Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today and over the weekend
A crucial weekend for Brexit. After UK prime minister Theresa May returns to Brussels on Saturday to meet with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, European leaders could on Sunday sign off on the withdrawal agreement and an outline of future ties. Spain has threatened to veto the deal over Gibraltar.
Taiwan goes to the polls… Ahead of Saturday’s local elections, which take place alongside referendums including ones on same-sex marriage, voters have been flooded with anti-LGBT messages, while China has been accused (paywall) of interference. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party faces a tough fight, the outcome of which will have implications for the 2020 presidential race.
…And so does Bahrain. The small Gulf state holds parliamentary elections on Saturday, but critics allege that the election is unfair as some opposition groups have been barred from taking part. Turnout is expected to be low as voters are either boycotting the election, or feel that voting is ineffective.
The US gets a climate update. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s latest climate assessment is expected to focus on the impact of climate change on health and infrastructure. The release of the several hundred-page report on a US holiday has attracted criticism.
Black Friday kicks off. The shopping bonanza has gone global, with Amazon leading the way by offering sales in several markets. In the US, retailers are hoping (paywall) high consumer confidence and low unemployment will provide a healthy kickstart to the all-important holiday season.
While you were sleeping
China’s consulate in Karachi was attacked. Gunmen stormed the building in the Pakistani city, killing at least two policemen.
Spain’s prime minister doubled down on his opposition to Brexit. Pedro Sánchez tweeted that Spain would veto a draft Brexit deal that doesn’t give it a say over the future of Gibraltar (paywall), the British-ruled territory bordering southern Spain.
British police released a video of the Novichok poisoning suspects. The footage showed two men walking towards the victims’ home in Salisbury on March 4, the day former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found to have been poisoned. The two Russian men have been charged in absentia for the attacks.
Another large retailer dropped D&G. Hong Kong luxury department-store Lane Crawford won’t stock the Italian brand, which is facing an explosive backlash in China staring with a series of ads that trafficked in stereotypes about Chinese people. Yoox Net-a-Porter has also dropped the brand from its sites, as have Chinese e-commerce retailers.
Donald Trump voiced support for Saudi Arabia’s crown prince once again. In comments made to reporters on Thanksgiving, the US president disputed the CIA’s claim (paywall) that it blamed Mohammed bin Salman for the death of reporter Jamal Khashoggi, adding that the US’s friendship with Saudi Arabia was responsible for creating “hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
Turkey breeding. This week Donald Trump took part in one of the stranger US political traditions: issuing a pardon to a turkey ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Millions of others weren’t so lucky. There’s a complex and fascinating supply chain that makes that possible: Nearly every single turkey that Americans eat is the product of artificial insemination. Read more here with the Quartz Obsession.
“Tech disruption is sweeping through all countries and all sectors, regardless of income or level of development. We need to be agile to harness the opportunity so tech accelerates our progress to #endpoverty.”
—Kristalina Georgieva, CEO at the World Bank, on “Investment platforms vie to capture a share of global remittances.”
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is leaning less. A group that monitors the monument says that a natural realignment has taken “two centuries” off the 800-year-old tower’s slant.
Trump’s campaign is still spending millions on MAGA merch. Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. paid Ace Specialties, the maker of MAGA hats, and other suppliers over $3 million in the first nine months of 2018.
Russians have become much happier. Healthy living is replacing alcohol (paywall) and curbing the country’s male suicide rate.
Amazon will deliver by fishing boat in India. The company is going to extraordinary lengths in its bid to dominate one of the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce markets.
Japan wants to pay people to leave Tokyo. The government is mulling a proposal that would give people 3 million yen ($27,000) if they find jobs elsewhere.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, ethical turkeys, and generous relocation packages to email@example.com. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our new app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Isabella Steger and edited by Tripti Lahiri.