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What to watch for today
Nissan tries to move on. Company board members will discuss a replacement for ousted former chairman Carlos Ghosn. The French government, which indirectly owns a stake in the company, is keen to maintain its leverage in the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance.
The “God letter” auction. Albert Einstein’s handwritten note, in which the revered physicist criticizes the concept of a Biblical god and the superstition of religion, is expected to fetch at least $1 million (paywall) during a Christie’s auction.
German auto execs visit DC. Chief executives from BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen are expected to meet US trade representatives at the White House (paywall). This follows months of threats by Donald Trump to hike import penalties on German carmakers.
While you were sleeping
The US-China trade truce is filled with uncertainties. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow claimed a number of agreements were made in Buenos Aires, including reduced Chinese tariffs on US autos, but Beijing has not confirmed any details. Donald Trump also appointed China critic Robert Lighthizer (paywall) to conduct the next round of talks.
Tencent Music launched its IPO. The music unit of the Chinese tech giant is raising $1.2 billion as it arrives on the New York Stock Exchange. Such a large IPO so far into the calendar year is relatively rare (paywall), the company was under pressure to move quickly amid the unpredictable US-China trade war.
Russia and SpaceX carried out successful launches. Expedition 58 lifted off from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome, carrying three astronauts to the International Space Station. The team will orbit for six months, with their mission well-documented by NASA’s impressive social media department. Meanwhile, SpaceX had its 19th launch this year, sending 64 satellites into space at once—the most ever by a US launch vehicle.
Apple is reportedly delaying its 5G iPhone. Bloomberg reports that Apple wants to avoid early-installment issues (paywall) for the latest telecom standard and will push back its first 5G device to 2020. That could give competitors like Samsung a leg up when the network upgrade begins to roll out next year.
A US-appointed human rights group called for a tribunal on Myanmar. The Public International Law and Policy Group, hired by the US state department, unequivocally concluded that violence against Rohingya Muslims constitutes genocide, after on-site investigations and interviews with over 1,000 refugees.
Simultaneous invention: Much as everyone loves the idea of the lone genius, many of science’s most important breakthroughs—like the discovery of oxygen, the polio vaccine, the invention of calculus, and color photography—took place in many places at once. Investigate the phenomenon in today’s Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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The next Bill Gates won’t look like the last one. Girls who have huge dreams of careers in tech shouldn’t have to rely on luck, writes Gates Foundation co-chair Melinda Gates.
Harvard is pushing forward with gene-edited sperm. The CRISPR-altered cells won’t be used to create a viable embryo—at least not yet.
Parents are putting GPS monitors on their teenage children. The use of shackle-like monitoring devices is a booming industry.
Japanese train stations have blue LED lights to discourage suicides. The soothing hue helped cut deaths by 84% over 10 years.
Nigeria’s president insisted he has not been replaced by a cloned imposter. Muhammadu Buhari tried to quash rumors that have sprung up about his health.
People prefer to sweat in the comfort of their own homes. Stationary bike startup Peloton is edging ahead of SoulCycle.
Robot janitors are coming to Walmart. The biggest US private employer will roll out 360 floor-mopping bots (paywall) from Brain Corp by the end of January.
Despite climate chaos, it’s been a good year for white truffles. After a productively rainy season in Italy’s Piedmont region, the elusive fungus has popped up in record numbers.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, cloning conspiracies, and white truffles 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 and edited by McKinley Noble and Adam Pasick.