#Airbus snubs #Bombardier, #Yum’s #China quagmire, printed shoes

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

A joint French-German address to the EU. German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president François Hollande will talk about the pressing refugee crisis and ways to deepen integration in a speech before the European Parliament.

And the chemistry Nobel goes to…? The latest Nobel prize, following recent announcements for medicine and physics, is in chemistry. Leading contenders include discoveries related to genetics and batteries.

Alexis Tsipras faces a confidence vote. The newly re-elected prime minister will wrap up a three-day parliamentary debate with a vote, as is standard procedure following an election. Tsipras is trying to strike a balance between the demands of international creditors and his pledge to ease the pain of austerity measures.

While you were sleeping

Yum Brands tanked after a profit warning. The owner of KFC and Pizza Hut said its full-year profit would be “well below” an earlier forecasted gain of at least 10% compared to last year; that sent shares down by as much as 19% in late trading. Recovery from a food safety scandal in China, where Yum earns more than half its revenue, istaking much longer than expected.

Airbus ended talks with Bombardier over potential collaboration.The European aerospace giant confirmed that it had been in talks with the struggling Canadian plane maker about assisting with the production of Bombardier’s CSeries jet, but that talks are now over. Bombardier’s CSeries has been expensive and delayed; its stock price is down 57% this year.

Japan held steady on its stimulus. The central bank left its 80 trillion-yen-per-year ($663 billion) stimulus measure in place, and maintained its interest rate at zero, citing a continued moderate recovery (paywall). That’s despite the bank struggling to hit its target inflation rate of 2%.

AirAsia is considering a management buyout. Founders of Asia’s largest budget carrier are seeking investment for the deal, according to Reuters. That follows a report in June that questioned the airline’s accounting practices and sent its share prices to their lowest in years; at yesterday’s close the company was valued at 3.5 billion Malaysian ringgit ($796 million), the same as when it went public over a decade ago.

Volkswagen said recalls will begin in January. Matthias Mueller, the German automaker’s new CEO, said all 11 million affected cars will be fixed by the end of 2016. All investments not absolutely necessary will be put on hold, and new spending will come under intense scrutiny,Mueller told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (link in German).

Autoworkers walked out of talks with Fiat Chrysler. The UAW union gave notice that its 40,000 members will go on strike at 11:59 pm today (time zone unspecified) unless their demands are met. Last week, the UAW rank and file overwhelmingly voted to reject a labor contract crafted by Fiat and union leaders.


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Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on America’s lobster boom. “A scientist who tracks baby lobsters reports that in the last few years their numbers have abruptly plummeted, up and down Maine’s coast. With the number of breeding lobsters at an all-time high, it’s unclear why the baby lobster population would be cratering—let alone what it portends. It could reflect a benign shift in baby lobster habitats. Or it could be that the two-decade boom is already on its way to a bust.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Britain is the best place to die. It ranks near the top in palliative care, affordability, and other key measures.

China’s new credit scoring system is an Orwellian nightmare. Run in part by Alibaba, it measures the ability to repay debt along withpolitical compliance.

Turkey is in serious trouble. Take political unrest and a slowing economy, and add Russian activity in its backyard.

Facebook’s “poor internet for poor people” is better than nothing in Africa. Even cynically restricted access to the internet will helpseverely under-connected communities.

Clean energy will be this generation’s version of landing a man on the moon. It can be done, if the world is motivated enough.

Properly cooking pasta requires more than one pot. Don’t settle for a single-pan shortcut just because Martha Stewart does.

Surprising discoveries

Humans are worse for wildlife than nuclear disasters. Wildlife is thriving at the site of the Chernobyl disaster, which is devoid of human habitation.

Nike wants you to print your shoes at home. A top executive said 3D-printed footwear is “not that far away.

The CIA once paid spies with items from Sears catalogs. Twenty days in the field were worth one boys’ red velvet blazer.

The cure for scurvy was quickly forgotten. Twentieth-century South Pole explorers paid the price (PS: It’s vitamin C).

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, old Sears catalogs, and Chernobyl wildlife pics tohi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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#BP’s final settlement, new #Microsoft devices, breathalyzers for Antarctica

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Protesters meet with Nepal’s government after deadly unrest. The United Democratic Madhesi Front will sit down with state leaders, after recent demonstrations against Nepal’s new constitution left 45 dead. The group, which has close ties to India, has also been blocking the flow of vital supplies into the country.

