Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
The UN’s next chief visits China. Incoming secretary-general António Guterres, who succeeds Ban Ki-moon on Jan. 1, will spend two days meeting with foreign minister Wang Yi and other Chinese leaders.
Cyber Monday kicks off in the US. It’s expected result in over $3.3 billion in sales, up 9.4% from last year. Many retailers make the day the focus of their online promotions.
SPONSOR CONTENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN
Japanese exports help partner countries grow. Japan’s advanced infrastructure production provides the expertise and technology necessary to help its partners plan and develop for the long-term. The government is working toward a target of 30 trillion yen in infrastructure sales by 2020.
OVER THE WEEKEND
Fidel Castro died. Condolences for the Cuban dictator varied greatly in tone. Statements from Canada’s Justin Trudeau and India’s Narendra Modi called Castro a friend and sorrowfully mourned his loss, while other leaders were more circumspect in their appraisals. Castro was 90 years old.
Still more pressure on Park Geun-hye. Crowds calling for the South Korean president’s resignation swelled to their largest in the five weeks since they began. According to the BBC, organizers pegged the number of demonstrators at 1.5 million in Seoul and 400,000 elsewhere in the country, while police estimated there were 270,000 demonstrators in the capital. Park’s apologies for a scandal involving a questionable friendship have done little to quell criticism.
Mitt Romney stayed in the running for US secretary of state.Donald Trump is reportedly still considering the former Massachusetts governor for the post, even if the US president-elect’s campaign manager seems to be openly campaigning against the idea. The grumbling suggests former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani continues to have his own shot at the cabinet position.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign joined the push for a recount of votes. On Saturday, campaign lawyer Mark Erik Elias said Clintonwould join the recount effort begun by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, though he noted that the Clinton team’s own investigation has not turned up any evidence of tampering in the Nov. 8 US presidential election. Stein raised enough money to file for recounts in a handful of states where Clinton narrowly lost.
Nico Rosberg was crowned a motor sport king. The Formula One Japanese Grand Prix winner sealed the deal at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where his second-place finish was enough to best Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton for the world championship.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Lynsey Chutel on why Africa is not conflicted about Fidel Castro’s legacy. “In Castro, African activists found a leader willing to share flaming rhetoric as well as practical guidance to freedom at a time when Africans had few political allies. Those liberation leaders became the founding fathers of modern Africa, and they never forgot Cuba’s help.” Read more here.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Small farms are key in the fight against climate change. The Paris agreement cannot afford to deny the impact of family-owned farms.
Einstein might have been wrong about the speed of light being a constant. Physicists are floating a new theory to explain what Einstein couldn’t.
Donald Trump’s plan to revive the US coal industry is doomed.One chart explains why.
Skateboarder Tony Hawk nearly destroyed his brand before understanding its value. A “Tony Hawk gear” toilet paper joke was a sign that things were amiss.
Scientists found evidence of water a third of the way down to the edge of Earth’s core. An imperfection in a deep-Earth diamondwas their clue.
Trump’s claim he really won the popular vote traces back to one Twitter user’s unsubstantiated tweet. The idea that millions voted illegally for Clinton spread on fake news from there and was eventually retweeted by Trump himself.
Eric Schmidt struggled to answer a Google interview question.Then again, the company’s famous brainteasers never were very useful for identifying talent.
Urine is more than a waste product. For doctors, it’s the most useful bodily excretion.
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