Qualcomm’s EU fine, Larry Nassar’s sentencing, cat lawsuits

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Theresa May announces ethical oversight of AI. The UK prime minister is expected to use her speech at Davos to discuss the challenges presented by artificial intelligence, and announce detailed plans for a national Centre for Data Ethics to provide guidance on AI regulation.

Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu rendezvous at Davos. The US president is likely to discuss the Iran deal with Israel’s prime minister, who reportedly said his Davos meetings will be the last chance to change “the dangerous nuclear agreement with Iran.”

China makes its fifth space launch this month. It will put three remote sensing satellites into orbit, which are ostensibly for land resources, but are perceived by some to be designed for reconnaissance purposes. China is planning a record-breaking 40 launches this year.

While you were sleeping

Larry Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison. The former USA gymnastics doctor pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct that took place over his two decades at USA Gymnastics. He had previously been sentenced to 60 years for federal child pornography charges. More than 150 women came forward with testimonies

Qualcomm was fined $1.2 billion for buying Apple’s loyalty. The EU’s antitrust arm ruled that the telecom company’s payments to Apple were an illegal ploy to ensure only Qualcomm chips were used in iPhones and iPads, effectively shutting out other chip-makers like Intel. It’s the third highest antitrust fine issued by the EU; Qualcomm will fight it in court.

The SEC is investigating General Electric. Regulators are opening a probe into the embattled conglomerate’s contract assets and insurance business. It’s the latest blow to the company, which just posted a $10 billion loss in its latest quarter. Shares fell 2.7% on the news.

SpaceX test-fired the biggest rocket on earth. Engineers fired the Falcon Heavy’s engines for twelve seconds on Wednesday in a “static-fire” test, performed a few weeks ahead of its scheduled maiden flight. CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the results were promising, saying the rocket’s “hold-down firing… generated quite a thunderhead of steam.”

The US dollar fell on the treasury secretary’s comments. Straying from the more neutral comments of past secretaries, Steven Mnuchin said in his speech at Davos that “a weaker dollar was good for trade” (paywall). The comments sent the greenback even lower after it hit a three-year low this week, per a leading benchmark index.

Quartz obsession interlude

Mary Slaughter, Khalil Smith, and David Rock on the brain science that could help explain sexual harassment: “Power exaggerates the roles of goals in people’s lives, and turns down the volume on inhibition […] Power means that your personal goals trump social norms in terms of personal importance, which helps explain why employees at a major bank like Wells Fargo might make sham accounts to meet sales objectives.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

A yet-to-be-released memo could recast the FBI’s Russia probe. US Democrats say it’s an extraordinary measure (paywall) to mislead the public and exonerate Donald Trump.

Investors should avoid high-testosterone hedge fund managers. A new paper concludes that these individuals underperform compared to their lower-testosterone counterparts.

Farmland could offset America’s entire carbon footprint. Soil carbon sequestration should please just about everyone, but it needs to be put in motion soon.

Surprising discoveries

A 16th-century manuscript was found in an old copy of Alice in Wonderland. The 1583 land transfer deed, which was supposed to have been lost in a fire, surfaced in an Australian shop.

People in Japan can pay handsome men to make them cry. Rui-katsu, or “tear seeking” is popular with the Japanese, who are known to be infrequent criers.

Norway is leaving the fur business. New laws outlawing pelt farming represent a growing shift towards respecting animal consciousness.

Witch hunts began as a publicity stunt. Protestantism and Catholicism used Germany as their battleground, and each wanted to prove its prowess in beating back Satanic influences.

The internet’s favorite grumpy cat just won a $710,000 lawsuit. A US coffee company used images of the cat—whose real name is Tardar Sauce—without permission.

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