Microsoft unveils a new line of Windows 10 devices. The tech giantis expected to announce new Surface tablets and Lumia phones at an event in New York. Other new products will be revealed throughout the week.

The US commerce secretary visits Cuba. Penny Pritzker will meet with Cuban officials to discuss loosening US restrictions on travel and business between the two nations. She is the second member of president Obama’s cabinet to travel to Cuba since diplomatic relations resumed this year.

Soda and fast food brands announce third-quarter earnings. Pepsi is expected to report a strong quarter thanks to emerging market growth, while investors in Yum Brands, the owner of KFC and Pizza Hut, will be watching to see how a slowdown in China—its largest market—affects earnings.

While you were sleeping

BP finalized a $20 billion Deepwater Horizon settlement. The agreement between the oil major, the US justice department, and five states will resolve all civil claims and bind the company to a clean-up operation. The settlement, due for approval by a judge, comes after an offshore oil rig spilled 134 million gallons of oil into the US Gulf Coast in 2010.

Apple acquired an artificial intelligence company. The iPhone maker didn’t disclose how much it paid for Perceptio, which has developed an image recognition system based on deep learning. Perceptio had been working on a way to learn about the user without compromising his or her privacy.

Nato criticized Russia over its airspace incursion. The security coalition condemned Russia for allowing its fighter jets to violate Turkish airspace twice over the weekend, a move that it says could have led to a military standoff. Russia has sent planes to strike targets in Syria, which borders Turkey. Other planes could be intercepted, Turkey’s prime minister warned.

Rio 2016 cut its budget by almost a third. Brazilian Olympic organizers said they have reduced the spending plan for next year’s games by 30%, to avoid going over the $3.6 billion budget. Although the costs are privately financed, the Brazilian government would have to pay for any overspend; one area to receive a cut will be the opening ceremony.

The thin ranks of female CEOs at blue-chip companies got a bit thinner. DuPont executive Ellen Kullman is out.


SMS texting is helping solve Africa’s health infrastructure problem. In sub-Saharan Africa, the mobile phone’s ubiquity and affordability is helping to create a large sensor network for budget technologies that lower the cost of healthcare. It’s called mHealth, and it is building a system on the back of established mobile money technology rather than relying solely on onerous and expensive healthcare infrastructure upgrades. For the at-risk population, it seems to be making a difference.

Quartz obsession interlude

Max Nisen on curing blindness with gene therapy. “Spark Therapeutics, a Philadelphia-based biotechnology company that went public earlier this year, announced that its experimental treatment for a rare form of blindness significantly improved patients’ sight in an essential phase 3 clinical trial with no serious side effects. It’s certainly good news for the firm, and is a positive sign for other high-risk, high-potential companies betting on these kinds of treatments.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Sweden is not the progressive utopia it’s made out to be. Those who say racism is not a problem in the Scandinavian country are fooling themselves.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is weak tea. Big new trade agreements used to be global, not regional.

Americans care too much about undergraduate degrees. It’s wasteful to make four years of college a prerequisite for many jobs.

The argument for an armed US citizenry is bogus. Without rigorous and continuous military-style training, most gun owners would find their weapons useless in survival situations.

Everybody is racist. We shouldn’t ignore whites who feel discriminated against.

Surprising discoveries

Even engineers can’t afford to live near their San Francisco offices. Average rent around the Airbnb and Google offices can eat up to half of senior employees’ take-home income.

We are approaching the end of extreme poverty. The percentage of people around the world who lack basic necessities could fall under 10% this year.

California farmers are using spiritual guides to find water.Dowsers, who use mystical divination to find water sources, may be a cost-effective alternative to geologists.

The female blanket octopus is 70 times larger than her male counterpart. That sets the stage for one of the trickier sex acts in nature.

