Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Russia releases preliminary GDP figures. Tomorrow’s figures should indicate whether the economy is emerging from doldrums that began during the war in Ukraine. The economy shrank 0.4% last quarter from a year previous, which was less than analysts had expected.
India publishes trade statistics. Gold imports more than doubled in October, and they’re to climb even higher in November in the wake of the government’s attempt to flush out illicit cash hoarding.
South Korea, Japan and the US discuss Pyongyang. Representatives from the three countries meet in Seoul to flesh out plans for new sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear program. The UN security council passed a resolution in November to target coal sales.
While you were sleeping
Donald Trump unloaded on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet program. He claimed on Twitter the stealth fighter program is “out of control,” promising “billions of dollars” in savings on military purchases. Lockheed’s stock fell nearly 5%, erasing $3.5 billion from its market capitalization.
US Republicans backed an investigation into Russian election hacking. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and House speaker Paul Ryan both said they would look into allegations that Moscow interfered in the US presidential race. That puts them in opposition to Trump, who attacked the CIA for its conclusions about Russia’s involvement.
The Redstone family gave up on a CBS-Viacom merger. The media mogul’s family, which controls the formerly conjoined companies, canceled plans to bring them back together. That amounts to a bet that Viacom, the struggling owner of MTV and Comedy Central, can bounce back on its own.
António Guterres was sworn in as UN secretary general. The former Portuguese prime minister promised to resolve ongoing conflicts and reform the 71-year-old institution. Guterres will likely name Nigeria’s environment minister Amina Mohammed as his deputy.
Paolo Gentiloni took the reigns as Italy’s new prime minister. He opted to keep almost the entire cabinet from his predecessor Matteo Renzi, who resigned after losing a national referendum. The loss of support from a small center-right party could threaten Gentiloni’s parliamentary majority.
Quartz obsession interlude
Gwynn Guilford on the brewing war between Trump and Janet Yellen. “A Trump boom that boosts US economic potential by spurring business investment will not necessarily be dangerously inflationary, all else being equal. However, as employment and investment rise, prices will inevitably rise—even more so if Trump raises trade barriers as promised.” Read more here.
Quartz haiku interlude
Russia slashes oil
production. Who says Putin
can’t play with others?
Matters of debate
The vegetarian revolution is nigh. Innovative new veggie burgers will make it easier to admit that factory farming is horrible.
“Female” bots are the opposite of futuristic. They represent a badly outdated version of womanhood.
Exchange traded funds need to be carefully scrutinized. Investing pioneer Jack Bogle says ETFs have radically changed the way the stock market works.
Mozart outsold Drake and Beyoncé in 2016. The composer moved more CDs than anyone thanks to a massive box set.
Christmas is a merry health hazard. Regulators have compiled a massive list of Yuletide injuries, many related to holiday decorations.
New York City is facing “persistent flooding.” If sea levels rise one foot, 60 square miles could be underwater by 2050.
Linkedin is the best place to find experienced Santas. The social networking site for job seekers is chock full of holiday hopefuls.
Scottish Amazon workers are living in a tent city. They would rather brave the cold than bear the cost of their lengthy commute.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, Mozart CDs, and Christmas injuries to email@example.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.