Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Markets open for 2016. After weathering a rocky 2015, there are mixed predictions about how stocks will fare this year. US stocks are expected to be relatively steady at the beginning of January at least.
Barack Obama moves forward on gun-control laws. The US presidentwill meet with attorney general Loretta Lynch to discuss a set of executive actions on gun control. He’s expected to announce his proposals to the public shortly.
Jeremy Corbyn tries to keep control of the UK Labour party. The party meets amid talk that MPs Hilary Benn and Maria Eagle, who both opposed Corbyn to vote in favor of military intervention in Syria, could lose their cabinet posts.
Oregon’s militant standoff unfolds. A group of armed gunmen have taken over a federal building in the northwestern US state, and vow to remain until the government turns over a wildlife refuge created in 1908 to locals.
Over the weekend
Saudi Arabia broke off relations with Iran. Iranian diplomats were given 48 hours from Sunday to return home from Riyadh after protestors stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran. Those protests were in response to Saudi Arabia executing prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr; oil prices have already risen.
A 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit east India. At least five people have been killed and another 100 injured in Manipur state after the quake hit early on Monday morning. Tremors were also reported in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
China landed a test flight in disputed waters. A civilian aircraft landed on one of the nation’s manmade Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, where Vietnam and the Philippines also have claims. Beijing dismissed Vietnam’s complaint over the move.
Islamic State terrorists executed five “spies.” The terrorist group claims the five men killed were British spies. On the film, a man threatens attacks in the UK, and a young boy speaks about killing unbelievers: both have British accents.
Tesla hit its 2015 sales target—just. Elon Musks’s electric car manufacturer said it shipped 50,580 vehicles last year, scraping into its recently lowered target range of between 50,000 and 52,000. That’s good news for a company reporting widening losses (paywall).
Puerto Rico confirmed the spread of the Zika virus. The mosquito-borne virus suspected of causing brain damage in 2,400 newborn babies in Brazilhas arrived in Puerto Rico. Authorities warned tourists to protect against mosquitoes.
Donald Trump footage appeared in a terrorist recruitment video. Al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda in Somalia, used clips of Trump calling to ban Muslims from entering the US. Trump responded by saying, “What am I going to do? I have to say what I have to say.”
Quartz obsession interlude
Dr Jay Parkinson, on why an Uber for doctor’s house calls won’t work:“It boils down to two issues: It’s ridiculously inefficient and very, very few doctors will actually want this kind of life. I do think they should exist as a ridiculously expensive option for people who don’t care about money, because America.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
If you answer emails after work, you should get unlimited vacation time. Employees should work when there’s work that needs doing.
China’s tech startups will face a funding squeeze in 2016. A round of buyouts may follow a current drop in confidence in companies’ wild valuations (paywall).
Vigilant citizens should take off their headphones in public. We all need to keep an eye (and ear) out for terrorism.
The concept of different “learning styles” is a neuroscience myth. The idea that we all learn differently doesn’t stand up to scientific tests.
Australia has a George Costanza-themed bar. The Seinfeld character issurprisingly popular down under.
Horses once had stripes like zebras. They lost their wild camouflageonce humans domesticated them.
Scientists have created a hologram you can feel. Ultrasonic radiation pressure allows you to “feel” the objects you’re looking at.
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