Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Democrats pick their next Judiciary Committee leader. They’ll cast a secret ballot for representatives Zoe Lofgren or Jerry Nadler to act as the next committee head. The winner would lead potential impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump should the party take back the House.
China unveils its economic blueprint for 2018. The Wall Street Journal reports the plan will illustrate Beijing’s struggle to cut debt (paywall). Despite being urged by the IMF and World Bank to slash its debt, China is expected to focus on just controlling its rise.
The UN General Assembly discusses Jerusalem—and Trump’s taking names. In an emergency session, the UN will discuss a resolution not to support the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Ambassador Nikki Haley reportedly urged some countries not to back the resolution—and warned that the US president would “take note of each and every vote on this issue.”
While you were sleeping
The EU ruled that Uber is a cab company. The European Union’s top court dealt a major blow to the ride-hailing giant after it declared Uber was not, as it had argued, a digital services provider, but rather a taxi company. That’s a big deal for Uber, as local authorities could slap it with the same rules and costs as other taxi firms—like insurance and licensing regulations.
The US Congress passed a sweeping tax overhaul. The GOP plan passed by a vote of 227-203 in the House and 51-48 in the Senate, setting up what the party claims will be the largest tax cut in decades. Critics contend could worsen inequality in the country. Trump is expected to sign it into law before Christmas.
Coinbase is investigating possible insider trading. There were grumblings that the crypto-exchange staff may have benefitted from inside knowledge to make money on the launch of bitcoin cash on Tuesday—its price was nearly three times higher on Coinbase and its GDAX service than on other exchanges. CEO Brian Armstrong confirmed that Coinbase is looking into the price spike.
Regulators gave Tesco the thumbs-up to buy Booker. The UK competition regulator formally cleared Tesco’s £3.7 billion ($4.9 billion) takeover of wholesaler Booker. The deal unites Britain’s biggest supermarket chain with its biggest wholesaler, something that has smaller rivals worried.
A bus accident killed 12 people in Mexico. The bus was taking tourists to Mayan ruins at Chacchoben, about 110 miles south of Tulum, when it flipped on a highway. Among the injured were seven Americans and two Swedish citizens—nationalities have not been released for those who were killed.
Quartz obsession interlude
Rosie Spinks on how not to get sick on a cruise ship. “Close quarters where lots of people are touching the same objects—think handrails, buffet utensils, elevator buttons—and eating the same food mean if a few infected individuals board the boat, the chances of the highly contagious condition spreading are high. While the causal agent of the most recent GI outbreak has not yet been verified by the CDC as norovirus, more than 90% of diarrheal-related outbreaks on cruise ships ultimately have norovirus as their cause.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Kids who love learning have a leg up. Being “motivationally gifted” gives children an advantage over peers with a higher IQ.
University presidents are shocked Americans think colleges are too elite. The backlash against top-tier schools is at an all-time high.
Virtual reality could transform language learning. Practicing without fear of real-world screwups could direct the more anxiety-prone toward language-immersion programs.
Elon Musk accidentally tweeted his phone number. “Do you have a sec to talk? My cell is …” the Tesla CEO wrote to John Carmack, the chief technology officer of Facebook’s Oculus.
Some clownfish have no personality at all. Sounds harsh, but Australian researchers said that some seem to act as a group rather than display individual responses.
The US government has spent $22 million on secret UFO searches. The costs for a program uncovered by the New York Times (paywall) were hidden within the defense budget.
Munich customs torched 3.8 million joints worth of marijuana. The energy from the 500 kgs (1,100 lbs) of confiscated weed generated heat for local homes.
The Last Jedi has a low, but possibly fake, audience approval rating. One anti-Disney Facebooker bragged about using bots to sink the film’s Rotten Tomatoes standing.
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