Scientists stationed in Antarctica have drinking problems. Their employers are considering sending breathalyzers to the research stations this year.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, blanket octopuses, and San Francisco rental tips tohi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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MONETARIO – Cosa succede oggi lunedì 5 ottobre 05/10/2015 – RSF

MOSCOVICI – Ieri su Repubblica Moscovici, che esaminerà tra qualche settimana le leggi di Stabilità dei vari governi, ha dichiarato che per l’Italia “abbassare la pressione fiscale è possibile ma bisognerà compensare con dei tagli strutturali alla spesa pubblica”. Un monito al governo Renzi che “può fare come meglio crede ma che, contestualmente, dovrà presentarci dei risparmi strutturali sulla spesa pubblica che compensino il mancato gettito fiscale. Insomma: l’impegno complessivo sull’equilibrio dei conti deve rimanere inalterato”. Il commissario per gli Affari economici ha detto che si può continuare sulla strada delle riforme, “ma senza riproporre eternamente riforme concepite durante la crisi”.

RENZI A “IN 1/2ORA” – Ospite di Lucia Annunziata, ieri il premier ha parlato delle stime sul Pil riviste al rialzo. “Abbiamo stimato una crescita del Pil allo 0,9%, ma secondo me arriviamo all’1%”, ha detto Renzi. Il premier ha parlato anche di riduzione del canoneRai da agganciare alla bolletta della luce e di tagli per le imprese. Dopo il taglio sulle tasse per la prima casa, la legge di Stabilità potrebbe contenere una riduzione all’Ires versata dalle aziende. “Io volevo portarla nel 2017, d’accordo conPadoan, credo che riusciremo ad anticiparla almeno in parte nel 2016”. Un taglio anticipato che non dovrebbe riguardare solo il Sud, ma tutto il territorio nazionale.

PMI SERVIZI – Con i numeri relativi all’attività del settore dei servizi di settembre sarà possibile avere un quadro sull’andamento nell’economia dei paesi europei e della zona euro nel complesso nel terzo trimestre. Per quanto riguarda l’Italia, la mediana delle stime degli economisti suggerisce una riduzione del ritmodi espansione a 54,0 da 54,6. Secondo Istat, nel periodo luglio-settembre, il Pil è cresciuto tra lo 0,2% e lo 0,4% dopo +0,3% segnato nel secondo trimestre. La settimana corsa le indagini Pmi hanno evidenziato una frenata del ritmo di espansionedell’attività del settore manifatturiero italiano (news) e della zona euro (news).

EUROGRUPPO – A Lussemburgo il ministro delle Finanze greco Tsakalotos, confermato da Tsipras nella squadra di governo annunciata dopo lanuova vittoria alle elezioni, illusterà ai colleghi della zona euro i passi che Atene intende compiere per adempiere alle condizioni previste nel memorandum sottoscritto ad agosto in cambio del terzo pacchetto di aiuti.

ELEZIONI PORTOGALLO -Le urne confermano il governo di centro-destra alla guida del Paese, ma non gli concedono la maggioranza assoluta determinando attese di un’incertezza politica. Pedro Passos Coelho è il primo leader europpeo rieletto dopo aver imposto al suo Paese lemisure di austerity per il salvataggio nel quadro della crisi del debito del 2009. Tuttavia la mancanza di una maggioranza potrebbe innervosire gli investitori. Nessun governo di minoranza è durato un’intera legislatura in Portogallo fin dalrovesciamento nel 1974 della dittatura fascista di Salazar.

BTP – Le deludenti cifre degli occupati Usa di settembre hanno ridotto la possibilità di una stretta sui tassi da parte di Federal Reserve entro quest’anno, aumentando invece la pressione sulla Bce perché potenzi il proprio programma di quantitative easing. In scia ai Treasuries e al Bund, i tassi dei Btp si sono mossi verso il basso, con il rendimento del decennale che si è spinto fino a 1,612%, minimo da inizio maggio.

RATING – Venerdì a mercati chiusi S&P ha alzato il rating sovrano spagnolo a ‘BBB+’ da ‘BBB’, mantenendo un outlook stabile, citando una prospettiva di crescita del 4% nei prossimi anni e i benefici derivanti dalle riforme del mercato del lavoro. Moody’s ha mantenuto a ‘AAA’ la sua valutazione sulla Finlandia, una decisione che arriva due settimane dopo che anche Fitch ha deciso di mantenere al gradino più alto il suo rating sul Paese.

