Ford cancels Mexico plant, GOP ethics retreat, salt shake-up

Good morning, Quartz readers!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY

The tech world takes its flashiest gadgets to Vegas. Tech geeks at the Consumer Electronics Show can expect to see radical new drones and self-driving cars whizzing round Sin City’s conference halls. Quartz’s Mike Murphy and Dave Gershgorn are covering the event.

Pakistan’s prime minister is back in court over the Panama Papers. The political opposition alleges that three of Nawaz Sharif’s children used ill-gotten money to buy London real estate. The Panama Papers revealed that Sharif’s family owned at least three undeclared offshore companies.

Euro zone inflation numbers are released. Economists expect inflation rose 1% year-on-year in December—the fastest pace since September 2013—thanks largely to a bounce in oil prices. That’s prompted suggestions the European Central Bank should end its bond-buying program in the near future.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

Republican lawmakers made a quick retreat on an ethics revamp. Less than a day after announcing they would gut the Office of Congressional Ethics, congressmen made a hasty U-turn. Donald Trump lightly chastised the House GOP before the reversal, but his criticisms were more about appearances than substance.

Rex Tillerson agreed to cut all ties with Exxon. Trump’s pick for US secretary of state will sell more than 600,000 shares in the company if confirmed. On Jan. 1 he stepped down as the oil giant’s chairman and CEO. He’ll also forsake millions in bonuses and other perks.

Megyn Kelly defected from Fox News. Kelly, who came under a torrent of misogynistic insults from Trump during the campaign, isleaving to join NBC, where Trump still serves as executive producer of The New Celebrity Apprentice. She played a major role in ousting Fox News chief Roger Ailes for sexual harassment.

Ford canceled a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico. The carmaker insisted the move wasn’t due to Trump’s threats of protectionist taxes, saying its hand was forced by a drop in demand for small cars. The company will instead invest $700 million in a Michigan factory. Meanwhile, the president-elect threatened a “big border tax” on General Motors over a car made in Mexico.

Intel fueled up on automated driving technology. The computer chip giant announced it will take a 15% share in digital-mapping firm Here, which is owned by a group of German automakers. The move will give it access to navigation technology for self-driving cars.

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

Oliver Staley on the best and worst ways to quit your job:“Quitting a job isn’t the most popular New Year’s resolution, but many of us have had fantasies about starting another year by leaving the office forever, perhaps in a blaze of glory… The folks in HR don’t generally recommend it.” Read more here.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

New US quarantine rules pose a serious threat to civil liberties.The CDC can now detain people without due process.

The 401(k) is a disappointment. The retirement savings account’searly backers never intended it as a replacement for pensions(paywall).

All money is dirty. The disease-carrying bacteria on cash means there’s a public health argument for a cashless economy.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

Discomfort in old age is a necessary evil. The temporary unpleasantness that comes from intense effort helps keep your brain agile (paywall).

The Disney classic “Bambi” has a racist history. Tyrus Wong’s artistic vision shaped the movie but he did not receive credit due to anti-Asian bias.

Cauliflower is not the next superfood. Despite being touted as the new kale by foodies, it didn’t make the cut on Instagram.

The Chinese government is ending a 2,000-year monopoly on salt. New regulations mean private companies can finally enter the market.

You should never, ever use cotton swabs to clean your ears.Earwax, also known as cerumen, keeps ears from getting dirty in the first place.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, cauliflower recipes, and dirty money 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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