Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Donald Trump and Greta Thunberg avoid eye contact… The US president and the Swedish climate activist, who have battled on social media, will appear two hours apart at the World Economic Forum. The exclusive confab’s theme this year is “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” Follow along with our Davos Daily Brief.
…while Trump’s impeachment trial starts. Democrats are expected to push for several amendments to the rules laid out by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, which set the parameters of the process. Democrats oppose the condensed timeline of the trial, and also want to make it easier to call witnesses and seek documents.
The House of Lords votes on child refugee protections. After UK prime minister Boris Johnson faced defeats yesterday over amendments to the Brexit bill, he will likely be dealt another setback when the upper house seeks an amendment to ensure unaccompanied child refugees the right to reunite with family in the UK.
While you were sleeping
China confirmed human-to-human transmission of the Wuhan coronavirus. Chinese authorities today said a fourth person had died from the pneumonia-like virus, which has infected more than 200 people in four countries.The World Health Organization will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss the outbreak.
Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump called a truce in their digital tax dispute. The French and American leaders said they would keep negotiating this year over Paris’s plan to apply a 3% levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by tech giants.
A Thai opposition party was acquitted of conspiring against the monarchy. The constitutional court said there were no grounds to dissolve the Future Forward Party (FFP) on this allegation. The party’s fate still hangs in the balance as it faces numerous other cases.
South Korea will dispatch troops to the Strait of Hormuz. The defense ministry announced that its anti-piracy unit, currently deployed off the coast of Africa, will expand operations to the strait in order to protect its citizens and vessels.
The Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy steady. The central bank maintained its short-term interest rate target at -0.1% and revised up its economic growth forecasts to 0.9% from an estimate of of 0.7% made in October, buoyed by the government’s fiscal stimulus package.
A third of the world plays video games. About 60% of Americans say they play them daily. And as the global gaming industry grows, it’s influencing much more than how we spend our free time. From entertainment to government to health care, industries are trying to distill and deploy gaming’s immersive power. In this week’s field guide, Mary Pilon covers everything you need to know about the state of gaming and its impact on our lives.
Matters of debate
Sperm donations from dead men should be allowed. Opt-in post-death sperm donation should be considered no differently than organ donation.
Don’t give your dot-org domain to for-profit companies. The dot-org community was built to support non-profits—and it should remain that way.
It’s impossible to be ethical and competent. A survey of 34,000 people in 28 countries found that no institution is considered both.
Two men created an “Earth sandwich.” A student in New Zealand and an accomplice in Spain placed slices of white bread on precise points on opposite sides of the planet.
Britain’s Royal Mint is celebrating Queen. The commemorative coins feature Queen Elizabeth II on one side and the rock band on the other.
Millennials expect to see nuclear war. More than half of young adults surveyed by the Red Cross think a nuclear attack will happen in the next 10 years.
Your parents’ air conditioner melted the Arctic. Ozone-damaging chemicals used in older ACs and refrigerators accounted for half the warming the Arctic experienced between 1955 and 2005.
A dilapidated manse in Italy will cost you €1. Bisaccia, a town in Italy’s southern Campania region, is putting 90 buildings on the market for one euro, to encourage people to move there.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, rock royalty coins, and renovation subsidies 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 Tripti Lahiri.