Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Aung San Suu Kyi visits China. Myanmar’s de facto leader heads to Beijing amid international criticism over the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis. While the US and UN have accused Myanmar of ethnic cleansing, China supports Suu Kyi in what she claims is legitimate counter-insurgency action.
OPEC convenes in Vienna to deal with US shale oil. The oil producers’ cartel and non-OPEC nations, most notably Russia, will discuss extending their deal to limit production. But it’s unclear how shale producers will respond; US drilling hit a plateau in July, and some companies are cutting their output forecasts.
The EU releases economic data. Figures are expected to show a decrease in October unemployment numbers (paywall), while consumer prices data may show an encouraging uptick in inflation. The bloc is also set to approve its 2018 budget.
While you were sleeping
Donald Trump turned up the pressure on North Korea… He threatened more sanctions against North Korea and also called Kim Jong-un a “sick puppy,” a day after the country’s latest missile test. UN ambassador Nikki Haley said China should cut off all oil supplies to the rogue regime or it would “take the oil situation into our own hands.”
…and fired back at Theresa May on Twitter. The US president told Theresa May (also tagging the wrong Twitter account in the process) to “focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place” in the UK after the prime minister criticized his re-tweeting of Britain First’s far-right videos.
South Korea raised interest rates. The Bank of Korea raised rates for the first time in six years, signaling growing confidence in the export-driven economy. It’s also the first rate increase by a major Asian central bank since 2014.
Kellyanne Conway was appointed to solve America’s opioids crisis. The former White House spokeswoman was appointed by Trump as the administration’s new opioid czar, to tackle a drug epidemic that kills 142 Americans a day.
Nasdaq will offer bitcoin futures in 2018. The world’s second-largest stock market announced plans to offer the ability to bet on the booming cryptocurrency, along with brokerage Cantor Fitzgerald. Bitcoin is up 1,000% to date this year and breached $11,000 yesterday, while Ether also set a new record.
Quartz obsession interlude
Alison Griswold on how totally screwed Uber is right now. “The truest statement about Uber this year is that just when you don’t think it can get worse, it gets worse. Sexual harassment, scheming executives, an ousted CEO, a shareholder lawsuit, a trade secrets lawsuit, disaffected employees, dissatisfied drivers, federal probes, and now, probably, a congressional inquiry.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Snapchat is becoming the anti-Facebook. A redesign attempts to draw a distinction between consuming news and content versus socializing with friends.
Matt Lauer was always NBC’s misogynist hiding in plain sight. The former star NBC anchor had been subtly demeaning women and abusing his power for years.
Having your breasts groped by your boss doesn’t count as sexual harassment in the US. Judgments laid down decades ago have set an impossibly high bar (paywall) for employees trying to sue for sexual harassment.
Fecal transplants are more becoming more convenient. Taking a pill to battle bad bacteria is much more pleasant than a colonoscopy.
Martian soil can grow plants and host earthworms. The wriggly garden favorites reproduced healthily in an iron-rich, lab-made soil.
A scheduling snafu at American Airlines let way too many pilots book time off at Christmas. The airline is offering to pay pilots as much as 150% of their hourly wage to cancel their plans and show up for work instead.
Wisconsin granted hunting licenses to babies. After the state eliminated age restrictions, it gave out 52 licenses to children under five, 10 of them to infants.
Google Translate’s algorithm is gender biased. When translating from a gender-neutral language like Turkish, it pairs “he” with “hardworking” and matches “she” with “lazy.”
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