Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Pakistan school attack, Palin endorses Trump, welcome to the “manosphere”

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What to watch for today

Davos enters full swing. The 46th annual World Economic Forum returns to the Swiss Alps. Today’s speakers include US vice president Joe Biden, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and Rwandan president Paul Kagame. But who will win the conference? Here’s who Quartz believes will make a lasting impact among the grand egos.

Will the Canadian central bank lower the cost of borrowing? Analysts are divided on whether the bank will keep its benchmark rate at 0.5% or halve it to a record low of 0.25%.

Barack Obama takes a victory lap at the Detroit auto show. The US president is expected to tout his administration’s role in bailing out the American auto industry in 2009.

While you were sleeping

Militants killed at least 19 people at a Pakistan university. Dozens more students, teachers, and security guards were injured in a gun attack at a campus 100km (60 miles) northwest of Islamabad. Tehreek-e-Taliban, a militant group affiliated with an earlier school massacre, has claimed responsibility.

Asian stocks followed oil off a cliff… Stock markets in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and China all suffered losses, and Japan officially entered a bear market. That follows oil prices dipping below $28 for the first time since 2003; during Asian hours, they edged closer to $27.

…while Australia’s consumer confidence turned negative. The Westpac consumer sentiment index fell to 97.3 in January (paywall), from 100.8 in December, crossing the line into pessimist territory.

Royal Dutch Shell hinted at a profit plunge. The Anglo-Dutch oil major said that it expects fourth-quarter profit to be no more than $1.9 billion, far below the $4.2 billion recorded a year earlier. Shell announced preliminary financial details early because shareholders will vote on the takeover of a smaller rival next week.

Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump for US president. The highly divisive onetime Republican vice-presidential candidate said there would be “no more pussyfooting around” if the billionaire won the presidency. Separately, news broke that her son has been arrested over a domestic violence incident.

Microsoft pledged to donate $1 billion in cloud-computing services. The IT giant said it would offer resources to organizations it thinks are working for the “public good.” It expects to distribute the services to around 70,000 non-profits, over the next three years.

Quartz obsession interlude

Jenny Anderson on ADHD in girls. “Girls are closing one gender gap we don’t want: diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Between 2003 and 2011, parents reported an increase of ADHD diagnoses of 55% for girls, compared to 40% for boys, according to a 2015 study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. And yet girls continue to be misdiagnosed in spades, with alarming consequences.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Hillary Clinton isn’t telling voters what they want to hear. And it’s hurting her in the Democratic primary.

Our faulty financial system is creating another global crash. It needs to be debugged, or it will go into freefall.

Humanity will only survive by colonizing other planets. Think of it as insurance against a “near certain” doomsday, says Stephen Hawking.

Surprising discoveries

People with a negative outlook make more dangerous drivers. Researchers found a correlation between traffic violations and mindset.

There’s something called the “manosphere.” It’s a murky world where pick-up artists go to chat online.

The British Navy runs “Windows for Submarines.” Its nuclear-armed Trident vessels are vulnerable to malware and bugs.

Can you name a CEO—any CEO? If so, you’re in the minority.

IKEA thinks the developed world has hit “peak stuff.” The company’s head of sustainability wants to introduce repair and recycling services to its stores.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, IKEA’s “peak stuff” holder, and submarine spam protection to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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