Surging oil prices, #Nintendo’s big hits, better space diapers

Good morning, Quartz readers!


China hits luxury car buyers with a 10% tax. Chinese residents with deep pockets and a predilection for Ferraris and Bentleys will have to stretch a little further: The government is hiking taxes on autos worth more than $189,000.

US automakers release November sales. They dropped 6% in October, but Black Friday buying should bring a boost, as carmakers look for another year of record sales.

Wisconsin starts its presidential recount. Green party candidate Jill Stein requested the reexamination of ballots, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign is also taking part, even though almost no one expects the result to change. Stein is also demanding a recount in Michigan, which Donald Trump also won by a narrow margin.


5G: satisfying our need for speed. Over the next five years, global mobile data traffic is expected to increase by 827%. 5G is expected to provide service and support for almost real-time use cases.Barclays’ infographic explains the impacts and opportunities.


Oil prices surged. Setting new records for trading volume, pricesjumped more than 12%. That followed OPEC surprising industry observers by agreeing to its first oil output reduction since 2008. Analysts warned prices could recede as other producers, including US shale drillers, stand by to fill the gap.

China’s factory activity picked up more than expected. The official manufacturing purchasing managers index rose to 51.7 in November, beating estimates and up from 51.2 the month before. The sector has been helped by a housing boom and a government spending spree on infrastructure.

Nintendo reported sales records. In less than two weeks, the new games Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon sold a combined total of 3.7 million units for the 3DS game system. That makes them easily the company’s fastest-selling titles ever. Nintendo is enjoying a rebound following its surprise hit Pokémon Go, an augmented-reality game released this summer.

Trump’s new treasury secretary set his sights on bank regulation. Steven Mnuchin, a hedge fund boss and former Goldman Sachs partner, said he would “strip back” legislation enacted after the financial meltdown. He also aims to privatizemortgage finance companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.


Max de Haldevang on Donald Trump’s attempts to resolve his conflicts of interest: “His empire is just too sprawling, his web of connections too extensive, for him to take himself completely out of the firing line in the short period between election and inauguration. A better question is whether he can do it over the course of a four-year term.” Read more here.


So touching: Iran
and Saudis overcome their rift
to make more money


Facebook shouldn’t fact-check the news. Giving the company editorial power would be “unprecedented and dangerous” (paywall).

China’s sex education failures are a catastrophe. The country has skyrocketing HIV transmission rates.

An entire global generation has lost faith in democracy.Millennials are increasingly open to military rule.


Fidel Castro moonlighted as Gabriel García Márquez’s editor.He regularly reviewed the author’s manuscripts.

The vice president of Afghanistan assaulted a rival at a sporting event. Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum is still reportedlyholding Ahmad Ishchi on his compound (paywall).

Space travel requires a better astronaut diaper. NASA is offering a $30K prize for a device to collect urine and feces over a six-day period.

A backup copy of the internet is moving to Canada. The Internet Archive is wary of the next American president.

You’ll soon be able to get high on Hunter S. Thompson’s favorite weed. His widow extracted DNA from his preferred strains.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, space diapers, and gonzo ganja to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our iPhone app.


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