Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Mike Pompeo. The embattled Israeli prime minister, who was indicted for corruption last month, will hold talks with the US secretary of state in Portugal. The two are likely to discuss their shared hardline on Iran.
US impeachment hearings are back. The House judiciary committee will ask four legal scholars to weigh in on whether president Donald Trump’s Ukrainian activity constituted criminal behavior. Separately, an appeals court ordered two banks to comply with subpoenas and hand over financial records to House Democrats.
South America’s Mercosur trade bloc meets in Brazil. The presidents of the four-nation common market will almost certainly be discussing Trump’s surprise move on Monday, when he slapped tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from its two largest members, Brazil and Argentina.
George Soros and Charles Koch launch a think tank. Backed by the two billionaires’ foundations, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft will open its doors a few blocks from the White House, and will advocate a less interventionist US foreign policy.
While you were sleeping=
The US House passed the Uighur Act of 2019.
sanctions against senior Chinese officials
over human rights abuses in the northwest region of Xinjiang, and export bans on surveillance technology. The bill will now go to the Senate for approval before being sent to Trump.
Europe is at an environmental tipping point. A report from the European Environment Agency said the region “faces environmental challenges of unprecedented scale and urgency,” and will likely miss its 2030 environmental targets.
Kamala Harris dropped out of the US presidential race. The California Democratic senator, once seen as a leading contender for the party’s nomination and the only black woman running in the 2020 primary, said she had insufficient financial resources to continue the campaign.
Australia repealed medical evacuations for refugees. A law that allowed sick asylum seekers held in offshore detention centers to be treated in the country was scrapped. Prime minister Scott Morrison had said the law presented a “national security” risk.
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. They will remain board members.
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Matters of debate
Morning routines are a sham. They present false promises of supercharged productivity.
Companies must do more to support traveling LGBTQ employees. Almost all say they feel unsafe on business trips.
Better social connections make for healthier communities. A small British town saw emergency room visits drop after targeting loneliness.
Kim Jong Un rode a white horse up a sacred peak. It’s the North Korean leader’s second stallion-mounted journey in less than two months.
Emmanuel Macron used a toddler psychology trick on Trump. The French president got his US counterpart to support NATO by pretending he wanted the opposite.
A polar bear was found marked with graffiti. It was spray-painted with the letters “T-34,” the name of a World War II-era Soviet tank.
The word of the year is “existential.” So says Dictionary.com, reasoning that it reflects 2019’s themes of “threat and crisis.”
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, happy towns, 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 written by Mary Hui and edited by Isabella Steger.