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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Argentina’s new president, Taliban airport siege, test-tube beagle babies

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

Argentina’s presidential inauguration descends into farce. Outgoing president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and lawmakers from her party have refused to attend today’s ceremony due to a spat with president-elect Mauricio Macri. He tried to move up the inauguration by a day after Kirchner issued a slew of last-minute decrees.

The first of 10,000 Syrian refugees arrive in Canada. The plan is to fly in the refugees from camps in Jordan and Lebanon by the end of the year. Prime minister Justin Trudeau’s government has said that by the end of February, Canada will have taken 15,000 more.

The Nobel peace prize ceremony. This year’s laureates—the four organizations that make up the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet—will receive their awards in Oslo. Ahead of the ceremony, one of the winners urged the international community to help with Tunisia’s economic transition.

Volkswagen faces the press. The German automaker is holding a press conference to bring the public up to speed on its emissions-cheating crisis.

Yum! sells investors on its restructuring. The food giant that owns Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut will meet with shareholders for the first time since it announced it would spin off its struggling China business.

Adobe Systems reports earnings. Hit by the strong dollar, the Photoshop maker is expected to report fourth-quarter results in line with estimates after it lowered its profit forecast for 2016 in October.

While you were sleeping

A Taliban airport siege in southern Afghanistan killed 50. Kandahar airport was the site of a 26-hour battle between the Taliban and security forces, in which soldiers, 38 civilians, and eventually all the militants were killed.

Moves towards an ambitious climate goal strengthened. The US joined a coalition of well over 100 rich and developing countries that want global warming limited to 1.5°C at the climate talks in Paris, even lower than the 2°C limit currently on the table.

A top Thai policeman sought political asylum in Australia. Paween Pongsirin was appointed to investigate human trafficking in Thailand after evidence—including mass graves—was uncovered in May. He now says those responsible want him dead.

Australia announced suspiciously strong employment growth. In November, the economy added over 71,000 jobs, which surprised economists expecting a loss of 10,000 jobs. It also brought into question the veracity of the numbers; strong gains in October came as a surprise, too.

China was reprimanded for continued use of torture in prison. The United Nations Committee Against Torture said that torture was  ”deeply entrenched” in China’s criminal justice system. It also called on China to free lawyers and activists.

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Phillips on why DuPont’s most important invention wasn’t nylon or kevlar. “It was a DuPont explosives salesman by the name of Donaldson Brown who in 1912 submitted an internal efficiency report to his superiors that used a version of the return-on-investment formula—still known as the DuPont formula—that eventually came to be embedded as one of the defining statistical metrics in the corporate world.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Something’s going wrong in the “reputation economy.” Everyone’s voice becomes less meaningful if everyone thinks their opinion must be heard, says author Brett Easton Ellis.

Saudi Arabia is trying to wreck the Paris climate talks. Delegates say the oil giant is getting in the way of a deal and making implausible objections.

Learning styles are a myth. Everyone learns in pretty much the same way.

Surprising discoveries

The world’s first test-tube puppies were born. Researchers said the beagles could spell hope for conserving other species.

A one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album was purchased by a reviled financier. Martin Shkreli recently hiked the price of a rare drug more than 50-fold.

Robots can learn new things like babies do. Algorithms that imitate infants help machines learn from their mistakes.

A man’s trousers fell down while he posed for a picture with Croatia’s president. She handled the awkward moment flawlessly.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, IVF beagles, and unheard Wu-Tang albums to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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