Good morning. Here is your news brief.
Aramco shares soar. The oil firm’s stock popped 10%—the daily limit—in its trading debut. Aramco’s $1.88 trillion market capitalization puts it ahead of giants like Apple and Microsoft, but is well below the $2 trillion valuation the kingdom had earlier been seeking, CNBC reports.
The World Trade Organization stumbles. For two years, the Trump administration has blocked the appointment of new judges to the WTO, crippling its system for dispute settlement. Now it no longer has enough judges to make binding rulings, the BBC reports.
Beijing and Moscow team up on Hong Kong
A Russian documentary reproduces Beijing’s line on the protests. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement has hidden leaders. US officials are “openly colluding” with protesters. And demonstrators could “destroy” Hong Kong. Sound familiar? It’s all in Hong Kong Unmasked, released by the Kremlin-backed channel Russia Today.
From peacocks to waterfalls, new signs of climate change
Peacocks are becoming more common in Kerala. As the state becomes drier, ornithologists are reporting more sightings of the bird, which usually thrives in arid habitats. A new study shows that the trend will intensify over the next decades.
Brazil has a gold rush of fintech investment
Looking for a new job?
If you're an engineer in the US, you're in luck. LinkedIn’s emerging jobs report has identified the 15 fastest-growing roles to look for, and at least five roles of them have the word “engineer” in the title.
But if you're in India, an MBA might be better. Graduates from MBA programs have the best chance of getting a job, according to the India Skills Report 2020, and Mumbai’s the best place to look. Engineers were less employable this year, the report found.
The UK’s brokerage industry braces for a price war
How to hold Hong Kong's police to account?
A panel advising the city's police watchdog quits. The group of five international experts was recruited to advise on the force’s handling of protests. Now, there are doubts about whether the police will ever be held to account for alleged abuse, disproportionate use of force, and the perception that it’s not accountable.
Washington had a wild day on Tuesday
The US House served Trump with articles of impeachment... After weeks of hearings, House Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler settled on abuse of power and obstructing congress as the "high crimes and misdemeanors" for which president Donald Trump should be removed from office.
...but agreed with him on a trade deal... Democrats are claiming victory after reaching an agreement with the White House on an update to the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement—but the Senate will not take it up this year due to president Trump’s impending impeachment trial, The Hill reports.
As of Tuesday, the World Trade Organization's appellate body no longer has enough members to function because the US is blocking new member appointments. So WTO dispute rulings will not be enforceable going forward. With the global trading system under this kind of pressure, regional deals like USMCA
As of Tuesday, the World Trade Organization's appellate body no longer has enough members to function because the US is blocking new member appointments. So WTO dispute rulings will not be enforceable going forward. With the global trading system under this kind of pressure, regional deals like USMCA (new NAFTA) will become an even more important part of trade policy.
... meanwhile, it was another kind of day at the Supreme Court... The US government is in the business of prosecuting criminal defendants, not defending them. But in a rare case on Tuesday, the US stood with a Mexican citizen arrested for selling drugs.
...and even insurance companies got in on the act. US health insurers sued the government for denying their claims—apparently failing to see any irony—saying that they are owed $12 billion for losses in connection to Obamacare's "risk corridors."
I couldn't help chortling in court today when the attorney for a bunch of US health insurers complained that there was nothing more pernicious than an insurance program that won't pay what's promised. HA! Americans would have had a good laugh if cameras were allowed in the courtroom. But they are not
I couldn't help chortling in court today when the attorney for a bunch of US health insurers complained that there was nothing more pernicious than an insurance program that won't pay what's promised. HA! Americans would have had a good laugh if cameras were allowed in the courtroom. But they are not so few got a chance to see insurers fighting the US government for allegedly promised funds and experiencing what the insured feel when dealing with health institutions.
Blame TV syndication for our addiction to “bad” movies
Many all-time best-of-the-worst films premiered in the 1950s and 1960s, when television sets were just becoming a fixture in American living rooms. Early TV channels looked for ways to pad their programming, and turned the terrible movies they had the rights to broadcast into an ironic national pastime.
Journalists love a deadline
Netflix hits and misses
Netflix has finally outdone Hollywood at the Golden Globes... With 17 nominations, the streaming giant drew more nods than any other TV or motion picture distributor.
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Who will police the Hong Kong police?Quartz
Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world, is running dry due to climate changeQuartz Africa
Peacocks are becoming more common in Kerala. And that’s not a good signQuartz India
Russia is Beijing’s best ally in the disinformation war against Hong KongQuartz