Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
The European Central Bank holds its first policy meeting of 2017. Investors hope it will be boring after the bank extended its quantitative easing program longer than expected last month. Afterwards chief Mario Draghi will face questions on when the program might start to wind down, and on what other moves the bank is planning.
Theresa May talks business at Davos. Having finally outlined her Brexit plans in a speech this week, the British prime minister will meet with Wall Street bosses who might ditch London as their European headquarters. Goldman Sachs could cut its London staff in half, with many workers moving to Frankfurt, Handelsblatt reported.
Gambia’s inauguration day standoff. Election winner Adama Barrow is supposed to take office, but current president Yahya Jammeh declared a state of emergency after initially conceding the race, and parliament voted on Tuesday to extend his term. The African Union said it will stop recognizing Jammeh as Gambia’s president starting today.
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
Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong avoided arrest in South Korea’s bribery scandal. A court denied prosecutors’ request to arrest him, ruling that there “appears to be no flight risk and no need to physically detain” the Samsung vice chairman. He still faces charges of bribery, embezzlement, and perjury—though he might not be punished severely due to Samsung’s influence on the nation’s economy.
Investors underestimated Netflix yet again. The streaming video giant easily surpassed quarterly expectations, adding 1.93 million subscribers in the United States and 5.12 million internationally, thanks to original hits like Stranger Things and Narcos. Netflix plans to spend a whopping $6 billion on content in 2017, up $1 billion from last year.
Donald Trump made his final cabinet pick. He wants Sonny Perdue, the former Republican governor of Georgia, to head the agriculture department. The agency directs the nation’s farm policy and several programs that Republicans lawmakers have suggested trimming, including food aid to the poor and new standards for school lunches.
US authorities sued Oracle for gender and race discrimination.The labor department alleged that the software company paid its white, male workers more and unlawfully favored Indian applicants for product development and technical roles. Oracle denied the charges.
2016 was the hottest year on record. That makes three years in a row of record-setting temperatures, with last year averaging 1.2 °C (2.2 °F) hotter than in the late 1800s. Temperatures in 2017 are likely to dip due to the absence of the El Niño weather pattern, but will still be in the top five.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Ana Campoy on the US refugee problem: “The US has committed to protecting people facing persecution in their home country. President Barack Obama wasn’t very adept at handling the dramatic switch in the nature of illegal immigration into the US, which has largely happened under his watch. His policies have mostly focused on dissuading people from coming to the US, not figuring out whether they deserve protection.” Read more here.
QUARTZ HAIKU INTERLUDE
More Wall Street weirdness:
Goldman blows past estimates
and its shares still fall
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Mobile phones prove that US police lie. In the vast majority of cases they get away with it, even when there’s video evidence to prove them wrong.
The first step to save a good business: Cut the crap. That’s the advice Steve Jobs used to save not just Apple, but Nike too.
An Africa with open borders could be a nightmare. Although they were arbitrarily imposed, the continent’s divisions help containdiseases, terrorism, and xenophobia.
The Mirai botnet began with a Minecraft rivalry. The malicious software that hijacks millions of connected devices was initially used to shut down the popular game’s servers.
A Finnish bear is holding his first art exhibition. Juuso paints with his fur and paws—and his abstract paintings are selling for up to €4,000 ($4,259).
Japan is standardizing the baffling array of control buttons on high-tech toilets. Tourists have long been shocked when theirnether regions are sprayed with air and water.
The world’s second three-parent baby was born in Ukraine.The controversial technique is banned in the US and only available to mothers with genetic conditions in the UK.
China’s government posts hundreds of millions of fake social media comments every year. The aim is to distract the public from discussing real problems.
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