedish counterpart for $3.3 billion, on objections from the US Department of Justice. The regulator ruled that a sale would result in higher prices in the US.

Quartz obsession interlude

Olivia Goldhill on Finland’s plans to give every adult citizen €800 monthly: “It may sound counterintuitive, but the proposal is meant to tackle unemployment. Finland’s unemployment rate is at a 15-year high, at 9.53%, and a basic income would allow people to take on low-paying jobs without personal cost. At the moment, a temporary job results in lower welfare benefits, which can lead to an overall drop in income.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The modern sports bubble is about to pop. The internet is dismantling the economics of sports television and even sports leagues.

Southern Africa should fear 2016. A poor harvest is likely, and governments may struggle to import food instead.

Most people underestimate their own ability to generate ideas. And that’s in part because they lack perseverance.

China is doing everything Africa’s colonizers should have done. So says Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.

Tech startups are waiting way too long to go public. Ultra-high private valuations means no room for growth on the stock market (paywall).

Surprising discoveries

New York’s subway system doesn’t know where all the trains are. That’s why its stations don’t have countdown clocks.

The BBC is making movies that adapt to the audience. Different scenes will be shown depending on the personality of the viewer.

A Norwegian newspaper posted an obituary for Santa. It quickly apologized.

Running very long distances can make your brain shrink. Ultra-marathoners’ brains shrunk as much as 6% by the end of a race.

The US Postal Service can email customers their mail. The post office will test sending images of envelopes to their recipients.

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