Ukraine-Russia summit, China’s exports, banana fiasco

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Ukraine and Russia talk peace. At a high-stakes summit in Paris, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky will try to negotiate an end to the conflict in his nation’s southeast. Many of his countrymen fear he’ll concede too much to Vladimir Putin.

The House Judiciary Committee hears the evidence against Trump. Democratic lawyers will present the case for impeaching the US president. On Saturday the committee released a report explaining the constitutional grounds for doing so.

Japan releases revised third-quarter GDP figures. Analysts expect they will be tweaked to an annualized growth of 0.7%, compared to an initial estimate of a 0.2% increase.

Over the weekend

China reported an unexpected drop in exports. They fell 1.1% in November from a year earlier, versus expectations of a 0.8% rise in light of the holiday season. Shipments to the US were down 23% from a year ago, the 12th straight monthly decline.

North Korea conducted a launch-site test. State media said the operation was “of great significance” but gave few details, leaving analysts to speculate it was static engine test. On Saturday the nation’s UN ambassador said denuclearization was now off the negotiating table.

Hong Kong saw the biggest protest since local elections. Organizers estimated the turnout at 800,000 in a demonstration permitted by authorities. Police reported arresting 11 people and seizing a semi-automatic pistol.

Tesco mulled selling its supermarkets in Thailand and Malaysia. A deal could bring in $9 billion for the UK-based retailer, reported the Wall Street Journal, though the plans are still at a preliminary stage. The company has about 2,000 branches in Thailand.

A factory fire killed over 40 people in New Delhi. In an area dotted with illegal manufacturing workshops, a blaze tore through a five-story building where workers made purses and school bags. It was the Indian capital’s second deadliest blaze.

Quartz obsession

Aviation’s most mysterious figure knew exactly what she was doing. Before her disappearance over the Pacific Ocean in 1937, Amelia Earhart did just what she planned to do—open up the world of air travel to an audience that trusted her to show them it could be done. She ended up victorious, in that matter at least. Stow your personal belongings and fasten your seatbelt, the Quartz Obsession is taking off.

Matters of debate

Cities weren’t built for women cyclists. But with some basic bike infrastructure, they can achieve cycling gender parity.

High taxes are good for business. Just look to Finland, where companies benefit from a healthy, educated, and well-off workforce.

Sex ed is too straight. Leaving out LGBTQ lessons contributes to higher rates of unintended pregnancy, sexual violence, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Surprising discoveries

An artist ate a $120,000 banana. David Datuna devoured a controversial installation at Miami’s Art Basel that consisted of a banana duct-taped to a wall.

A bone marrow transplant transformed a man’s DNA. The episode calls into question the reliability of DNA evidence.

Indonesia’s airline suspended its CEO for smuggling a bike. Ari Askhara allegedly tried to dodge taxes by sneaking his new Harley-Davidson onto a plane from France.

A man registered a beehive as a service animal. He wanted to prove how easy it is to declare any creature a service animal.

Avocados are the most dangerous fruit. Mexican growers are hiring private guards to fend off cartel encroachment.

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