Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The UN Security Council votes on Jerusalem. The member nations will consider a draft resolution that reportedly calls upon the United States, while not specifically mentioning it, to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The draft has broad support, so the vote—though the US has veto power—could further isolate the Trump administration.
Bitcoin futures have their first day of trading on CME. They made their debut a week ago on the CBOE, but now they’re hitting the big time: CME’s trading volume was about 55 times larger than that of the CBOE during the first nine months of the year. Trading started Sunday evening New York time.
The EU launches an investigation into Ikea. The furniture retailer 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 that has already targeted McDonald’s and Apple.
Over the weekend
Uber’s alleged corporate espionage came to light. A letter from the legal counsel of former 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.
Sebastian Pinera recaptured Chile’s presidential election. Promising more business-friendly policies, the conservative billionaire prevailed by a wider-than-forecast margin in a race that had been considered a toss-up. The 68-year-old Pinera also served as president from 2010 to 2014.
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, at an Istanbul summit of international Muslim leaders, Erdogan urged the world to recognize the city as Palestine’s capital.
Suicide bombers attacked a Methodist church in Pakistan. At least eight people died and 30 were injured after an assailant detonated an explosive vest and a gunman—later killed by security forces—opened fire near the Quetta church’s main hall. ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Last Jedi raked in $450 million globally on its opening weekend. The latest Star Wars picture added a bright note to an otherwise disappointing year for Hollywood, and is expected to become the top-grossing film of 2017. Disney is working on at least five more Star Wars installments.
Quartz obsession interlude
Dan Kopf on the nutty math showing how quickly bitcoin has grown. “People often describe the growth of the value of bitcoin as ‘exponential,’ but that doesn’t really do it justice. When we tried to come up with a formula that fit the growth of the value of all bitcoin in circulation (or its ‘market capitalization’) since May, we found that it was more like a fourth degree polynomial. (The exact formula: $ billion = 7E-07^4 – 0.0003x^3 + 0.0328x^2 – 1.07x + 39).” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The best television is happening in video games. Narrative works like Telltale Games’s The Walking Dead are opening space for stories barred by the constraints of traditional TV.
To succeed in India, multinationals need a strategy for each 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-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says Trump’s ignorance of economics will result in his trade policies failing.
Dogs can group smells by categories. The finding suggests better ways to train bomb-sniffing canines, who are currently taught to identify unique scents.
Only 20% of the 45 million tons of electronics thrown out in 2016 were recycled. Chargers alone accounted for 1 million tons of waste.
The Sumatran rhino has been in peril for nearly 1 million years. New DNA evidence shows there were approximately 58,000 such rhinos 950,000 years ago, compared to 30 today.
Facebook admits that social networks can be bad for relationships and mental health. Its researchers say the solution may be to use its service more actively.
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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