Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Vladimir Putin takes a bath with Shinzo Abe. The Russian president and Japanese prime minister are meeting at a traditional ryokan inn in Japan’s Yamaguchi prefecture, ahead of a more formal summit on Friday in Tokyo. They are expected to discuss a peace treaty that would finally end hostilities from World War II.
Super Mario Run bolts from the starting line. The highly anticipated Nintendo game—its first true foray onto Apple’s iPhones—has already boosted the company’s stock price as investors salivate over pre-orders and pre-release hype.
An update on UK retail sales. Analysts expect a 5.8% increase—a show of strength that may not last if Brexit forces retailers to raise prices.
While you were sleeping
The Fed finally raised interest rates. The US central bank hiked its benchmark rate by 0.25 percentage points, squeezing in an increase during the waning days of the year. The Fed hinted that it could raise rates three more times in 2017.
Beijing installed weapons in the South China Sea. Satellite images showed anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems on all seven of China’s artificial islands, according to a US think tank. A top US naval commander said the US is prepared to “confront” China “when we must.”
The biggest names in tech met with Donald Trump. CEOs from Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Tesla, and other Silicon Valley A-listers (but not Twitter) sat down with the president-elect and three of his adult children to discuss immigration policy, free trade, cybersecurity, and taxes. He told the group to “keep going with the incredible innovation.”
Yahoo revealed it suffered an enormous data breach. The media giant announced that hackers stole personal data associated with more than 1 billion accounts in August 2013. The company’s disclosure could affect the terms of its sale to Verizon, which only learned of the attack after they agreed on a deal.
Miss World lifted the speech ban on one of its contestants. The beauty pageant’s organizers have allowed Canada’s Anastasia Lin to speak with media in the run-up to the event, ending a weeks-long moratorium on her engagement with reporters. Lin will likely discuss a documentary she helped film about human rights abuses in China, which could rattle the competition’s many Chinese sponsors.
Quartz obsession interlude
Johnny Simon on what Americans ate 100 years ago during the holiday season. “Old school-crudité (especially celery) are common on most menus shown, as are oysters (preparation unknown). The tried and true roasts of turkey, beef or fowl are well represented, though the clear turtle consommé, maybe be harder to find these days.” Read more here.
Quartz haiku interlude
Rates rise, finally.
Yellen remains serene. But
for how much longer?
Matters of debate
Cash isn’t dead yet. Despite bitcoin and mobile pay, the number of dollar and euro notes has doubled since 2005.
You can beat climate change and get rich at the same time. But investors need better data to put money into the low-carbon economy.
There are no big lessons from the US election. Ideologues are using the results to “prove” whatever they believed beforehand.
The secret to eating bugs is better utensils. A Japanese designer has created new tools including fingertip pincers and spear-ended chopsticks.
Google’s top “Holocaust” search result is to a neo-Nazi group. The company refuses to tweak its algorithm to remove Holocaust-denier stormfront.org.
Wine brewed by monks is fueling Scottish brawls. Caffeinated Buckfast wine is made by a Benedictine monastery in Devon.
Africa will soon have to import half its grains. Despite being home to a quarter of the world’s arable land, the continent is becoming less self-sufficient.
China’s middle class is funding gentrification in Brooklyn. Investors are getting their money out of China and into New York’s outer boroughs.
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