GREGGIO – Future in rialzo per ilgreggio dopo che la Russia si è detta pronta a discutere con i produttori sulla situazione nel mercato globale del petrolio, i cui prezzi si sono più che dimezzati dai massimi dell’anno scorso a causa di un eccesso nella produzione. Attorno alle 7,40italiane il future a novembre sul Brent <LCOc1> scambia a 48,34 dollari al barile con un rialzo di 21 centesimi, mentre la stessa scadenza sul greggio leggero Usa sale di 25 centesimi sul Nymex <CLc1> a 45,79 dollari al barile.

FOREX -Dollaro in convalescenza sulle piazze asiatiche dopo aver toccato venerdì il minimo della due settimane contro un paniere di valute, colpito dal debole dato sull’occupazione Usa, risultato più debole delle attese. Attorno alle 7,40, l’indice deldollaro vale 95,772 da 95,018 toccato venerdì. L’euro vale 1,1233/35 dollari <EUR=> da 1,1209 della chiusura di venerdì, e 134,75/81 yen <EURJPY=> 134,38. Il dollaro/yen <JPY=> si attesta a 119,97/98 da 119,89

Markit, Pmi servizi settembre (9,45) – attesa 54,0.

Markit, Pmi servizi finale settembre (9,50) – attesa 51,2.

Markit, Pmi composito finale settembre (9,50).

Markit, Pmi servizi finalesettembre (9,55) – attesa 54,3.

Markit, Pmi composito finale settembre (9,55).

Markit/Cips, Pmi servizi settembre (10,30) – attesa 56,0.

Pmi servizi settembre (7,00).

Pmiservizi settembre (9,15) – attesa 58,5

Markit, Pmi servizi finale settembre (10,00) – attesa 54,0.

Markit, Pmi composito finale settembre (10,00) – attesa 53,9.

Indice Sentix ottobre (10,30) – attesa 11,8.

Vendite al dettaglio agosto (11,00) – attesa 0,0% m/m.

Markit, Pmi servizi finale settembre (15,45).

Markit, Pmi composito finale settembre (15,45).

Ism non manifatturiero settembre (16,00) – attesa 58,1.

Francia, Tesoro offre titoli di Stato a breve termine.

Tesoro offre 21 miliardi dollari titoli di Stato a 13 settimane, scadenza 7/1/2016 e 21 miliardi di dollari titoli di Stato a 26 settimane, scadenza7/4/2016.

Rho, inaugurazione EMO Milano 2015 (Mostra Mondiale di Macchine Utensili, Robot e Automazione) con Peraboni, Squinzi, Maroni, sottosegretario Mef Zanetti; atteso Renzi (10,30).

Bergamo, assembleagenerale Confindustria Bergamo; parte pubblica (15,00) con interventi vice presidente Stm Cuomo, DG MiSE Firpo; conclusioni Squinzi.

Atene, Tsipras presenta programma in Parlamento.

Atene, Commissario Ue alle PoliticheRegionali Corina Cretu inizia visita; termina l’8 ottobre.

Lussemburgo, riunione Eurogruppo con Coeuré.

Istanbul, G20-Ocse “Global Forum on International Investment 2015” con segretario generale Ocse Gurria, Calenda.

Cina, mercati chiusi per festività; fino al 7 ottobre.

Websim Focus sui Mercati finanziari 05/10/2015 – WS

Asia. Avvio di settimana brillante per le Borse dell’Estremo Oriente nella scia di WallStreet, capace venerdì di invertire la rotta dopo un avvio in flessione. Tokyo +1,6%, Hong Kong +1,6%, Taiwan +0,6%, Seul +0,9%, Mumbai +1,4%. Shanghai è ancora chiusa per festività.

La debole creazione di posti di lavoro in settembre negli USA tende ad allontanare al 2016 l’ipotesi di rialzo del costo del denaro.

A Hong Kong, Glencore, uno dei colossi mondiali dell’attività mineraria, affossato dalla crisi delle materie prime, vola in rialzo del 70% sui rumors di cessione della divisione agricoltura.

I future sulle Borse europee anticipano un avvio in rialzo del 2%.

Portogallo. Il premier uscente di centrodestra Pedro Passos Coelho ha vinto le elezioni politiche, perdendo però la maggioranza assoluta in Parlamento. La formazione del nuovo governo di minoranza si annuncia dunque incerta. Coelho si è distinto per una politica di austerità ‘lacrime e sangue’, ma i portoghesi hanno capito, a differenza della Grecia, che il primo passo per uscire dalla crisi è quello della responsabilità e del rigore.

