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Here’s what you need to know
A US House committee is releasing Donald Trump’s tax returns. In its assessment of the filings, the panel condemned the US’s tax agency for failing to adequately vet the former president.
Elon Musk confirmed he intends to step down as CEO of Twitter. But first, he said he needs to find someone “foolish enough” to take over.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy is traveling to Washington, DC. The Ukrainian president is expected to plead his case to US Congress for advanced weapons and financial support.
Amazon and the EU reached an antitrust agreement. The e-commerce giant has committed to making significant changes to its business to avoid a potential $47 billion fine.
Wells Fargo agreed to pay $3.7 billion to settle claims of improper practices. The bank will pay a record $1.7 billion fine and $2 billion in penalties for harming millions of customers in the past decade.
3M set a 2025 deadline to stop producing so-called forever chemicals. The decision comes amid increased litigation against the use of the harmful substances and is expected to cost the company up to $2.3 billion.
US Congress killed a major bipartisan wildlife conservation bill. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would have been paid for by closing a crypto tax loophole.
What to watch for
Amsterdam’s municipal government has proposed a series of reforms to reduce “nuisance tourism,” including restrictions on cannabis sales, stag parties, and pub crawls. The popular party destination for European visitors will also run a “stay away” ad campaign, as officials aim to improve liveability and safety for its residents.
The Dutch city has long been a hot spot for visitors looking to enjoy liberalized drug laws, legalized sex work, and an “anything-goes” attitude. But as residents increasingly complain of late-night noise and dangerous encounters with unruly tourists, elected officials are looking to rebrand the city as a destination for travelers who are looking for something different.
The reforms also include banning public cannabis consumption, converting hotel spaces into residential homes, and setting a hard cap on the number of available beds in the city. Amsterdam’s city council will vote on the proposed measures today (Dec 21).
Starlink isn’t just for calling in missile strikes
Ukraine’s fight against Russian invaders has been enabled by Starlink, the world’s largest satellite network operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Military forces and civilians in Ukraine have depended on the internet service to get by—and so has the country’s economy.
In 2021, before the conflict began, Ukraine exported $6.8 billion in IT services, about a tenth of the country’s total sales abroad. Internet companies in Ukraine have been using generators and Starlink connections to meet the demand for their work. Any post-war recovery is going to depend on the country’s digital economy and, to a large extent, continued use of Starlink.
Here are some other Starlink stats to know:
22,000: Terminals to access Starlink internet sent to Ukraine since Russia invaded
10,000: Additional terminals SpaceX is sending to Ukraine
1 million: Global Starlink customers
$1 billion: Annual revenue SpaceX likely generates from Starlink
Pop quiz: The cost of APR
What does using credit cards over cash cost the average American household each year?
We can thank a little acronym—APR—for much of that expense. That’s not advanced pain relief or average penalty rate, but annual percentage rate, and it’s becoming all too familiar as people turn to credit for their shopping this holiday season.
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Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, recovered jewels, and Lego sets to firstname.lastname@example.org. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Tim Fernholz, Sofia Lotto Persio, Diego Lasarte, Julia Malleck, and Morgan Haefner.