Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
Nationwide protests against India’s demonetization. The opposition Congress party will highlight the policy’s impact on the poor, and allege “personal corruption” by prime minister Narendra Modi. Nearly all of the country’s discontinued bills were returned to banks, dashing hopes that “black money” would be flushed out of the system.
Receiver’s remorse peaks in the US. United Parcel Service says 1.3 million packages will be sent back on “National Returns Day.” That’s up from about 1 million packages the previous year, as more retailers offer free returns and pre-printed return labels.
Earnings reports. Among the companies sharing their latest resultsare Monsanto, Walgreens, and Constellation Brands. The latter sells Corona beer and Svedka vodka but is considering adding marijuana to its lineup.
SPONSOR CONTENT BY CREDIT SUISSE
There’s a $3 million gap between Europe and North America’s 1%. This is just one insight from the recently released Credit Suisse Wealth Report, which explores global household wealth and its uneven distribution. These five charts highlight regional differences and similarities in how households earn and save.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Trump picked a prominent Wall Street attorney to police Wall Street. Jay Clayton, who worked on the $25 billion Alibaba IPO and the emergency response to the financial crisis, would be the firstfinancial industry lawyer to lead the US Securities and Exchange Commission since 2002.
Apple removed the New York Times from its app store in China. It pulled both the English- and Chinese-language versions of the publisher’s news app, the Times reported. The tech giant said the app was “in violation of local regulations.” Regulators blocked the paper’s website in 2012 following an article on the prime minister’s family wealth.
The US Federal Reserve braced for higher inflation. The US central bank expects a surge in spending during the Trump administration, minutes from its December meeting revealed. The bank, which has a mandate to keep the economy from overheating, could find itself at odds with a president intent on faster economic growth.
Tesla activated its battery gigafactory. The maker of electric cars announced that the first lithium-ion battery cells at its Reno, Nevada facility were produced last month in partnership with Japan’s Panasonic. By next year the massive manufacturing center will employ 6,500 full-time workers.
A mysterious online Go champion was unmasked. The player who has been trouncing the world’s masters was revealed to beGoogle’s AlphaGo artificial intelligence system, which was testing a software update. The revelation seems to confirm that humans are no match for AI in the complex board game, but one player says he has an idea for beating it.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Joon Ian Wong on how America’s No. 2 app would be nothing without No. 1: “Facebook’s mobile app has long occupied the top slot, but the social network has now underlined its dominance with the Facebook Messenger ascension to No. 2. Of course, it’s easier to dominate when you force your existing users onto a new app. Facebook in August started to warn its users to install Messenger or lose access to the messaging feature.” Read more here.
QUARTZ HAIKU INTERLUDE
Remember that talk
of a future without cars?
Don’t tell truck buyers.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
The world’s first cyberwar is already underway. Whistleblowers and hackers have upset political stability as much as militaries.
Amazon is building an operating system for the home. Its clever voice assistant Alexa will soon be in lamps, refrigerators, TVs, and more.
Beijing can’t keep North Korea in check. Despite Trump’s tweets,China is vulnerable to regional instability and an influx of refugees.
Mark Zuckerberg’s 2017 resolution is to meet people IRL. The social media king wants to meet Americans from all 50 states to see where Facebook falls short.
Amazon is getting into stretchy pants. The e-commerce giant is hiring for an in-house activewear line.
A 105-year-old man set a new cycling record. Frenchman Robert Marchand, who completed 92 laps at a velodrome, is “waiting for a rival.”
Humans may have one more organ than previously thought.The mesentery is a gut membrane that keeps your intestines from falling.
The US Navy’s dolphins are on a mission to save their endangered cousins. They are being trained to locate the last remaining vaquita porpoises in Mexico.
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