Analisi tecnica borse. Le ultime sedute hanno evidenziato altri segnali importanti che vanno nella direzione della “ricucitura” degli strappi ribassisti visti tra agosto e settembre. Il Nikkei (18mila) e il Nasdaq (4.707) hanno allungato la distanza dalla trendline rialzista di lungo periodo. L’S&P500 (1.951) fornirebbe un bel segnale di ricostruzione della tendenza con il ritorno sopra 1.973 punti. Manca solo un punticino. Resta sotto pressione il Dax di Francoforte (9.553) che vede i livelli critici a 10.120 punti.

FtseMib (21.395). Ha chiuso la settimana con un modesto +0,3%, sufficiente per riportare l’indice sopra la trendline rialzista di lungo periodo passante a 21mila punti. Sarebbe un segnale molto positivo chiudere l’ottava entrante con una conferma di questo segnale. Al ribasso, da monitorare i minimi di periodo a 20.500/20.160 punti. Prime serie resistenze a 22.270 punti.

Variabili macro

Petrolio. La settimana si è chiusa con un modesto calo, inferiore al punto percentuale. Stamattina prezzi flat. Brent 48,4 usd, Wti 45,8 usd. Si rimane tra gli importanti minimi dell’anno in area 40 usd e i primi ostacoli al rialzo posizionati tra 50/55 usd. Per trading si suggerisce una operatività in controtrend all’avvicinamento degli estremi.

Oro (1.135 usd). Settimana chiusa con un -0,6%, malgrado il violento rimbalzo di venerdì guidato dalla flessione del dollaro. La reazione è solo tecnica. Prime resistenze verso 1.160 usd. La tendenza rimane depressa e ribassista. Non escludiamo che per fine anno si arrivi anche a 1.000 usd.


Valute emergenti. La settimana si apre con ulteriori segnali distensivi. Il Real brasiliano guadagna il 2% contro dollaro, la Rupia indonesiana lo 0,6%, la Rupia indiana è al quinto rialzo e stamattina si porta su nuovi top da agosto contro dollaro. Si tratta di una buona notizia anzitutto per le borse occidentali, che vedono un riequilibrio di importanti mercati di sbocco.

Euro/Dollaro (1,123). I deludenti dati sul mercato del lavoro Usa hanno provocato una fiammata dell’euro fino a 1,13, spentasi rapidamente. Ciò conferma che la tendenza di fondo rimane favorevole al dollaro. Manteniamo le posizioni in dollari e suggeriamo di incrementare la posizione se si arriva sulla parte alta del range 1,05-1,15.


Proseguono i progressi di tutti i bond che potrebbero beneficiare anche dell’esito elettorale portoghese.

Bund tedesco. Il rendimento del decennale tedesco è sceso a 0,51%, sulla parte bassa del range degli ultimi tre mesi 0,60%-0,8%. Da qui in giù, ovvero fino ai minimi storici intorno a “zero”, cominciamo a prendere profitto.

Grecia. Poco mossi nel corso della settimana scorsa, ma hanno consolidato gli importanti progressi. Le novità sul Portogallo lasciano ancora meno spazio alle velleità anti-europee. Lo spread apre a quota 740 punti base per un rendimento del 7,8%.

Italia. Il rendimento del Btp 10 anni è sceso all’1,63% sui minimi da maggio. Lo spread invece resta piatto a 111. Confermiamo il giudizio positivo e puntiamo ancora a uno spread tra 50/80 punti base per fine anno. Il rendimento potrebbe avvicinarsi ai recenti minimi storici: 1,10%.


#Rcs e #Mondadori corrono in borsa dopo firma accordo su Libri 05/10/2015 09:23 – RSF

MILANO, 5 ottobre (Reuters) – Avvio di seduta all’insegna del denaro per Rcs (RCS.MI) e Mondadori (MN.MI) dopo la sigla dell’accordo per la vendita di Rcs Libri, arrivata dopo mesi di trattative e varie proroghe.

