Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Ukraine’s parliament votes on declaring martial law. The move comes after Russian vessels fired on and seized three Ukrainian boats, which Russia said had illegally entered its waters, late Sunday. An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council has also been called for today by Russia to discuss the matter.
Mitsubishi ousts Carlos Ghosn as chairman. At a meeting in Tokyo this afternoon, the carmaker’s board will meet to remove him from the role, after Nissan did the same last week following the arrest of the executive over allegations of financial misconduct. Nissan has a 34% stake in Mitsubishi.
An Apple antitrust case reaches the US Supreme Court. The tech giant is accused of monopolizing the market for iPhone apps, leading to inflated prices. A key issue is the 30% commission it gets on purchases in its App Store.
Another huge shopping day in the US. Today is expected to be the biggest US online-shopping day ever, with sales of almost $8 billion. The shopping bonanza has expanded to beyond the US.
NASA’s Insight touches down on Mars. The spacecraft will measure “Marsquakes” and study the internal heat of the planet—assuming it lands safely. You can watch the attempt on NASA TV between 2pm and 3:30pm ET.
Over the weekend
Brussels endorsed Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Leaders from EU nations sounded unenthused but promised “as close as possible a partnership” with the UK after Britain leaves the bloc on March 29. May now begins a PR offensive to rally the public and lawmakers, with prospects of the deal clearing parliament presently dim.
China may have created the world’s first genetically modified babies. A Chinese researcher said that he altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments, resulting in twin girls whose DNA have been altered by CRISPR technology. He said his goal was to create humans who would be born with resistance to HIV.
Mexico said it would deport 500 Central American migrants. The announcement came after hundreds of migrants tried to cross the fence at the US border near Tijuana. US troops also used tear gas to disperse the migrants, which included women and young children.
Fuel-price protests turned violent in Paris. Thousands of protesters set fire to barricades on the Champs-Elysées and broke shop windows in response to rising taxes on diesel. President Emmanuel Macron said he won’t back down on fuel costs, but conceded that the government would do more to address the grievances of lower-income citizens.
Taiwan’s ruling party took an election beating. Voters turned away from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party and toward the China-friendly opposition Kuomintang, pleasing Beijing. The march toward marriage equality also took a hit after referendums opposing same-sex marriage emerged victorious.
Quartz obsession interlude
Amanda Shendruk on how Canadians are more polite than Americans—on Twitter: “Researchers at McMaster University analyzed 40 million tweets from English speakers both north and south of the 49th parallel. They discovered that words used disproportionately by Canadians or Americans on the social media platform match commonly held national stereotypes. Words over-represented in Canadian tweets tended to be more positive, while those over-represented in American tweets include negative language and profanity.” Read more here.
“Time’s up. The movies never show us who has to clean up the destruction after the house party. It’s us. Economic losses at 2x the Great Recession by 2100. Let’s hope this gets the action we need.”
—Beth Comstock, author, on “U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy“
Quasars are disappearing. Scientists have a few working theories as to why some of the radiant celestial bodies are winking out.
Japan’s new cybersecurity minister is seriously unqualified. Yoshitaka Sakurada, who earlier confessed he’d never used a computer, is also “not that familiar” with cybersecurity (paywall).
This Black Friday was a historic one for e-commerce. Over a third of sales happened on smartphones.
AI surveillance in China mistook a moving bus ad for a person. Traffic police in Ningbo apologized for snaring a commercial image of a CEO as part of an effort to expose jaywalkers.
Ohio is letting businesses pay taxes in bitcoin. The US state hopes to show that it’s tech-savvy and forward-thinking by accepting the cryptocurrency.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Canadian tweets, and qualified job candidates to firstname.lastname@example.org. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Isabella Steger and edited by Tripti Lahiri.