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What to watch for today
Nobel ceremonies. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad will receive this year’s Nobel Peace Prize 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.
The UN has a busy day. The organization celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights across the world as part of Human Rights Day. Representatives of more than 150 countries will also meet in Morocco today to endorse a UN migration pact. A number of countries, including the US, are skipping the meeting in protest.
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 weekend protests.
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. On Sunday, China’s foreign minister summoned the US ambassador in Beijing over the arrest.
The US measures employment changes. The Department of Labor will release its report on October job openings, which had dropped to 7 million in September, as well as turnover. The data come after last week’s solid jobs report showed employers added 155,000 jobs in November.
Over the weekend
Japan’s SoftBank set its price. The telecom multinational priced its upcoming IPO at 1,500 yen per share, to raise $23.5 billion, making it the world’s second largest listing since Alibaba’s 2014 New York debut. Analysts are wary of the impact of a government plan to reduce mobile charges and a potential ban on purchases from Huawei.
A key Brexit ruling. The European Court of Justice ruled the UK has the right to unilaterally cancel its exit from the EU, a boon to Brexit opponents. UK lawmakers will vote tomorrow on whether to proceed with the draft deal reached by prime minister Theresa May and EU leaders.
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. 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 if negotiations aren’t concluded by March 1. The US had until recently 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. Leading candidate Nick Ayers, Mike Pence’s chief of staff, 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.
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 are victims of the economy—not the other way around. College debt and inequality have pushed the American dream further from their grasp than any generation before.
Boasting about how much 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 future of electric cars is being scripted by China. At the mention of “electric car,” you probably think of Tesla and Elon Musk. But a bigger story is unfolding in China—with an effort that’s many times the size of Tesla—and one that’s being paid for by the Chinese government. 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.
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.
A German town has installed Elvis-themed traffic lights. Friedberg, where Elvis was based in the 1950s as a US soldier, already has a town square dedicated to the king of rock and roll.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, cave maps, accurate squid emoji, and swamp monsters 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 Adam Rasmi and edited by Jackie Bischof.