Quartz

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Ghana has elected Nana Akufo-Addo as its new president

Ghana has decided.<p>In a change of leadership, Nana Akufo-Addo, 72, will be the country’s new president after beating incumbent leader John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). This was Akufo-Addo’s third bid for the country’s presidency after he narrowly lost out in elections in 2008 …

Ghana

How Fidel Castro became a hero and a villain in the Horn of Africa

In southern Africa, Fidel Castro is almost universally seen as a hero. After all it is the Cuban leader who sent his forces to Angola to halt apartheid South Africa. What southern Africans would easily forget is that Cuban troops were sent to many other African conflicts with mixed …

Africa

Fake news awakens in a galaxy far, far away

Donald Trump supporters are calling for a boycott of the upcoming Star Wars film <i>Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.</i><p>The film, slated for US release on Dec. 16, has come under fire from Trump supporters, some of whom, it seems, have been suckered in by the unstoppable spread of fake news. Jack Posobiec, of …

Republicans

The Government Sachs takeover of the Trump administration is nearly complete

The White House hex on Goldman Sachs has clearly been lifted. Six weeks from now, former Goldman banker Stephen Bannon will be ensconced in the West Wing as chief advisor to incoming US president Donald Trump. Former Goldman partner Steven Mnuchin will be seeking Senate confirmation to run the …

Politics

Uber tells passengers to quit using Uber Pool as a hook-up service

When ride-sharing apps Uber and Lyft created carpooling services in 2014, some people thought it would be fun to use chance encounters with other passengers on their routes as a speed dating opportunity. These love-seekers argued that “there’s something quite romantic about two people sitting in …

Dating

The second stage of mobile dominance is now beginning, says an Andreessen Horowitz partner

The questions of what will they look like and who will control them are now answered. The next two decades, predicts Benedict Evans, a partner at venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, will be how smartphones redefine myriad industries from automobiles to ecommerce.<p>“The platform wars are over,” …

Mobile

A simple system for tracking happiness helped me get data on what really brings me joy

One of the best pieces of advice I got in graduate school was from journalist and entrepreneur Christie Nicholson, who taught a class on business entrepreneurship. Whenever you feel sad or upset or uncomfortable, she told me, lean into that feeling, and try to figure out what’s making you react …

Happiness

China’s tech giants are blurring the lines between virtual and traditional gift giving

For centuries, Chinese have given money to children during the lunar new year, known as <i>ya sui qian</i> (压岁钱). Imperial Chinese coins were threaded on red string and hidden under children’s pillows on New Year’s eve. As paper money came into circulation, the practice morphed into slipping coins and …

China

Quartz’s favorite books of 2016, reviewed in 25 words or less

<i>The idea for Quartz’s “Best of 2016” book list is brevity because our readers’ time is valuable. We compiled reviews of some of our favorite books published this year in 25 words or less—so you can get straight to reading. There’s no theme or ranking of our choices; they simply capture the eclectic</i> …

Books

The ridiculous and heartbreaking reality of playing Goofy at Disney World

A 20-year career playing Goofy came to a screeching halt for one employee at Walt Disney World after he dragged Donald Duck across the floor following an altercation over an autograph. (Goofy had signed his name on a park-goer’s Donald Duck hat. Donald was not having it.)<p>The stakes are high in …

Walt Disney Company

Researchers have identified the types of intelligence that make aging workers valuable

One need look no further than Silicon Valley for evidence that older workers are judged as less sharp—and less productive—than their younger peers, despite mounds of research suggesting the opposite.<p>Now, a new brief from the Center for Retirement Research has synthesized the research on aging and …

Aging

Ghana’s media is calling its close election for the opposition

Two days after its Dec. 7 polls, with official results yet to be announced by Ghana’s electoral commission, local media is calling the election for the Nana Akufo-Addo, the main opposition candidate.<p>Akufo-Addo says his party is “quietly confident that we have won a famous and historic victory.” …

World Leaders

We’re all about to discover what fresh milk actually tastes like

Most people may think they know what fresh milk tastes like, but they’d be wrong. For this, you can blame fluorescent light bulbs, according to new research.<p>Luckily, a number of large retailers across the globe, including Walmart and Kroger, are switching their in-store lighting from fluorescent to …

A Korean ferry tragedy two years ago helped lead to a vote to impeach president Park Geun-hye today

South Korea’s parliament voted today by a large margin (Dec. 9) to impeach president Park Geun-hye, weeks after news of her connection to a shaman-like confidante who wielded immense influence came to light.<p>The vote comes after six straight weekends of large-scale protests in Seoul and other Korean …

Korean Peninsula

An $8 million refugee relief fund scandal shows Nigeria’s Buhari anti-corruption drive is not going to plan

Nigeria has been synonymous with corruption for many years now. Repeatedly, governments have been characterized by wayward spending and a lack of accountability. But many people hoped the country had taken a turn for better when, in May 2015, Muhammadu Buhari took office as Nigeria’s president.<p>A …

Africa

Apple just invested in China’s largest wind-turbine maker to power its supply chain

