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What to watch for today
The Nobel awards ceremony. This year’s winners of the Nobel Peace Prize will receive their award in Oslo, where they will deliver a lecture, in the presence of King Harald V of Norway. In Sweden, King Carl XVI Gustaf will present the other laureates their medals and diplomas.
A key Brexit ruling. The European Court of Justice delivers its ruling on whether the UK has a right to unilaterally cancel Brexit, with the answer likely being yes. UK lawmakers will vote tomorrow on the Brexit deal reached by prime minister Theresa May and EU leaders.
Emmanuel Macron addresses the “yellow jackets.” The French president will break his silence tonight on the demonstrations that have disrupted Paris for weeks. Nearly 1,000 people were held in custody and 71 injured after protests on Saturday.
A Canadian court rules on bail for Huawei’s CFO. Documents show Meng Wanzhou, who faces extradition to the US for allegedly violating sanctions on Iran, argued she should get bail for health reasons, noting she was taken to a hospital after her arrest for high blood pressure. On Sunday, China’s foreign minister summoned the US ambassador in Beijing over the arrest.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70. The UN document will be celebrated across the world, including Paris, Santiago, New York, and San Francisco, as part of Human Rights Day.
Over the weekend
Carlos Ghosn was indicted in Japan. Prosecutors indicted Nissan’s former chairman for understating his pay and also charged the company with financial violations. Ghosn had been in custody since his Nov. 19 arrest in Tokyo, and today was the last day he could be held without being charged or arrested on new grounds. If found guilty, Ghosn could face 10 years in prison.
The US set a “hard deadline” for a China trade deal. Trade representative Robert Lighthizer said new tariffs will be imposed unless negotiations reach a successful end by March 1. Until last weekend, the US had planned to raise tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods on Jan. 1.
The search is on for Trump’s next chief of staff. Donald Trump said John Kelly will leave the White House by the end of the year. Nick Ayers, Mike Pence’s chief of staff and seen as a leading candidate to replace Kelly, said Sunday he turned down the job because he didn’t want to commit to two years. Other contenders now include Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and congressman Mark Meadows.
France told Trump to stop interfering with its politics. Foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a television interview the US president should “leave our nation be,” after Trump linked France’s protests to the Paris Agreement. He also revealed the government opened an investigation into whether Russian elements used social media to amplify the conflict.
Six people died in a stampede in an Italian night club. Dozens were also injured when disco goers panicked after an acrid smell, suspected to be pepper spray, permeated the club. The dead, five minors and an adult, fell off a walkway outside an emergency exit after a railing collapsed.
Crying at work is a sensitive topic. But maybe it shouldn’t be, especially because it’s another way women are put at a disadvantage in the workplace. They’re judged as too emotional for doing so—while men can be seen as sincere for it. (Men also have more leeway for showing anger and frustration at work.) And prohibitions against crying are a relatively recent development, not written in stone. Share some emotion at the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
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Millennials didn’t kill the US economy. Young people took on debt to pursue a college degree, only to discover the cost would push the American dream further from their grasp.
Boasting about how many hours you work is a sign of failure. Productivity dramatically decreases with longer hours, making grueling schedules ultimately not worth the trouble.
The Protestant work ethic is real. In a study in the Philippines, villagers taught a religious curriculum saw a 9% increase in income relative to a control group taught a secular program.
The charts that show how trucking is changing. Hauling freight over roads has long been a part of business, but due to the rapid growth of e-commerce, that practice in the US has dramatically increased in the past 20 years. Plus, trucking is still one of the most deadly occupations in America, and safety numbers have remained stubbornly flat for the last decade. Read more here.
Apple’s squid emoji is upside down. One marine biologist said the squid’s wrongly placed siphon is like “having a butt on your forehead.”
Tens of thousands of species are still being discovered each year. From spinning spiders to vibrant red coral, 2018 was full of wondrous new plants and animals.
A mysterious swamp monster was found in Florida. The reticulated siren, a giant salamander that’s been seen a handful of times since 1970, just made its scientific debut in Plos One.
College football’s best player has his eyes on baseball. Heisman winner Kyler Murray has already signed a Major League Baseball (paywall) contract to play for the Oakland A’s.
Researchers are keeping a cave’s location secret to thwart Instagram tourists. They’ve named it Sarlacc’s Pit, an homage to a Star Wars creature that lived in the Great Pit of Carkoon.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, cave maps, and accurate squid emoji to email@example.com. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Alice Truong and edited by Tripti Lahiri.