Intorno alle 9,10 Rcs balza del 5,15% a 0,8875 euro e Mondadori guadagna il 3,9% a 1,012.

Ieri in tarda serata Rcs ha comunicato di aver firmato il contratto per la cessione dell’intera partecipazione detenuta in Rcs Libri a Mondadori al prezzo di 127,5 milioni di euro.

“La lunga trattativa si è risolta con la concessione di uno sconto di 7,5 milioni rispetto all’offerta vincolante in cambio dell’assunzione da parte di Mondadori degli eventuali rischi di natura antitrust”, sottolinea Icbpi nella nota giornaliera.”Per Rcs la cessione dei Libri consentirà un importante abbattimento del debito (526 milioni) che dovrebbe risolvere il nodo legato ai relativi covenants. Mondadori rafforza invece la posizione di leadership nel settore Libri (market share trade 39% e scolastica a 25%) con la possibilità di estrarre significative sinergie avvicinando la redditività degli asset acquisiti a quella di Mondadori Libri (13% Ebitda margin nel 2014)”.

Il prezzo, spiega la nota Rcs, è stato determinato sulla base di un Enterprise Value pari a 130 milioni e una pfn media (per neutralizzare gli effetti della stagionalità del business) e rettificata (anche includendo il riacquisto delle minorities di Marsilio) pari a -2,5 milioni. Sono inoltre previsti meccanismidi aggiustamento del prezzo pari a massimi +/- 5 milioni sulla base di predeterminati obiettivi economici legati ai risultati 2015 di Rcs Libri e un earn-out in favore di Rcs MediaGroup fino a 2,5 milioni al verificarsi di talune condizioni riferiteai risultati aggregati 2017 delle relative attività librarie.

Il perimetro dell’operazione comprende l’intera quota (pari al 99,99%) posseduta da Rcs MediaGroup in Rcs Libri con le sottostanti partecipazioni (che al closing includeranno il 94,71% di Marsilio Editore), ad esclusione del 58% posseduto in Adelphi Edizioni, che verrà ceduta al socio Roberto Calasso.

Tale perimetro ha registrato nell’esercizio 2014 valori pro-forma che evidenziavano ricavi per 221,6 milioni di euro, Ebitdaante oneri non ricorrenti per 8,8 milioni e investimenti per 11 milioni, di cui 1,7 milioni destinati al rinnovo delle librerie Rizzoli.

Il perfezionamento è soggetto all’approvazione delle competenti autorità regolatorie; eventuali provvedimenti di autorizzazione condizionata non pregiudicheranno il completamento dell’operazione e non comporteranno modifiche delle condizioni economiche per Rcs MediaGroup.

Il corrispettivo dell’operazione, che verrà regolato per cassa al closing,”permetterà a Rcs da un lato di disporre di risorse finanziarie per gli investimenti di sviluppo del business, dall’altro di rafforzare la propria struttura finanziaria e di procedere nel percorso di ridefinizione dei principali termini del contrattodi finanziamento in essere con gli istituti finanziatori”, sottolinea il comunicato.

Sul sito http://www.reuters.it le altre notizie Reuters in italiano. Le top news anche su http://www.twitter.com/reuters_italia

#Nobel prizes, #Palmyra destruction, revealing #Twitter language

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

The Nobel prize in medicine is awarded. A Thomson Reuters analysis of possible contenders includes researchers studying microbes in the human gut and a protein mechanism behind the death of cells. Other Nobel prizes will be announced this week and next.

Oil prices take another hit. In its most aggressive effort to grab and hold market share since the price plunge began 16 months ago, Saudi Aramco has dropped its prices by $2 a barrel. Look for a blow to Brent benchmark prices, which have already been trading below $50 a barrel.

Britain’s Conservative party sets out its agenda. The second day of the annual party conference, which is aiming to brand the Conservatives as a “party of working people,” will include a speech from chancellor George Osborne, its possible future leader. So far, several MPs used their speeches to warn against socialist Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The US Supreme Court starts a new term. The court is expected to consider cases involving affirmative action, labor unions, class-action suits, abortion, and the death penalty, with rulings coming in June 2016.

Over the weekend

A dozen Pacific nations neared a deal on a major trade pact.Negotiators reported breakthroughs on key issues blocking agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, anchored by the US and Japan and including countries representing two-fifths of the world’s economy.

