Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The US Senate considers AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. The companies’ CEOs will try to persuade the judiciary committee that the $108.7 billion deal will increase competition. Tech billionaire Mark Cuban will also testify that it will create a new competitor for Facebook and Google.
India’s central bank looks to cut rates. With the economy sputtering from demonitization, the Reserve Bank of India is expected to drop (paywall) its benchmark interest rate by .25 points to 6%. (In yesterday’s Daily Brief, we mistakenly said the decision would be made on Dec. 6.)
India launches an imaging satellite. It’s the seventh satellite launch this year for the fast-growing space agency. The five-year mission will provide data to monitor natural resources.
While you were sleeping
Donald Trump took on Boeing… The president-elect said costs for new Air Force One airplanes are “out of control” and called for the Boeing contract to be cancelled. The attack came immediately after Boeing’s CEO publicly fretted about Trump’s anti-trade views.
…and announced an investment deal with Softbank. After meeting with Trump, CEO Masayoshi Son said his Japanese tech firm will invest $50 billion and create 50,000 jobs in the US (paywall), while providing no details. The company is seeking US government approval to merge its Sprint subsidiary with competitor T-Mobile US.
Angela Merkel endorsed a ban on full-face veils. Facing an uphill re-election battle, the German chancellor said full-face veils should be banned “wherever it is legally possible” under Germany’s constitution. Similar bans have been enacted in France, Belgium, and Switzerland.
The US Supreme Court backed Samsung over Apple. In a unanimous decision, judges threw out a ruling that ordered the South Korean giant to pay a $399 million penalty for violating Apple’s patents. The case was returned to an appeals court with instructions to decide on a smaller penalty for copying iPhone designs.
Lego hired its first foreign boss. The toymaker announced that British COO Bali Padda will become CEO, and its family owners will take a more active role in the company. Outgoing boss Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, who oversaw a decade of impressive growth, will take charge of the overall Lego brand.
Quartz obsession interlude
Josh Horwitz on the US companies and states that will suffer most if US-China relations worsen: “Any trade war that introduced new tariffs on US goods sold in China or made it more difficult for US companies to do business there would hurt some profoundly. In the aggregate, US soybeans farmers, auto makers, and aircraft companies export the most to China.” Read more here.
Quartz haiku interlude
The skyward cranes join
and part in flight, kind of like
two stock indices
Matters of debate
Beijing will be the real winner if Facebook enters China. Censoring content in exchange for market access would be a pyrrhic victory for Mark Zuckerberg.
The West’s center-left is in free fall. Francois Hollande’s demise is a sign of the times, one that mirrors politicians throughout the western hemisphere.
Tamil Nadu’s most shameful political moment fueled Jayalalithaa’s rise. The late Indian politician was a victim turned abuser.
David Bowie is treating Buzz Aldrin in a New Zealand hospital. The astronaut’s doctor shares a name with the late rockstar who penned “Space Oddity.”
Polar sea ice the size of India has disappeared. Greenhouse gases, an El Niño weather event, and freak natural swings are all possible culprits.
The speed of light could be slowing down. Some scientists believe that the supposed constant was faster in the early moments of the universe.
JP Morgan Chase’s new credit card may be too popular. The premium Sapphire Reserve card is expected to reduce the bank’s quarterly profits by up to $300 million.
San Francisco’s airport now features a therapy pig. LiLou is trained to reduce the stress of travel (she’s also huge on Instagram.)
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