Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The Middle East reacts to Trump’s Jerusalem decision. Protests have already erupted in Gaza, Jordan, and Turkey after the US president pledged to recognize the holy city as Israel’s capital. The Palestinian education ministry has called for a day off at high schools and universities so students can participate in planned rallies 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, which has been the longest holdout, now says it’s on board.
While you were sleeping
Michael Flynn reportedly 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. The former national security advisor was also purportedly involved in business ventures that would benefit from ending embargos, the source said.
A Volkwagon executive was sentenced to prison. A US court gave Oliver Schmidt, a Michigan-based compliance liason for the German carmaker, seven years of jail time and a $400,000 fine for his role in misleading American regulators regarding vehicle emissions. Schmidt is the highest-ranking Volkswagon executive to be convicted for involvement in the scheme to date.
The owner of the world’s most expensive work of art was unmasked. The New York Times reports (paywall) that the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi which sold for $450.3 million at a Christies auction last month, is Saudi prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud. Prince Bader is an associate of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has engineered a sweeping crackdown on corruption among the Saudi elite.
Six women filed a class-action lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein. A group of actresses and models jointly accused the Hollywood producer, along with his associates at The Weinstein Company and Miramax of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act—a law that has been used to target the mafia. “We are but six women representing hundreds,” the women said in a statement.
Australia’s stock market will use bitcoin’s underlying tech The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announced that it will use blockchain to clear and settle trades starting in March 2018. It will be the world’s first major equities market to fully make use of the technology behind bitcoin for transactions.
Quartz obsession interlude
Corinne Purtill on how #MeToo hijacked black women’s work on race and gender equality. “This moment is the result of the collective labor of women of color who turned private agonies into public battles on behalf of justice. As overdue and welcome as this reckoning feels, there’s also the unsettling reality that a movement built largely on the labor of women of color has been co-opted by a discussion that prioritizes the experiences of victims who are white, wealthy, and privileged over those who are not.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
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 won’t be the same without the Russians. Banned for a state-sponsored doping scheme, Russia always brings sharp competition to winter games.
Trump has been great for civil society. Data from the US Commerce Department suggests that consumer spending on newspapers and social advocacy groups has increased.
Dubai invites you to try a one-kilometer zipline. Starting at 170 meters (560 ft), the $180 ride whizzes by at 80 km per hour (50 mph) while offering a view of the city’s skyline and the Persian Gulf.
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 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.
You can’t say “Hi” in Quebec. Legislators in the province passed a resolution (paywall) requiring shopkeepers to greet customers with just “Bonjour” rather than the common “Bonjour hi.”
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