The World Bank downgraded Asia growth… The institution expects developing East Asian economies to grow at 6.5% this year, down from an anticipated 6.7% earlier. That comes after it lowered its forecast for China growth, to 6.9% from 7.1% earlier; slower China growth is expected to strain regional resources, trade, and tourism.

…And is asking for more cash. President Jim Yong Kim is pushing for an increase to the bank’s capital base, to counteract a slowdown in emerging markets (paywall). The request for an addition to the $253 billion it holds in its main development arm also comes after world leaders signed up for the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

A US airstrike hit a charity-run hospital in Afghanistan—killing doctors and patients. Médecins Sans Frontières said 22 people were killed, and called the US bombing a war crime.

Islamic State destroyed another monument in Palmyra. The Arch of Triumph, built by the Romans around 1,800 years ago, was “pulverized,” several sources have confirmed. That follows the destruction of two other major monuments in the Unesco-recognized ancient city.

Pope Francis reiterated Catholic church opposition to same-sex marriage. His remarks came during a mass Sunday; the Vatican also dismissed a priest who had come out as gay. Here’s a review of the pope’s comments on gay rights.

Portugal’s center-right government likely won re-election. Exit polls suggested a victory for the governing coalition, which has deployed austerity policies in the wake of a bailout of the country.


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Quartz obsession interlude

Tim Fernholz on why giving money to random entrepreneurs might be the best way for developing countries to create jobs. “In 2011, then-Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala launched a business plan competition in cooperation with the World Bank that would award $58 million in grants to 1,200 entrepreneurs, who could use the money to start a new business or expand an existing one. Now a new study of this program led Columbia University political scientist Chris Blattman to wonder if this scheme was ‘the most effective development program in history.’” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Stock-market performance will be weak for at least 10 more years.The US is in the middle of a lengthy bear market because stocks are highly overvalued.

The US is engaged in a proxy war with Russia in Syria. And the flood of Syrian refugees to Europe is a direct result of failed American policy.

Tim Cook’s Apple has forced the rest of the tech world to adjust to it. Even enterprise-technology companies orbit Apple now.

The higher your credit score, the higher your chances of a lasting relationship. Creditworthiness is a proxy for “an individual’s general trustworthiness and commitment to non-debt obligations.”

Surprising discoveries

Your Twitter language hints at your salary. A study of 10 million tweets accurately predicted the socioeconomic backgrounds of the tweeters.

An artist converted an Ikea bookcase into a coffin. Because who doesn’t have an extra Billy shelving unit hanging around.

Subtle rule changes are having an impact on American football strategy. There are now more missed extra-point kicks than in recent memory.

Scientists are working on an “exercise pill.” They’re studying how to replicate molecular reactions to exercise, so you’ll never have to work out again.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, exercise alternatives, and Billy bookcase hacks tohi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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Weekend edition—The gun-control conflict, stolen memory, extreme commuting

Good morning, Quartz readers!

There is nothing more to say.

As the British journalist Dan Hodges observed in June, “In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.”

Since that massacre less than three years ago, there have been almost 1,000 shootings in the US at which four or more people were hit, and over 1,200 deaths. The most shocking thing about this week’s killing of nine people in Oregon was its ordinariness.

The media frenzy each time is predictable, and predictably prurient. So are the non-stop, urgent-voiced news bulletins, the jerky cellphone videos, the social-media firestorms, the self-righteous statements from both pro- and anti-gun people, and the sad-faced commentary by world-weary pundits. It’s theater, created to sustain not the impression that we care but the fiction that caring makes a difference.

In this, its industrial-scale output of performative speech, the gun debate echoes another frozen conflict: the one in Israel-Palestine. Four years of covering it made me see that, in certain disputes, the opposing forces attain a sort of self-correcting stasis. Even after a particularly cruel outrage, equilibrium returns quickly, as if neither side can let go of its claim to eternal victimhood. Change does come—many decades-long conflicts have ended—but it takes its own, often mysterious path that neither words nor any single tragedy can alter.

Indeed, instead of “gun-control debate,” we should call it the “gun-control conflict.” There is no debate here, only forces locked in frozen combat.

