Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
US impeachment hearings are back. In this round of questioning, the House judiciary committee will ask four legal scholars to weigh in on whether president Donald Trump’s Ukrainian activity constituted criminal behavior. The White House won’t send any lawyers of its own.
China’s top diplomat goes to Seoul. Wang Yi, who hasn’t been to South Korea in five years, will meet with his counterpart Kang Kyung-wha and South Korean president Moon Jae-in. China hopes to improve relations amid a long-standing dispute over its neighbor’s installment of a US missile defense system.
FIZZ may stay flat. National Beverage—the fifth-largest US-based soda and beverage company (with the best ticker symbol)—has shown decreasing sales in recent quarters, but estimates differ on whether sparkling water brand LaCroix’s image scrubbing will buoy its parent company’s numbers this time around.
While you were sleeping
Larry Page and Sergey Brin ceded control of Alphabet. The co-founders announced in a letter that Sundar Pichai will take over as CEO of Google’s parent company. Page and Brin will remain board members.
The US Congress released an impeachment report. The Democrat-controlled House judiciary committee summarized the evidence it has collected in a 300-page document. While it doesn’t recommend specific articles of impeachment, it strongly implies the president obstructed the congressional investigation.
India’s lost lunar lander was found—with the help of an Indian app developer and amateur space enthusiast. NASA released an annotated satellite photo of the crash site, which galactic gumshoe Shanmuga Subramanian had spotted weeks earlier.
Hope for a US-China trade deal dimmed. Trump told reporters he liked “the idea of waiting until after the election” to strike a deal, and commerce secretary WIlbur Ross said the US will go through with plans to add new tariffs in mid-December if nothing changes. Stocks plummeted, but Trump called the drop “peanuts.”
Trump rushed to NATO’s defense. In a departure from his habitual bashing of the European alliance, Trump rebuked French president Emannuel Macron’s comments about NATO’s “brain death,” calling them “very, very nasty” and “very dangerous” for France.
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Age-related dementia is the greatest health and economic challenge facing our aging planet. And if you have a family member who suffers from it, you’ve probably asked yourself if one day you could also develop the condition. Based on health and demographic data from around the world, we calculated the odds. Read more in this week’s field guide.
Do you have a black belt in management? Six Sigma, the technique for eliminating defects in manufacturing, used to be a de rigueur credential for CEOs—available through an easy, breezy 134-hour, $12,649 course. The technique helped propel General Electric to its position as the most valuable company in the world in 2000. But times have changed: GE, and Six Sigma, are on the decline. Train your mind with the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
Companies must do more to support traveling LGBTQ employees. 95% say they feel unsafe on business trips.
Failing to invest in people is a sure route to a corporate crisis. There are a few clear signs that a company’s culture is in trouble.
Distracted walking should be made illegal. Pedestrians, with their eyes on the screens in their hands, are road safety hazards.
15-year-olds can’t tell the difference between fact and opinion. Students often fail to pick up on “implicit cues pertaining to the content or source of the information.”
Hong Kong is still a popular international destination. A new report found that months of political unrest hasn’t changed much—so far.
The word of the year is “existential.” So says Dictionary.com, reasoning that it reflects 2019’s themes of “threat and crisis.”
Three guys drove from New York to LA in 27.5 hours. They kept their record-shattering (and illegal) pace with the help of an array of cop-dodging gadgets.
There’s a new way to calculate “dog years.” A canine’s first year counts for 31 human years. You’ll need a calculator to work out the rest.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Hong Kong travel tips, and existential dread to email@example.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app on iOS or Android, and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Susan Howson and Nicolás Rivero.