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What to watch for today
OPEC wants to cut oil supply further. The coalition will meet today in Vienna to discuss the move as a way to counteract rising production from non-OPEC countries, though Russia isn’t yet on board with the plan. Meanwhile, the price Saudi Aramco is considering for its forthcoming IPO may make it the world’s biggest.
India’s central bank makes its own cuts… The Reserve Bank of India will react to data that showed the country’s economy is at its lowest in six years by slashing its repo rates yet again, though it may not be enough to turn things around.
…While Japan could give its economy a boost. The government has reportedly been mulling over a ¥13 trillion ($120 billion) stimulus package, which the cabinet could approve as early as today.
While you were sleeping
WeWork China set big 2020 goals. The China division of the office leasing company aims to make as much as $500 million in revenue next year, up from $99.5 million in 2018, according to Reuters calculations.
The head of a Japanese aid agency was killed in Afghanistan. Tetsu Nakamura, the chief of Peace Japan Medical Services, and five others were killed in an ambush. Nakamura had worked in the region since 1984 and had recently been granted honorary Afghan citizenship.
The US special peace envoy visited Kabul. The US State Department said Zalmay Khalilzad made an unannounced stop on his way to Doha, where he’ll resume talks with the Taliban.
Instagram wants to know how old you are. The Facebook-owned social media giant announced it now requires birth dates for new users as it prepares to launch ads for age-restricted goods, like alcohol.
Donald Trump left the NATO summit early. The US president canceled a press conference after a video emerged of world leaders poking fun at him for holding lengthy press conferences. Trump responded by calling Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau “two-faced.”
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Dementia might not be preventable, but it could be detected earlier. That’s the promise of the Mobile Toolbox project, which wants to measure populations’ cognitive health in the least invasive way possible—through the time already spent on a smartphone. Quartz reporter Katherine Ellen Foley investigates as part of this week’s field guide on disrupting dementia.
Waterproof fabric’s history illustrates the never-ending struggle to stay dry. Animals are able to naturally fend off wetness but humans have had to create different forms of weatherproof materials, from animal intestines to the high-tech fabrics of today. Absorb the details in the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
Carbon credits don’t work. The tree-planting projects meant to offset carbon footprints could easily go up in smoke.
Baby, it’s bland outside. Christmas music doesn’t have to be boring, we just need to expand our definition of the genre.
Better social connections make for healthier communities. A small British town saw emergency room visits drop after it targeted loneliness.
Climate change front-liners are in another sort of danger. The nations with the most murders related to environmental activism are in the Global South.
Hashtags turn off readers. When #MeToo or #BlackLivesMatter accompanies a publication’s article tweet, the public sees the story as less important or politically biased.
To fight bro culture, hire a philosopher. Coffee startup Kitu worked with an “ethical-risk” consultant to head off potential problems.
Are you ill or just hungover? Chipotle employs nurses to check up on workers who call out sick.
A Saudi Arabian sports city will go by different rules. Western laws on women, workers’ rights, and alcohol will prevail in the new city-state.
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