What to watch for today
The president of Iraqi Kurdistan goes to Turkey. Masoud Barzani will call for Turkey’s support in fighting ISIL in Iraq. But the Turkish military’s current presence there—in what it says is merely an advisory role—is already viewed by Baghdad as a threat to its sovereignty.
Joe Biden’s potentially dicey trip to Ukraine. The US vice president will speak before Ukraine’s legislature and voice support for anti-corruption measures and opposition to Russian expansionism. But he may be called out (paywall) because his son is a board member at a Ukraine company whose owner has been probed for money laundering.
Brazil braces for inflation data. Prices are expected to have risen in November at an even higher rate than October’s 9.9%. That may force Brazil to raise already-high interest rates, deepening its recession and further eroding president Dilma Rousseff’s popularity.
While you were sleeping
The US moved to restrict visa-free entry. The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill that would bar travelers who have visited Iraq, Syria, Iran, or Sudan in the past five years from taking advantage of the US visa waiver program. The White House supports the bill.
Yahoo decided against its planned Alibaba spin-off. The wayward internet giant will sell off its core internet business and not try to spin off its shares in Alibaba, according to CNBC. That would leave the company to focus on two main assets: stakes in Alibaba and in Yahoo Japan.
Spotify tweaked its approach to free music. The music streaming service plans to allow some artists to make albums available only to its paid subscribers, and not to the company’s free listener base. Spotify will test the results with a few artists first, before making a permanent decision.
A $120 billion chemicals merger is on the cards. US-based Dow Chemicals is in late-stage talks to merge with DuPont, in what could be the largest-ever deal in the industry. The newly merged company—should regulators approve—would then divide into separate companies based on industry and sector.
Australian police raided the home of the possible bitcoin founder. Officers searched Craig Wright’s Sydney property only hours after Wright was reported on as being the early developer of the cryptocurrency. Police said the raid is not connected to the media reports.
China’s consumer prices beat estimates. Inflation rose by 1.5% in November from a year earlier, ahead of expectations of a 1.4% increase. That could suggest China’s massive stimulus is taking effect, though producer prices continued to fall, marking their 45th consecutive monthly drop.
Quartz obsession interlude
Heather Timmons on the wealthy Muslims who helped build Donald Trump’s fortunes. ”Trump’s real estate and licensing income relies in part on wealthy Muslims, and Muslim-backed businesses, both located in the US and overseas—and particularly on a willingness to pay handsomely for things with the “Trump” name on them. Read more here.
Quartz markets haiku
Real, peso, Aussie, won
Matters of debate
Burgers, beer, coffee, and condoms are the best investments. They will benefit from the rise of the global middle class.
Zimbabwe’s deflation is no positive solution to hyperinflation. It could add political unrest to bad economics.
Donald Trump is a danger to US security. His anti-Muslim rhetoric “bolsters ISIL’s narrative,” says the Pentagon.
A Soviet general got secret Coca-Cola during the Cold War. It was clear and featured a red star on the bottle.
Another woman’s portrait may be hidden under the Mona Lisa. A scientist says she is not looking at the viewer.
Fossil fuels kill more people than war, murder, and traffic accidents combined. That’s 4.5 million deaths per year.
Icelanders are flocking to a new religion. The Zuist movement worships ancient Sumerian dieties—and champions tax breaks for all.