What does an iPhone have in common with a wind turbine in rural China? Apple is behind them both.<p>Apple has invested in four subsidiaries of Goldwind, China’s largest wind-turbine manufacturer. Each branch is located in a different province—Henan, Shandong, Shanxi, and Yunnan—and Apple will take a …

China

The colors you see behind your eyes could hold clues for scientists about treating depression

As sophisticated as our brains are, they can be easily fooled.<p>Take vision for example: Our eyes gather in information about the outside world and signal to the optic nerve, which turns this info into electrical signals in a part of the brain called the visual cortex. Our visual cortex tells us what …

The Brain

A 99-million-year-old piece of amber definitively proves that dinosaurs had feathers

Scientists have discovered a feathered dinosaur tail trapped in a piece of 99-million-year-old amber, bought from an amber market in Myanmar. The specimen is definitive proof that two-legged dinosaurs like <i>Tyrannosaurus rex</i> had bird-like feathers.<p>While a dinosaur-era feather had been found embedded …

Dinosaurs

Would a universal basic income fix US economic inequality? One group is spending $10 million to find out

Universal basic income (UBI) is either a miracle cure for ailing capitalist economies or a dead end for a doomed, under-employed underclass. Nobody really knows which is true because UBI has never been fully studied. Now, one of the most ambitious efforts so far is about to spend millions to find …

Economics

India’s startup billionaires are desperate to make the country like protectionist China

India’s biggest startups want foreign capital, but no competition from abroad.<p>Co-founders of home-grown tech majors Flipkart and Ola—which have been fiercely battling with American players, Amazon and Uber, respectively—believe the presence of foreign competitors is destroying the domestic market …

Startups

Rio may just charge tourists a robbery tax—you know, to pay them back for future muggings

Rio de Janeiro has a devastatingcrime problem, but the incoming mayor of the <i>Cidade maravilhosa</i> doesn’t want that to dissuade much-needed tourists from visiting<i>.</i> So, to shed its “negative image,” he said he wants to tax tourists and use the money to pay them back if they are robbed.<p>“Rio de Janeiro …

Policing

Silicon Valley’s premier news source is halting all political debate—at least for a week

The brilliant minds who hang around Hacker News—the tech-oriented social news site run by the famed Silicon Valley startup incubator Y Combinator—can talk about anything on the site. But not politics, it turns out.<p>Following one of the most divisive elections in US history, Hacker News has called …

Silicon Valley

The “post-truth” world is nothing new: Americans have been lying about sex for decades

Over the past few weeks, as the idea of a Trump presidency has gone from unthinkable joke to horrifying reality, I’ve heard a new term making the rounds, particularly among my friends in media. “We’re living in a post-truth era,” they tell me, citing Trump’s many lies and contradictions, the rise …

Republican Party

Pantone hopes its color of the year will improve our gloomy mood

The time has come to put away 2016’s pink and blue. Pantone announced today (Dec. 8), that it has chosen a “tangy yellow-green” shade called “Greenery” as the color of the year for 2017.<p>The mythic color standards company says it selected the bright, natural color as a counterpoint to the dark …

Kermit the Frog

In Islam, the gift of feeding others is a spiritual act

Muslim holiday gift-giving doesn’t translate as neatly as a perfectly wrapped boxes around a Christmas tree.<p>Gift-giving in Islam <i>is</i> encouraged. A common Muslim saying <i>tahaabu, tahaadu</i>, translates as “give gifts to spread love to one another.” There are several stories of the prophet Muhammad giving …

Religion

The Japanese food giant that invented MSG is bringing more processed food to Africa

Japanese food giant Ajinomoto, whose name is synonymous with the flavor enhancer it invented, monosodium glutamate (MSG), is now targeting Africa’s middle class. The food and ingredients producer is buying a 33% stake in Promasidor, which sells powdered milk, drinks, and seasonings in more than …

Africa

Everything we thought we knew about free trade is wrong

“I’m a free trader,” said Donald Trump, in his speech announcing his candidacy. That was in June 2015. Since then, he’s been singing a very different tune. Sounding more like a flannel-wearing protester than the ruthless tycoon of <i>The Apprentice,</i> Trump now says the US needs “fair trade, not free …

Economics

The presidential race in Africa’s “beacon of democracy” is currently too tight to call

With polls closing at 5pm local time on Dec. 7, Ghana now faces an anxious wait for the results of its presidential elections.<p>Keeping with the trend of previous presidential elections, observers currently consider the race between incumbent John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo, his main opponent, too …

Democracy

Information overload? Most Americans say it’s not a problem

If you feel like there’s too much information, you’re in the minority.<p>A Pew Research Center survey published Dec. 7 found most Americans report information overload is not a problem. The organization wanted to know if the exponential growth of digital media was weighing on people’s minds. The …

Information Overload

Goldman Sachs and other banks moved thousands of jobs out of the US—will Trump go after them, too?

Goldman Sachs’ biggest office outside its New York City headquarters isn’t in the financial capitals of London or Hong Kong—it is in the sprawling south Indian city of Bangalore, now officially called Bengaluru.<p>At the “Embassy Golf Links Business Park,” a neatly laid out campus with palm trees and …

Republican Party