Good morning, Quartz readers!
Davos kicks off in the Swiss Alps. The 48th annual World Economic Forum brings together the world’s political and corporate elite under this year’s theme, ”Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.” Today’s opening address will be delivered by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. Get the Quartz Davos Daily Brief for in-depth coverage of the event.
Two Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar appear in court. They were apprehended when reporting on the crisis in Rakhine state, amid a crackdown on insurgents and mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims. Bill Clinton and other leaders have called for their release, while prosecutors want them jailed for violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act.
A South Korean delegation inspects North Korea’s ski venues. On a three-day visit they’ll examine the Masik Pass resort and other venues. The inspections will facilitate joint training for the upcoming Winter Olympics in the South, with the collaboration between the nations expected to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Trump imposed steep import tariffs on solar panels and washing machines. While the targets are manufacturers in China and South Korea, respectively, the duties apply to all countries (paywall). Trump will likely take more such actions as he implements his “America First” policy, despite fears of trade wars and higher prices for US shoppers.
South Korea will stop cryptocurrency traders from using anonymous bank accounts. Traders who want to make deposits into their cryptocurrency wallets will need a bank account with a name that matches their account on the exchange, said the nation’s financial regulator. The rule will take effect on Jan. 30.
Netflix had its best quarter ever. The streaming giant saw its market capitalization pass $100 billion for the first time after adding 8.3 million new subscribers in the fourth quarter, blowing past expectations and marking an 18% increase from the same period a year ago. Earnings were in line with estimates.
The US senate voted to reopen the government. Lawmakers agreed to a stopgap budget solution extending through Feb. 8, which Trump signed into law. That followed majority leader Mitch McConnell pledging to allow an immigration vote soon, with Democrats demanding protections for young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children.
Three USA Gymnastics board members resigned. The chairman and several others stepped down from the gymnastics governing organization, after intense pressure following the molestation case (paywall) of former team doctor Larry Nassar.
Australia’s wine industry reported surging exports to China. They rose 63% by value in 2017, according to numbers released today by a trade body. That follows a trade deal signed a few years ago that cut import duties to about 3% from as high as 20%. Under the deal the tariffs will be eliminated altogether by next year.
Jenny Anderson on the controversial Silicon Valley-funded quest to educate the world’s poorest kids. “It’s hard to tell how much of the controversy surrounding Bridge arises from entrenched players feeling threatened (which they clearly do), and how much stems from Bridge being single-minded about its mission to the detriment of its own cause—a familiar malady in Silicon Valley.” Read more here.
Blockchain platforms will make us happier. Peer-to-peer technologies can move us away from a world of slow, cumbersome, and expensive decision-making.
Centrism can be an effective governing platform. Germany’s Social Democrats may seem wishy-washy, but they’ve also become a party of compromise.
GDP is an insufficient measure of national performance. For a broader look at economic progress and well-being, consider the WEF’s “inclusive development index.”
Mung beans are being sold as scrambled eggs in Hong Kong. A Silicon Valley startup is behind the egg-like “Just Scramble.”
Team USA will wear self-heating Ralph Lauren parkas for the Olympic opening ceremony. At a full charge, the coats provide five hours of heat on the high setting, and 11 hours on the low.
There may soon be an anglerfish emoji. A deep-sea ecologist and a sociologist are determined to diversify your mammal-dominated emoji dashboard.
An American beauty brand tried to trademark #MeToo. Hard Candy, sold exclusively at Walmart, has faced public outrage and withdrawn its application.
Fifty years ago, North Korea seized a US spy ship. The country imprisoned and tortured its American crew, humiliated Washington, and turned the ship into a tourist attraction.
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