#US reassures #Asia, #Renzi’s ripple, #cannabis coffee

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Ash Carter tries to reassure Asia. The US defense secretary will speak with Asian allies, who are nervous about a Trump presidency, on a trip spanning Japan, India, and Bahrain. Separately, the president-elect “will be on everyone’s minds” as NATO foreign ministers meet in Brussels.

The Reserve Bank of India addresses interest rates. Its monetary policy committee is likely to cut (paywall) the benchmark interest rate to 6%, the lowest since 2012. Many expect the cash crunch from demonetization to shave up to 1% off India’s GDP growth.

The US reports October economic data. Analysts expect that new orders for US factory goods rose 2.6% from the previous month (compared to September’s 0.3% increase over August), and that the trade deficit rose to $41.8 billion (pdf), compared to $36.4 billion the month before.


Markets didn’t flinch after Italy’s populist vote. Unlike votes for Brexit or the US presidency, the “no” vote on prime minister Matteo Renzi’s referendum on constitutional reform caused only a small ripple in global markets. US and Asian stocks climbed.

Amazon is building grab-and-go grocery stores. The e-commerce giant is opening a brick-and-mortar pilot store with no checkout lines. Instead, a combination of sensors, computer vision, and deep learning will track the items that shoppers choose.

The US tried to make good with China. After Donald Trump’s call with Taiwan’s leader caused a diplomatic furor, the Obama administration spoke twice with Beijing to reassure them of Washington’s continued support for its 40-year-old “One China” policy.

Donald Trump and Al Gore discussed climate change. The president-elect—who has called global warming a Chinese hoax—had a “productive” meeting with the former vice president, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his climate change efforts.

India’s actress-turned-politician Jayalalithaa Jayaraman passed away. The 68-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest at Chennai’s Apollo Hospital. The former movie star was serving her sixth term as the chief minister of the state of Tamil Nadu, despite a political career plagued with legal trials and tribulations.


Isabella Steger on the unbearable sadness of being Taiwan, a liberal island other democracies refuse to talk to: “The simple fact that it took a phone call between US president-elect Donald Trump and Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen to draw attention to one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies highlights the humiliating plight of Taiwan in the international arena.” Read more here.


You’re not entitled to your own opinion. It’s a logical fallacy that is often used to shelter faulty arguments.

Airbnb is no longer the nice guy of the sharing economy. The once idealistic startup has become yet another corporate giant.

Italy’s referendum shouldn’t be conflated with Brexit and Trump. Italians were actually voting to maintain the status quo.


Japan won’t be getting reindeer-delivered pizzas after all.Domino’s canceled its unusual transportation scheme because it’s “difficult to control the reindeer.”

Cannabis coffee pods are coming to California. They work in Keurig machines for those who want to wake, bake, and caffeinate.

Chimps recognize each other by their backsides. They have specific neural areas devoted to butt recognition.

The best bed in the world costs $150,000. The Hästens Vividus is made of rare Swedish pine and hand-braided horsehair.

A Chinese nursing home is paying people to visit their relatives. Visits have soared since the home started offering a $29 cash bonus.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, horsehair beds, and cannabis coffee to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or downloadour apps for iPhone and Android.



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