Grilling Boeing’s CEO, Joshua Wong disqualified, turtleneck shortage

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What to watch for today

Boris Johnson tries again for a December election. The British prime minister, who has accepted the EU’s three-month extension of Brexit to Jan. 31, 2020, is abandoning his withdrawal agreement and instead plans to table a bill that would allow him to secure an election with a simple majority.

The US Congress grills Boeing’s CEO. Dennis Muilenburg will appear before a Senate committee investigating two deadly crashes of the 737 Max model that killed 346 people, the first time the company’s executives have been questioned by Congress. Today is the anniversary of the first crash, of a Lion Air flight in Indonesia.

“Davos in the Desert” kicks off. The White House seems to be over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October last year, which US intelligence believes was linked to the kingdom’s crown prince. Jared Kushner, the US president’s son-in-law, and US Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin will attend the event in Riyadh.

General Motors reports earnings. The US-based automaker is expected to show financial repercussions from a recent walkout lasting nearly six weeks. Global demand may be slowing, but GM expects its sales in China, the world’s largest new car market, to rebound next year.

While you were sleeping

Joshua Wong was disqualified from Hong Kong’s November elections. The Hong Kong government said a candidate who supports self-determination can’t run in the local election because they won’t be committed to upholding the city’s status as a part of China.

EU lawmakers went to Indian Kashmir. The 27-person unofficial delegation, hailing from 11 countries and largely from far-right parties, is the first foreign visit to the disputed region since India revoked its special status in August.

An Australian regulator sued Google over smartphone user privacy. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission accused the search giant of misleading users about how it collected and used personal location data. Meanwhile, Google’s parent, Alphabet, saw its stock drop after it missed third-quarter expectations.

A new wildfire threatened Los Angeles. Now named the Getty Fire, the blaze broke out in an area filled with celebrity homes. The state of California called for evacuations while the fire destroyed hundreds of acres and several homes. Thousands are still without power.

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The future of meat is uncertain. Plant-based products that look and taste (almost) like meat are showing up on supermarket shelves and fast food restaurant menus with incredible speed. But might they soon be eclipsed by something else? In this week’s field guide on the future of meat, Quartz reporter Chase Purdy investigates the development of cell-cultured flesh.

Quartz Obsession

Our daily relationship to the sun is encoded on the cellular level. Circadian rhythms tell our bodies when to calm down at night and when to wake up in the morning, and influence body temperature, blood pressure, and hormone levels. In modern life, though, work and school schedules are much more likely to set the tempo of our lives than the sun. The Quartz Obsession gets in sync.

Matters of Debate

Early failures lead to successful careers. An analysis of scientific grant rejections suggests that what doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

Forest preschools should be taken with a grain of salt. The jury’s still out on how much and what kind of outdoor activity early learners should experience.

AI’s got some explaining to do. If we don’t know how machines make decisions, we shouldn’t trust them to determine our fates.

Surprising discoveries

A language snafu sprang a wanted man from jail. Monaco rejected a US extradition request for a man indicted on insider trading charges because it wasn’t in French.

Mars ejected a NASA probe. For the past year, a robot has worked to slowly but surely bury the instrument; on Sunday, the soil spat it out.

Elizabeth Holmes caused a turtleneck shortage. The Theranos arch-scammer is a very popular Halloween costume, apparently.

Humanity’s ancestral home is in Botswana. A contested genetic analysis claims to pinpoint the origins of Homo sapiens.

Palladium is now the most precious metal. Demand has skyrocketed for the material, which is used in pollution-control devices.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, palladium, and ejected probes to Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Tripti Lahiri and edited by Harish C. Menon.