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Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in. She cements a 6-3 conservative majority in the US Supreme Court, as Republicans in the Senate pushed through a vote to confirm her nomination to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shortly before the US presidential election.
Facebook’s deadline for new political ads has passed. Political advertisers can no longer submit ads to the social media platform, following an earlier decision to not allow new political ads in the week before election day. Meanwhile, Twitter flagged a tweet by US president Trump about mail-in ballots as “disputed.”
A study signals fading immunity to the novel coronavirus. Research by Imperial College London suggests protection after infection may not endure as long as hoped, raising uncertainty about immunity to subsequent waves of Covid-19. Separately, drugmaker Eli Lilly said its experimental antibody treatment was ineffective on advanced Covid-19 cases; trials will continue on newly infected patients.
Dunkin’ Brands could be acquired for nearly $9 billion. Doughnut maker Dunkin’ has been a strong performer during the pandemic thanks to its digital business and contact-free takeout. Inspire Brands is in talks to acquire Dunkin’ Brands, which also includes Baskin Robbins, at a 20% premium to its already high-flying share price.
Ant Group’s mega IPO is already oversubscribed. The “Amazon of money,” which is gearing up for a dual listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai, will stop taking investor orders for the Hong Kong leg of its share sale one day early. The Chinese fintech giant is poised to raise $34.5 billion, with a valuation dwarfing the GDP of Finland.
China’s Fifth Plenary Session is underway. The Communist Party’s top leaders have gathered in Beijing to craft the country’s economic and political agenda for the next five years as well as a longer term 2035 “vision.” President Xi Jinping has endorsed a “dual circulation” model of developing domestic markets leading up to the meetings.
New currencies, old problems
American equity markets fell sharply on Monday as much of the world continues to struggle with the novel coronavirus. One asset class that bucked the trend? Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency is up double digits over the last seven days after nearly doubling since the beginning of the year.
Here’s what else we’re tracking in the world of digital money:
🇨🇳 China’s digital yuan is still in its infancy, but the virtual currency is already being faked.
🇳🇬 Bitcoin is powering the largest Nigerian protests in a generation.
Charting recession-proof jobs
During a recession, not all sectors are hit equally. Quartz data editor Dan Kopf looked at the two major US recessions of the 21st century to find out which industries are the most resilient.
Recessions, of course, are not the only risk that could lead to job losses. Workers hit hard by Covid-19 layoffs may be in for another blow: automation. Jobs that have been greatly impacted by Covid-19, and are at high risk of being lost to automation, include:
- 🚕 Taxi drivers
- 💁♀️ Restaurant servers
- 👷 Highway maintenance workers
- 🚌 School bus drivers
To see the likelihood that your job could be at risk due to automation, consult the full report.
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The US-China tech divorce
To explore how the internet is splintering, we reported on hypothetical news events from five years in the future. These deductive dispatches help unpack the stakes of present-day battles between tech giants, politicians, and internet freedom fighters that are directly shaping our online future.
Our Oct. 25, 2025 report by a fictional Chinese newspaper, the Global Journal, imagines the potential outcome of the current fight over who should control TikTok in the US. For a glimpse into this heightened era of internet fragmentation, dive into our guide to the splinternet.
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Kazakhstan hated the first Borat, but loves its sequel. Its tourism board is embracing Sacha Baron Cohen’s new satire and the titular character’s catchphrase, “very nice!“
Japan wants to sweep away its tattoo taboo. Ink aficionados hope tattooed foreign athletes at next year’s Tokyo Olympics will help tattoos go mainstream.
Water for moon humans. Evidence of water molecules on our moon’s sunny side means more hope for extended Earthling stays.
Water for Mayans. The ancient civilization constructed its own water filters from quartz (!) and zeolite.
Gotta censor them all. The Pokémon Company changed the names of six of its catchable creatures to avoid offending China.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, postcards from Kazakhstan, and unabridged Pokémon names to firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Mary Hui, Tripti Lahiri, Susan Howson, Max Lockie, Amanda Shendruk, and John Detrixhe.