Good morning, Quartz readers!
Trump speaks at Davos. In a heavily anticipated speech today, the US president is expected to explain why his “America First” agenda is good for the world. A number of conference attendees plan to walk out during the address in protest of Trump calling African nations “shithole countries” earlier this month.
The US releases its advanced fourth-quarter GDP estimate. Economists expect GDP to increase at a 3% annualized rate, after growing at a 3.2% pace the previous quarter. A report on durable goods for December is also due.
Czechs vote for their next president. Incumbent Miloš Zeman, the populist pick that some have likened to Central Europe’s version of Trump (paywall), will face a tough run-off against pro-EU centrist Jiří Drahoš. Opinion polls show Drahoš has a slight edge over Zeman heading into the election.
George Soros ripped into Facebook and Google. The billionaire financier delivered a blistering attack against internet companies at a dinner at Davos, warning against the “nefarious” effects of social media on democracy and personal autonomy.
A hospital fire in South Korea killed 37 people. Officials are still investigating the cause of a blaze that engulfed Sejong Hospital in the southern city of Miryang, which also injured more than 100. It’s the latest in a series of tragedies that have brought into question the nation’s safety standards.
Four BBC male presenters agreed to a pay cut. The announcement comes after former China editor Carrie Gracie resigned from her position in protest of unequal pay between men and women at the broadcaster.
India celebrated its 69th Republic Day. While past guests to the military parade have included Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth II, and Barack Obama, this year’s guest list focused on leaders of Southeast Asia as India tries to counter China’s growing influence in the region.
Dell is considering an IPO. The firm, which went private in 2013, is reviewing its options, including going public again. It might also make a deal with VMware, a publicly traded cloud infrastructure company in which it gained a majority stake when it bought storage-tech giant EMC for $67 billion in 2016.
Lianna Brinded on why the financial world will never have a #MeToo moment. “After all, we are told that this is ‘boys will be boys’ and this is workplace ‘banter,’ and that whether you are finance professional or hired to serve food and drinks (which many are apparently confusing with sex work) at an event that involves financiers, ‘you knew what you were getting yourself into’ so suck it up, buttercup.” Read more here.
Machine learning makes work life worse. AI-driven technology just leads to humans making more serious mistakes.
Asking for your date’s surname is rude. Last names can often be the final barrier (paywall) between relative anonymity and someone learning everything about you.
America’s gambit to dominate the oil market is dangerous. The sudden influx of extra resources upsets the energy market and exacerbates climate change (paywall).
There are hidden levels to the iPhone X design. The “squircle”—an incredibly hard-to-spot shape—sets the device apart from a sea of competitors and copycats.
Tokyo commuters get a musical treat on the subway. One subway line in the Japanese capital will start playing music like Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” to provide a more relaxing experience for passengers.
Nutella brawls broke out in France. Shoppers literally fought to get their hands on jars of the hazelnut spread after one supermarket chain offered a 70% discount on the product.
50 Cent is an accidental bitcoin millionaire. The hip-hop icon completely forgot that his 2014 album Animal Ambition raked in a whopping 700 bitcoins, now worth roughly $7.7 million dollars.
Placebos are more effective if they’re pricey. Researchers discovered that brains respond favorably to fake medicine when they think it’s expensive—no matter what’s actually in it (paywall).
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