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What to watch for today
Boris Johnson welcomes new lawmakers. The UK prime minister will address 109 new Conservative lawmakers elected last week, in preparation for what he hopes will be the final attempt to get his Brexit bill passed before Christmas. Talks to revive Northern Ireland’s legislature, inactive for three years, will also begin.
India remains on edge. Schools in southeast Delhi will be closed following a weekend of nationwide protests against the recently passed citizenship law. In the capital, protesters torched vehicles, while police used tear gas and baton rounds against them and stormed into the Jamia Millia Islamia University campus to make arrests.
Lebanon’s former prime minister returns. Saad al-Hariri, who resigned amid widespread demonstrations in October, is set to be named as prime minister again as the country tries to form a new government to lead it out of a political and economic crisis. Security forces cracked down on protesters in Beirut over the weekend.
Over the weekend
A Premier League star was censured by China. Mesut Özil, a German of Turkish descent who plays for Arsenal, spoke out against China’s oppression of Uyghur Muslims on social media. The club distanced itself from his comments, while Chinese broadcasters responded by dropping Arsenal matches.
The UN climate talks ended in disappointment. The COP25 talks in Madrid failed to produce bold pledges from major nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions more rapidly, despite the proceedings running two days longer than planned.
France extradited a former Argentine police officer. Following an eight-year legal tussle, France sent Mario Sandoval, who had been living as a French citizen, to Buenos Aires to face trial over his role in the torture and disappearance of a student during the country’s military dictatorship.
Japan and South Korea moved to further defuse tensions. Senior representatives from the two countries met in Tokyo today to discuss export controls, the first bilateral meetings at this level since 2016. The neighbors have been in a diplomatic standoff since July, but tensions began to thaw in November under US pressure.
Thailand saw its biggest protests since the 2014 military coup. About 10,000 supporters of the Future Forward party took to the streets in Bangkok. Authorities have made moves to dissolve the party, which did well in a long-awaited general election earlier this year.
Ten years ago, Hallmark aired its first holiday movie marathon. The network’s “Countdown to Christmas”—brimming with predictably cheesy, always snowy, overwhelmingly white holiday cheer—consistently catapults Hallmark to become the most-watched and highest-rated US cable channel in November and December. That success has bred an explosion of new holiday movies, and a slew of questions about representation. Tune in with the Quartz Obsession.
Matters of debate
Fragile masculinity is the biggest obstacle to climate action. Insecure dudes like guzzling gas to flex their manhood.
Startups often start with the wrong people. Founders have to be willing to fire them if they can’t keep up.
“Lab-grown meat” by any other name wouldn’t sell. Industry executives can’t agree on what to call their product.
Scorned creditors want a crypto CEO’s body exhumed. Gerald Cotten apparently took a vast sum of money to his grave last year—but some suspect he faked his own death.
Hermit crabs face human-like inequality. The distribution of the best shells follows a similar pattern to the distribution of human wealth.
Taylor Swift called out “the unregulated world of private equity.” The pop queen singled out music financiers who buy and sell artists’ catalogues “as if it’s an app or a shoe line.”
Chinese criminal gangs are exploiting the pork crisis. They’re spreading items contaminated with African swine fever to coerce farmers into selling them hogs at low prices.
A Lithuanian airport made a contraband Christmas tree. Security personnel used confiscated knives, scissors, lighters, and nail clippers to make the sharp decoration.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, holiday movies, and confiscated nail clippers 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 Isabella Steger and edited by Tripti Lahiri.