Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today and over the weekend
North Korea may face new UN sanctions. Diplomats could vote on the US-led resolution as early as Friday, which would ban 90 percent of refined petroleum exports to the nation. The proposed sanctions would also cut off exports of several North Korean materials and industrial products.
China and India will meet to discuss their border dispute. Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi will travel to India on Friday to meet with Indian national security adviser Ajit Doval. Their respective offices plan to exchange information on maps, policies, and infrastructure goals that will allow the neighboring countries to peacefully police the Line of Actual Control.
Tropical Storm Tembin will reach Vietnam by Christmas Day. The storm has already ravaged parts of the Philippines, with rainfall levels up to 250 mm (10 in) expected in Mindanao and southern Mimaropa. Flooding and landslides in the Philippines have already destroyed thousands of homes and killed more than 50 people, with 240 people rescued from a single ferry accident on Thursday (paywall).
While you were sleeping
The UN General Assembly voted to reject Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Most of the 193-member body chose to oppose the White House declaration in a 128-9 vote, with 35 abstentions (paywall), despite threats from Donald Trump and US ambassador Nikki Haley that countries voting against the US president’s decision would feel financial repercussions.
Yemen’s cholera outbreak has hit a disturbing million-case milestone. Humanitarian organizations are saying the war-ravaged country is facing one of the worst health emergencies in the 21st century. Children now make up one-third of over 2,000 fatal cases.
US corporations pledge to trickle down $2 billion from GOP tax cuts. However, it’s just a fraction of the $1 trillion in expected savings for businesses over the next decade—and the biggest benefits will go to shareholders instead of middle-class workers. Analysts say many of these employee-focused kickbacks were bound to happen regardless of the tax bill’s passing.
Universal Music signs a major deal with Facebook. The multi-year licensing agreement will let Facebook and Instagram users decorate their social videos with clips from hit singles, eliminating potential copyright strikes. Universal signed a similar deal with YouTube just a few days ago.
Cuban president Raúl Castro is stepping down in April. Castro’s new exit date postpones Cuba’s presidential election and national assembly vote to April 19, 2018. He initially planned to retire on February 24—the same day his brother Fidel left power in 2008—but the island’s recovery from Hurricane Irma dramatically slowed preparations.
Quartz obsession interlude
Samuel Levin on how the porgs in Star Wars are a perfect example of natural selection: “The creatures in that distant galaxy are surprisingly Earth-like. Aside from the obviously humanoid characters, even the more wild organisms often have limbs and torsos, with eyes and mouths in their heads, etc. In this way, one of our most imaginative pieces of fiction is somewhat disappointing.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
2018 is the year something will finally give on North Korea. The country’s advancing weapons, the UN’s increasing sanctions, and Donald Trump’s flippant rhetoric could be a recipe for disaster.
Signing a noncompete agreement is bad for you—and the economy. Employees bound by one have lower starting pay and earnings throughout their careers than their unbounded peers.
Donald Trump’s future presidential monument will have to be purposely ostentatious. It will tell not just the story of the president, but of the man, Donald J.
Renaming your beverage company after cryptocurrency could boost value. Long Island Iced Tea Corp. changed its name to Long Blockchain, and promptly saw a stock boom of more than 500%.
Tobacco giant Philip Morris might be on the verge of re-inventing the cigarette. Its proposed alternative, dubbed “iQOS,” involves non-burning tobacco leaves and has racked up $1 billion in sales worldwide.
Americans are overwhelmed by the number of pay-TV and streaming services available. The average US pay-TV subscriber subscribes to just four services, and only watches two regularly.
Magic Leap has finally shown off its hardware. The augmented-reality company that raised nearly $2 billion over the last four years has released a bulbous, sensor-laden headset.
A baby conceived in 1992 was born just last month. Little Emma was born from a 24-year-old cryogenically frozen embryo, making it the oldest known embryo to result in a successful birth.
The Daily Brief will be taking a holiday break on Monday, December 25.
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