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What to watch for today
France goes on strike. High-speed trains, the Eurostar, and the Paris subway will be drastically affected, while many domestic flights have also been canceled. Workers’ unions are staging a large march in Paris today in protest against the government’s pension reform plans.
OPEC wants to cut oil supply further. At its meeting in Vienna, the industry group will be looking to counteract rising production from non-OPEC countries, though ally Russia isn’t yet on board with the plan. Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco will finalize the pricing for its IPO, which could value the company at as much as $1.71 trillion.
India’s central bank prepares to cut rates. The Reserve Bank of India will react to data that showed the country’s economic growth is at its lowest in six years by slashing rates yet again, but any loosening of monetary policy risks further stoking inflation from rising food prices.
While you were sleeping
Japan announced a new $240 billion stimulus package. Prime minister Shinzo Abe aims to stave off a recession as the effects of slowing global trade, a series of natural disasters, and a recent sales tax increase start to bite.
Huawei sued the US government. The Chinese telecom equipment maker is taking legal action against a recent decision by the Federal Communications Commission to blacklist it from the American market, the latest in a recent string of lawsuits filed by the company around the world.
Results of an investigation into Bolivia’s election were announced. The Organization of American States said it found evidence showing that the October election was rigged in favor of then president Evo Morales. Morales, now in Mexico, has described the organization as being in cahoots with “the North American empire.”
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.
Samoa launched a vaccination drive. Families on the Pacific island were told to hang red flags outside their houses to indicate that they are not yet vaccinated against measles. The recent measles outbreak has killed 62 people there.
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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. It’s hard to ensure the permanence of newly planted trees.
Kamala Harris was never in the running for president. Being “electable” in 2019 means being a centrist white male.
Hashtags turn off readers. When #MeToo or #BlackLivesMatter accompanies a tweet, they see the story as less important or biased.
To fight bro culture, hire a philosopher. New York coffee startup Kitu worked with an “ethical-risk” consultant to head off potential problems (paywall).
A people smuggler built a fake border crossing. A man tricked four migrants into thinking they had crossed into Finland from Russia.
Kashmiris are vanishing from WhatsApp groups. Facebook said accounts on the chat app automatically expired after the lengthy internet shutdown in the region.
Chipotle employs nurses to check up on workers who call out sick. If it’s not just a hangover, the company pays for the day off.
Mike Pompeo is a petty nag. So says China’s foreign ministry, which compared the US secretary of state to a pitiable female character from a famous short story.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, waterproof clothing, and corporate philosophers to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Isabella Steger and Tripti Lahiri.