Despite a petition that got more than 34,000 signatures, The White House will not construct a Death Star spacecraft for national defense. - 

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, had reassuring words this morning about the state of the European economy. "We forecast the eurozone to be delivering growth in 2013, which is better than the recession that it has experienced in 2012. So there is an improvement and there is a beginning of recovery," Lagarde told the BBC. Yet the numbers from European officials this morning tell a different story. Industrial output in the eurozone dropped in November by the most in three years.

And now to Beijing, where the air pollution was so bad over the weekend that the city ordered all government vehicles off the road. In addition, some state-owned enterprises were shut down to try and keep the situation from escalating. The pollution was about 40 times worse than limits set by the World Health Organization.

"Argo" and "Les Miserables" were the big winners at the Golden Globes last night, but at the box office the No. 1 film over the weekend was "Zero Dark Thirty," which brought in $24 million.

Facebook is promising a big announcement tomorrow at its Silicon Valley headquarters. Reporters have been invited to: "come and see what we're building."

And if that PR strategy for  a new product launch feels kinda familiar, that's because it is. The North American International Auto Show is getting underway today in Detroit. And gone are the questions about whether the big U.S. automakers will survive post-bailout -- they did better last year than in any year since the recession began. So what does the road ahead look like?

Apple's stock is down sharply this morning after a report that demand for the iPhone 5 is waning. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has cut its orders for iPhone 5 components, like screens, because of weak demand.

And finally, To the White House, which has just shot down a few ideas. You may have heard that a trillion-dollar coin will not be minted as a back-door solution to raising the debt ceiling. But then there's this news: Despite a petition that got more than 34,000 signatures, the White House will not construct a Death Star spacecraft for national defense. A White House spokesman responded to the request saying the administration does not support blowing up planets. And besides, a Death Star would cost
an estimated $850 quadrillion.

Follow Jeremy Hobson at @jeremyhobson