Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
Theresa May lays out her Brexit plan. The British prime ministerwill deliver a speech detailing how the UK plans to leave the EU. She’s expected to focus on national unity, border control, trade, and customs. Yesterday the pound slid amid fears she’ll emphasize leaving the EU’s single market to regain control of immigration policy.
Germany’s top court decides on whether to ban a neo-Nazi political party. The Constitutional Court’s ruling could end the National Democratic Party. The upper house of parliament brought the suit last March, arguing that the far-right NPD (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands) is racist, anti-Semitic, and a threat to the nation’s democratic order.
Russia talks 2016 diplomacy. Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov will hold his annual press conference (link in Russian). Possible topics include his nation’s military role in Syria, allegations that Russian hacking influenced US elections, and the Kuril Islands, still a point of contention between Russia and Japan.
Xi Jinping delivers his big speech at Davos. As the first Chinese president to attend the World Economic Forum, he’s expected to deliver a philosophical keynote speech defending globalization andmusing upon “where humans came from, where they are now, and where they are going.”
SPONSOR CONTENT BY HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE
On the Formula E track, a need for speed is becoming a need for data. For the DS Virgin Racing team, data informs every step of race strategy: from pre-race simulations, to in-race sensor data, to post-race analysis. And the team that has the best tech partner enjoys a tremendous competitive advantage.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Rolls-Royce agreed to pay over $800 million to resolve bribery inquiries. The UK aerospace firm reached agreements (paywall) with authorities in Britain, the US, and Brazil related to probes into potential corruption in overseas markets. The largest payment, of about $600 million, will go to Britain’s Serious Fraud Office.
Germany’s auto industry hit back at Trump. German economic minister Sigmar Gabriel and BMW pushed back against the US president-elect’s threat to tax Mexican-made imports to the US by German automakers, and his complaint that few American cars can be found on German roads. “Build better cars,” Gabriel said.
The US irked Russia. US Marines arrived in Russia’s neighbor, Norway, marking the first time since World War II that Norway has allowed foreign troops to be stationed there. It follows on the US strengthening its military presence in Poland.
The last man to walk on the moon died. US astronaut Eugene Cernan passed away at the age of 82. He wrote his daughter’s initials into the lunar surface, and upon taking his first steps there exclaimed, “Oh my golly! Unbelievable!” Recently John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, died at the age of 95.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Jenni Avins tries wine from a startup that pledges pricing transparency. “Each line item on Alit’s cost sheet offers an opportunity for customers to learn something about the wine and the values behind it. I was initially put off by $2.88 for custom packaging, until Tarlov told me the majority of the investment wasn’t for a fancy bottle, but rather a recyclable shipping box that wouldn’t require any environmentally harmful styrofoam packaging.” Read more here.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Martin Luther King Jr. was ahead of his time on universal basic income. King advocated for the idea in 1967. Experts now say it may be a necessary safety net as job losses mount due to automation.
Trust is a thing of the past. A survey by communications group Edelman found a “global implosion” in people’s trust for institutions such as business, government, the media, and NGOs.
Trump’s efforts to discredit John Lewis are misguided. The US lawmaker is a civil rights hero, having faced down death repeatedly in 1965 while peacefully protesting for equal treatment in Alabama.
An analysis of 10,000 scientific studies on marijuana concretely supports only three medical benefits. A new 400-page report also identifies strong evidence of four high-risk factors associated with cannabis use.
Spiciness may help you live longer. A longitudinal study of thousands of participants found that people who ate a lot of hot red chili peppers had a 13% lower risk of death.
Amazon tried selling Indian-flag doormats and Gandhi-themed flip-flops—in India. The e-commerce giant has been widely called out over its tone-deaf offerings, though some feel the reaction has been too much.
Theresa May will appear in Vogue. The British prime minister and fashion fan was shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz and will be featured in the magazine’s US edition in April.
A neo-Nazi podcaster was outed as having a Jewish wife. The host of a racist, anti-Semitic program resigned after the news about his wife spread online, reportedly leaving some of his listeners “crestfallen.”
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