#US-#Mexico stalemate, #Australia’s wine exports, lying thermostats

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Donald Trump and Theresa May put their heads together. The UK prime minister has wryly noted that “sometimes opposites attract” as she prepares to visit DC, where a joint press conference is scheduled for Friday. They’ll discuss trade, foreign policy, and security; May suggested intelligence sharing may be curtailed if the US endorses torture.

The US releases economic data. The commerce department willshare its first reading (paywall) of GDP data for the fourth quarter and all of 2016. Analysts expect growth of 2.2% for the quarter and 2% for the full year. Numbers on manufacturing growth in December will also be shared.

The Lunar New Year migration gets underway. It’s that time of year in China when planes, trains, cars, and boats carry millions of people home to celebrate the weeklong holiday with their families. The official day is Jan. 28. The world’s biggest annual migration(paywall) is also notable for the gifts being hauled—from kilos of meat to flatscreen TVs.


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. Advertisement


Mexico’s president bailed on a US summit… Enrique Peña Nietocalled off his trip to DC, putting US-Mexico relations into an ugly stalemate. Trump had threatened to cancel it himself if Mexico did not consider paying for his border wall.

…and Trump floated a 20% tax on Mexican imports. Hours after Peña Nieto’s cancellation, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the measure would raise $10 billion per year to pay for the border barrier. Such a tax, which would need congressional approval, basically means that US consumers would pay for the wall.

Alphabet missed expectations. Google’s parent company came up short with its quarterly profit after making less money per clickfrom advertisers than analysts had forecast. Investors are worried that the company’s growth in mobile and video ad sales has peaked.

Japan recorded its first annual consumer price decline in four years. New data showed prices dropped 0.3% in 2016 from a year earlier, amid tepid household spending and measly wage hikes. The result underscored the challenges Tokyo faces in its long-running battle against deflation and lackluster economic growth.

Australia’s wine industry had a vintage year. The value of the nation’s wine exports rose by 7% in 2016. The biggest factor? Exports to China, which jumped by 40%.


Aamna Mohdin on the European far-right leaders who want to make Europe great again: “With crucial elections in France, the Netherlands, and Germany this year, Trump’s victory has given these far-right leaders hope for a united strategy to inflict Trump-like devastation on European political elites.” Read more here.


Sales of hard liquor
are booming. Is anyone
Terribly surprised?


A ban on Syrian refugees will mean losing the war on terror. It would fuel European anti-immigrant movements and boost recruitment for jihadist groups.

Donald Trump’s trade policy was debunked 200 years ago.Adam Smith conclusively proved that mercantilism doesn’t work.

Neuroscience has the solution to the opioid epidemic.Researchers are trying to disconnect pain relief from addiction.


Win today’s most coveted digital products. Plug in, nerd out, and be the envy of your friends. We’re giving away a suite of today’s most buzzworthy tech gadgets to elevate your everyday. Enter now.


Your hotel thermostat is a lie. To save money on electricity, companies override the settings (paywall).

Finland’s adorable “baby boxes” are headed to America.They’re filled with infant gear and double as cribs.

Fake Trump tweets are a Chinese internet sensation. More than a million have been created in the last four days.

Scientists made metallic hydrogen by squashing a gas between diamonds. Strange things happen when super-cold atoms get intimate.

McDonald’s is launching a Big Mac vending machine. It may be an omen of our dystopian roboburger future.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, thermostat tricks, and Nordic baby supplies tohi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.



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