Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
Aleppo finishes up evacuations… maybe. Rescue operations areexpected to conclude in the war-torn Syrian city, according to Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, though the Red Cross and Russia expect them to last a few more days. On Tuesday, Syrian TVreported a bomb explosion in government-controlled western Aleppo, where residents were attending a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.
The Bank of Thailand holds its last meeting of 2016. The central bank has left its benchmark interest rate of 1.5% unchanged since April 2015, and is expected to do so again. On Tuesday, the World Bank revised up its forecast for Thailand’s economic growth by 0.1 percentage point, to 3.2% next year. China will also release energy and commodity data for November.
Winter is coming—to the northern hemisphere. At 5:44am ET (6:44pm HKT), the December solstice will mark the moment when the North Pole is tilted the farthest away from the sun. The northern hemisphere will experience its longest night and shortest day of the year, while the southern hemisphere celebrates its first day of summer.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Taiwan lost another diplomatic ally. The island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe, population 192,000, has switched diplomatic allegiances from Taipei to Beijing, leaving the island’s count of allies down to 21. Beijing hailed the change as victory for the “one-China” principle, while Taipei said it “deeply regrets” São Tomé’s decision.
Turkey investigated the assassination of Andrei Karlov. The gunman who shot Russia’s Turkey ambassador was killed at the scene, but Turkish authorities detained an additional seven people overnight (paywall) as the country remained on high alert. Police believe the killer had ties to exiled former imam Fethullah Gülen,though he denied any involvement.
A search warrant in the Hillary Clinton email investigation was unsealed. The Oct. 30 warrant shows that the FBI confiscated Anthony Weiner’s laptop based on its contention that his wife, Huma Abedin, had exchanged “many emails” with Clinton containing classified information.
Obama banned offshore drilling in parts of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. A stretch of territory from Maine to Virginia, along with a region off the Alaskan coast, will remain off limits for oil and gas drilling for an “indefinite” amount of time. The president invoked a little-known 1953 law to implement the ban, which experts say will be difficult for Trump to reverse.
An explosion at a fireworks market in Mexico killed 29 people.Videos show what first appears to be a planned spectacle quickly turn into a warzone-esque blast. It’s the third such incident at the annual market since 2005.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Christopher Groskopf and Jason Karaian supply 10 charts to track Trump’s economic promises. “As president, Donald Trump’s pledge to ‘Make America Great Again’ will be judged largely along economic lines, whether it’s bringing back factory jobs, boosting wages, or renegotiating trade deals. Many of Trump’s promises appear implausible. But we don’t have to rely on guesswork or partisan punditry to evaluate his progress; we’ve got reliable data to gauge Trump’s success.” Read more here.
QUARTZ HAIKU INTERLUDE
The Dow got this close
To twenty K. Stopped short
Like a sneeze denied
MATTERS OF DEBATE
It’s time to rename the human species. The term Homo sapiens—wise man—no longer reflects the characteristics of modern humans.
Wall Street isn’t the enemy of Main Street. Without Wall Street’s ability to raise capital for startups, there wouldn’t be many of them.
Trump’s approach to China could be a bright spot in his presidency. For decades the US has given China a free pass on human rights and trade, and now is the time time to get tougher.
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Parents and kids are more affectionate when reading physical books together. Children read from screens with their heads down, which makes it harder to get close.
The Nazis were inspired by US policy when planning their race regime. In 1934, leading Nazi lawyers debated bringing Jim Crow segregation to the Third Reich.
Anonymous artists created a tiny mouse cafe in Sweden. The miniature installation—called Noix de Vie, or “Nuts of Life”—features a window display of almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts.
Pat Nixon predicted a Trump victory in 1987. “She is an expert on politics,” Richard Nixon wrote to Trump after the latter appeared on The Donahue Show. “She predicts that whenever you decide to run for office you will be a winner!”
Pregnancy changes the brain for up to two years. In a neuro-imaging study, researchers were able to identify mothers just from their brain scans.
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