Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
EU launches an investigation into Ikea. Ikea has reportedly avoided paying nearly €1 billion ($1.7 billion) in taxes from 2009 to 2014 by taking advantage of loopholes (paywall) in numerous countries. The probe is part of a broader crackdown on corporate tax avoidance, which has already targeted McDonald’s and Apple.
Bitcoin futures start trading on the CME. The cryptocurrency hits the big time just one week after options trading launched on the CBOE. CME’s trading volume was about 55 times larger than that of the CBOE during the first nine months of the year, so expectations are high.
The UN votes on Jerusalem. A Monday vote will determine whether the UN will call on the United States to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. A draft of the resolution requests that countries refrain from establishing embassies in the city, going against US president Donald Trump’s declaration to do so.
Over the weekend
Uber’s alleged corporate espionage came to light. A letter from the legal counsel of ex-employee Richard Jacobs accuses Uber “of achieving business goals through illegal conduct” by stealing trade secrets from Waymo and even bribing foreign officials. The letter was part of a bid by Jacobs to receive compensation after leaving Uber.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued his pro-Palestine campaign. The Turkish president announced plans to open an embassy in East Jerusalem during a party speech Sunday. Days earlier, Erdogan urged the world to recognize the city as Palestine’s capital.
Suicide bombers attacked a Methodist Church in Pakistan. At least eight people were killed, and at least 30 others were injured after an assailant detonated an explosive vest near the Quetta church’s main hall. Another suicide bomber was killed by security forces after a gunfight. ISIL has claimed responsibility for the attack.
“The Last Jedi” raked in $220 million on its opening weekend. The latest Star Wars film debuted in the top spot in all but two countries, grossing $60.8 million in 48 markets in just 48 hours. Analysts expect the movie to earn an additional $225 million internationally, going on to become the highest-grossing film of the year.
Quartz obsession interlude
Sarah Slobin on the latest numbers on US teen drug use. “That nicotine set off alarm bells for the NIDA is emblematic of the agency’s approach to messaging around teen drug use overall. It is highlighting findings that were relevant in mid-century America while sidestepping some of the more disquieting facts in the 2017 report. … Teenagers in 2017 are more likely to be reaching for the phones in their pockets, than a package of smokes.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
To succeed in India, multinationals need a strategy for every Indian state. Gujarat and West Bengal are too different for the same strategies to work in both places.
The Republican tax bill will worsen the US trade deficit. Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says Trump’s ignorance of economics will result in his trade policies failing.
There is no need to fear the end of net neutrality. Internet service providers already favor big content providers like Netflix and Google.
The US Defense Department has a program to investigate UFOs. The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program has over $20 million in funding to see if the truth is out there.
Bitcoin’s growth has been more than exponential. At its current pace, the value of all bitcoin in circulation would surpass the total value of stocks on the NYSE in October 2018.
Only 20% of the 45 million tons of electronics thrown out in 2016 were recycled. Chargers alone accounted for one million tons of waste.
The Sumatran rhino has been in peril for nearly one million years. New DNA evidence shows there were approximately 58,000 of such rhinos 950,000 year ago, compared to 30 today.
Japanese monkeys are having sexual interactions with deers. The Japanese macaques sometimes have tantrums when a sika deer won’t consent.
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