To be clear, I don’t think the right to bear arms and the right to not get shot dead by the nearest lunatic are merely competing but commensurable demands, like the Jewish and Palestinian claims on a piece of land. But for all practical purposes, they might as well be. There really is nothing more to say. All there is to do is wait.—Gideon Lichfield

Five things on Quartz we especially liked

The man whose memory was stolen. A brain tumor gradually destroyed Demetri Kofinas’s ability to remember and made his life fall apart. In an extraordinary tale of an almost literal rebirth, he relates how he finally found a surgeon who could help, and what happened when the memories that his brain had been making all along—but keeping hidden from him—came flooding back.

Meet the extreme commuters. Uprooting your family to follow your career is out. Weekly international flights or living on another continent’s time zone are the new normal—at least for the ambitious executives Miriam Kreinin Souccar spoke to.

The final, flawed barrier for refugees in Europe. Having braved drowning and other dangers, asylum-seekers in Europe are being put through language and dialect testing to make sure they’re from where they claim. But this system has some serious shortcomings, reports Aamna Mohdin.

The pain-based philosophy of shopping for clothes. Marc Bain set himself a goal: never buy any garment for less than $150. He explains how it has forced him to make more careful, ethical choices about what he buys, in a world where people all too easily buy rafts of cheap fast-fashion clothes they then discard.

A love letter to the unknowns of Tinder. “Digital people are just too easy to dismiss.” Lauren Brown pens a tender ode “to all the men on Tinder I might have loved”—the men whose faces she swiped out of her life with barely a second’s thought.


A car that calms. In an age of increasing gadgets and glaring lights, Volvo’s XC90 takes a different route with its simple and clean Scandinavian design. Featuring premium natural materials, an intuitive Sensus touchscreen, and a fully immersive sound system, the XC90 offers the most relaxing driving experience available.

A podcast we like, and think you’ll like too

This week, Actuality talks to two survivors of April’s deadly avalanche on Mt. Everest—five-time summiteer David Breashears, and Quartz’s own Svati Narula—and discusses the massive industry that’s grown up around Everest ascents. Plus, a flying bag of marijuana destroys a dog house.

Want to work at Quartz? We’re hiring for about 20 positions in our New York and London offices, across editorial, marketing, and engineering. Let us know if you see anything you like.

Five things elsewhere that made us smarter

Where America got its gun rights. Pro-gun folk in the US like to cite the 1846 case of Nunn v. State in their legal battles. What they, and the courts, don’t acknowledge—explain Saul Cornell and Eric Ruben in the Atlantic—is that the case essentially held up the right of white men to use guns to intimidate slaves and settle their quarrels in public.

You don’t “get” old age until you’re in it. “How can a seventeen-year-old like me suddenly be eighty-one?” laments a well-known scientist in Ceridwen Dovey’s essay on old age for the New Yorker. Rebutting lazy literary stereotypes of the elderly as crotchety, comically free-spirited, or senile, Dovey asks: Everyone gets old, so why is it so hard for the young to imagine?

In Europe, austerity is now a vote-winner. In London and Athens, leaders committed to steep spending cuts were recently returned to power. The same may be about to happen in Lisbon and Madrid, as Paul Taylor of Reuters explains. There are exceptions, of course, butthe tide seems to be turning as voters play it safe with the devil they know instead of untested upstart parties with questionable credibility.

How Steve Jobs fleeced Carly Fiorina. Medium’s Steven Levy sticks the knife into the ex-Hewlett Packard CEO and turns it, slowly and exquisitely. Fiorina, now running for the Republican nomination, made Jobs out to be her best buddy in the last debate. But Levy has the story of the business deal in which the Apple chief took her and her company to the cleaners.

A new frontier in economics. “If you made me king of the world, I wouldn’t actually know what we should do,” says star MIT economist Amy Finkelstein about how to deliver good health care. It’s a rare admission for an economist, especially one who has already shifted conventional wisdom on risk, moral hazard, and health insurance, and she explains why she’s now focused on that question in an engaging interview with the Minneapolis Fed.

Our best wishes for a relaxing but thought-filled weekend. Please send any news, comments, ridiculous commuting schedules, and Carly Fiorina anecdotes to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

You’re getting the Europe and Africa edition of the Quartz Daily Brief. We’d also love it if you shared this email with your friends. They can sign up for free here.