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 meets in Vienna. The oil producers’ cartel and non-OPEC nations, most notably Russia, will talk about extending their deal to limit production. But it’s unclear how shale producers will respond to that.
The Commerce Department releases October inflation data. September’s reading showed prices were up 1.6% (paywall) from the year before, under the Fed’s 2% target.
While you were sleeping.
Donald Trump told the UK prime minister to mind her own business. After first tagging the wrong Twitter account, the president told Theresa May in a tweet to “focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place” in the UK. His response came after her spokesperson criticized his re-tweeting of Britain First’s far-right videos.
Eurozone inflation missed estimates. Inflation hit 1.5% (paywall) in November, missing analysts estimates of 1.6%. Unemployment, however, declined to 8.8%, its lowest level since 2009. As Bloomberg notes, it’s a reminder for the European Central Bank that an improving economy doesn’t ensure that inflation will hit its goal.
The Pope moved on to Bangladesh. Moving on from Myanmar, where he was criticized for avoiding the term “Rohingya” to please the government, Pope Francis will now walk a tightrope in Bangladesh. He’s expected to meet some Rohingya refugees (600,000 of them fled to Bangladesh since August) and may mention the Muslim extremist attacks on the Christian community.
Kellyanne Conway was put in charge of 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.
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.
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 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 holiday plans.
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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