Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Turkey’s president visits Greece. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will meet with his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos and prime minister Alexis Tsipras to discuss bilateral ties and a Cyprus settlement. It will be the first visit to Greece by a Turkish president in 65 years (paywall).
The Basel Committee convenes. The oversight body of international banking supervisors are expected to sign off on the Basel III package of capital reforms. The new rules require banks to keep a certain amount of capital in order to prevent another global financial crisis, and France, who has been the longest holdout, now says it’s on board.
Al Franken may resign. After more than 10 democratic US Senate colleagues called for the senator’s resignation amid more sexual misconduct allegations, Franken’s office said he would make an announcement.
While you were sleeping
Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The decision, which involves moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv, reverses nearly seven decades of US foreign policy (paywall) and is domestically motivated, appealing to Trump’s base of evangelicals and pro-Israel American Jews. Trump quickly drew international criticism from Pope Francis and China’s foreign ministry, among others, who say that it could lead to regional violence.
Vladimir Putin will run for president (again). Russia’s 15-year leader announced he will seek a fourth term that would keep him in office until 2024. His main opposition candidate, Alexei Navalny, was barred from running on embezzlement charges, and opinion polls show TV journalist Ksenia Sobchak stands little chance. The former spy is popular with many Russians, but critics accuse him of corruption.
Time Magazine named its Person of the Year…“The silence breakers”—those who sparked a global reckoning against sexual harassment and assault—were its collective nomination for 2017. While #MeToo is largely seen as a reaction to the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the hashtag was created over a decade ago by activist Tarana Burke, featured on the cover alongside other women–one of whom has her face obscured.
…While the #MeToo movement gained steam. A half dozen stomach-turning developments about Harvey Weinstein, John Conyers, Roy Moore, and Al Franken were revealed this morning, including a report that Weinstein’s assistants were required to supply him with injectable erectile dysfunction drugs (paywall) which they would sometimes deliver before his meetings with women.
Michael Flynn said Russia sanctions would be “ripped up.” An anonymous source told a member of Congress that Flynn wanted to scrap economic sanctions on Moscow as one of the Trump administration’s first acts (paywall). The former national security advisor was also purportedly involved in business ventures that would benefit from ending embargos, the source said, suggesting economic incentive.
Quartz obsession interlude
Corinne Purtill on how #MeToo hijacked black women’s work on race and gender equality: “It’s not fair, nor is it even possible, to separate gender from race and class and say, ‘We’ll get to those later—but first let’s settle this.’ Women of color fought the battles that brought society to this point, where even the faint hope of change seems possible. To use that work without ensuring that this broken system is replaced with one inclusive of race, in addition to gender, is not partial victory. It’s complete failure.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Amazon is helping small tech brands. Cheap, high quality brands are working with the e-commerce giant, posing a threat to established brands with costlier products (paywall).
Facebook groups are the gig economy’s unions. They offer an open forum for independent contractors, who are often scattered around the globe.
The 2018 Olympics just won’t be the same without the Russians. Banned for a state-sponsored doping scheme, Russia always brings sharp competition to winter games.
Dubai invites you to try a one-kilometer zipline. It offers a view of the city’s skyline and the Persian Gulf, moving people at 80 kmph (50 mph) at a 170 m (560 ft) elevation for $180 per ride.
Pigeons are smarter than you think. Like humans and elephants, they can perceive and connect concepts of space and time.
TripAdvisor’s top-rated London eatery is an old shed. Its owner posted fake food photos and glowing (false) reviews for The Shed at Dulwich, which never existed.
The year’s most popular gifs tell us a lot about 2017. “White guy blinking” was the most used gif, followed by animations of contemptuous laughter and bitter tears.
A new river cruise misses the boat on millennials. Featuring hip perks like quinoa burgers and yoga classes, “U by Uniworld” fails at treating millennials like individual people.
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