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What to watch for today
A legal row could further delay Theresa May’s Brexit timeline. Lawmakers will debate and vote on whether the government broke parliamentary rules by not publishing legal advice regarding Brexit earlier. Opposition members want to launch contempt proceedings, which means parliamentary debate over the prime minister’s Brexit deal is likely to be pushed back.
The CIA updates US senators on Jamal Khashoggi. The intelligence agency’s director Gina Haspel will give a closed briefing (paywall) to several senators on what it knows about the murder of the Saudi journalist. Haspel was criticized for not attending an earlier briefing by defense chief Jim Mattis and secretary of state Mike Pompeo.
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) at a Christie’s auction in New York.
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.
Russia’s athletics federation learns its fate. The International Association of Athletics Federations will decide in Monaco whether the country’s three-year ban for doping will be lifted. The ban was imposed in November 2015, but the country has since been reinstated by the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency.
While you were sleeping
The US said it may end subsidies for electric vehicles. Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council, said that the subsidy (paywall) and others from the Obama administration would be phased out, without giving a timeline. Customers are currently entitled to a $7,500 tax credit for purchasing an electric car.
Malaysia issued an arrest warrant in absentia for a fugitive financier. Jho Low is wanted for money-laundering offenses relating to the embezzlement of funds from the 1MDB state investment fund. Malaysia will seek Interpol’s cooperation to issue a red notice against Low. The US Justice Department filed charges against him last month.
A sexist comment marred a top soccer awards ceremony. Norway’s Ada Hegerberg became the first woman to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or award, but host and DJ Martin Solveig then asked Hegerberg whether she would twerk on stage. Tennis star Andy Murray called the incident “another example of the ridiculous sexism in sport.”
Quora announced a massive data breach. The company said that hackers stole the data of up to 100 million users, including encrypted versions of passwords. The breach comes after Marriott said that hackers leaked information of up to 500 million guests.
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
Join the conversation with the new Quartz app!
The next Bill Gates shouldn’t look like the last one. Stereotypes can discourage young women and people of color from pursuing tech in the first place.
Restaurants are too loud. Minimalist designs and the merging of bars and dining areas mean restaurants are cheaper to build—at the expense of being able to hear one another.
“Perennials,” not millennials, will trigger the next wave of talent-retention efforts. Older workers are now the fastest-growing population of workers in the US.
Japanese train stations have blue LEDs to discourage suicides. The soothing hue helped cut deaths by 84% over 10 years.
Moldy mouse food could delay NASA’s resupply mission to the USS. The mice, to be used in lab experiments in space, are waiting for their food supply to be replenished.
Extravagant weddings are taboo in China. The government wants to put an end to “vulgar wedding practices” like lavish gifts and money paid by the groom’s family to the bride’s.
Robot janitors are coming to Walmart. The biggest US private employer will roll out 360 floor-mopping bots (paywall) 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, yummy mouse food, and low-key wedding plans 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 Alice Truong.