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Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin are pictured shaking hands.
Image copyright: Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS

Here’s what you need to know

The omicron variant may be linked to milder symptoms. It’s still unclear whether the strain is less virulent than others, according to a small study of South Africa hospital patients. Meanwhile, the UK tightened its travel rules and Italy strengthened its restrictions on the unvaccinated.

Saudi Arabia raised oil prices in Asia and the US. It’s a signal the country sees the omicron variant doing little to hamper demand.

A volcano erupted on Indonesia’s Java island, killing at least 14 people. Rescuers are searching for survivors in ash-caked towns near Mount Semeru.

SpaceX got more contracts with NASA. It will run three additional commercial flights to the International Space Station, after certification of Boeing’s Starliner was delayed.

Longtime US senator Bob Dole died at age 98. The Republican lawmaker served 36 years in Congress.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

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What to watch for

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin will meet in New Delhi Monday. It’s the first time they’ll meet in person since 2019. The summit comes amid growing tensions between Russia and Western countries over Ukraine, but the leaders will likely keep their focus on topics like energy and trade.

Talks are set to address:

🏗  Development in Russia’s Far East. India has already extended a $1 billion line of credit to develop the region, which is rich with oil, timber, diamonds and other resources.

🤝  Defense pacts. The leaders are expected to set up a framework for military and technical cooperation over the next decade, with Putin likely reassuring Modi that Russia’s deepening relationship with Beijing isn’t at the expense of India.

📄  Weapon deals. Russia is India’s largest weapons supplier, and the meeting comes as India takes delivery of missiles that are part of a $5 billion deal and could draw US sanctions.

The group of nurses not quitting

Nurses in the US are quitting in droves. But there is a group of nurses who are actually in no rush to leave their jobs: Those born or educated abroad.

Most international nurses in the US (77%) come from three countries: The Philippines, Jamaica, and India. They are more likely to have higher levels of education than American ones—90% have a bachelor of science in nursing or comparable status, compared to 56% of their local counterparts.

In the short term, recruiting more international nurses will help fill some of the gaps, particularly as international nurses are far more likely to prefer full-time employment with one healthcare facility than working as travel nurses, despite the more lucrative nature of contract work.

How to work—and do some good

Ever wonder what a career in social impact looks like or how to get there? The good news is you don’t have to start from scratch, but rather build on your current skills and discover how they match with your social impact goals.

Whether you’re just starting your career and looking to maximize your potential—or maybe you’re mid to senior level and looking to pivot into work that allows you to spur social change—the latest Quartz at Work from anywhere workshop is for you. Quartz senior reporter Cassie Werber will talk with leaders of companies and nonprofit organizations in the UK, Kenya, and the US about how to make a social impact on the job.

Claim your free spot for the workshop. See you on December 9 at 11 am-12 pm EST!

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Surprising discoveries

Hawaii’s big island was hit with a blizzard. Snow on the tropical island’s mountains is common, but comes as much of the US sees far less snow than normal.

Most NFTs sell for an average of $15. Only 1% go for more than $1,500.

Bat moms teach their babies directions. Offspring learn as they’re carried upside down through the air as their mom flies.

A French climber was rewarded with a trove of gems he discovered on Mont Blanc. The $340,000 worth of precious stones are thought to be from a 1966 Air India plane crash.

Mizunara oak is what gives Japanese whisky its distinct flavor. Learn what else differentiates the distilling process from your average spirit in the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast.

🥃 Drink up all this season’s episodes on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | Stitcher

That’s all! But there’s plenty of Quartz to dig around through.

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