Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The People’s Republic of China celebrates its 66th birthday.President Xi Jinping will make a televised address, giant floral bouquets will be arranged, and the nation’s stock markets will be closed for a week to celebrate the National Day holiday.
Hurricane Joaquin approaches the Bahamas. The tropical storm intensified to a category one hurricane on Wednesday (Sept. 30), but meteorologists are forecasting wildly different paths. It may avoid landfall entirely, or wreak havoc on the eastern United States.
The Obama administration issues a new ozone regulation. The US Environmental Protection Agency will publish a final rule concerning surface-level ozone, or smog. Republicans are likely to fight the new restrictions while green groups are expected to simultaneously defend the agency and sue it for more stringent rules.
Jack Dorsey takes the reins at Twitter, officially. The Twitter co-founder has been serving as interim CEO for three months—while also running the financial payments startup Square—and the board is now prepared to make it official, according to Recode. Twitter’s directors had previously insisted they would only consider candidates who couldmake a “full-time commitment.”
While you were sleeping
Russia launched airstrikes in Syria. Its planes bombed anti-government rebel strongholds near the city of Homs, but the US claimed they were the “wrong” targets—not ISIL fighters, but ratherrebels allied with the CIA (paywall). Russian president Vladimir Putin described the strikes as the only way to aid Syria in its fight against terrorism.
Google and Microsoft dropped their patent feud. The tech giantsended around 20 lawsuits in the US and Germany, without disclosing financial details, and said they would collaborate on certain projects instead. Google inherited the legal fights when it acquired Motorola’s mobile phone unit.
Mahmoud Abbas called it quits on the Oslo Accords. In a speech at the United Nations, the president of the Palestinian Authorityaccused Israel of violating the agreement that laid the foundation for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinian flag was raised for the first time at the UN headquarters.
Chinese manufacturing appeared to bottom out. The official purchasing managers’ index rose to 49.8 in September, from 49.7 in August, signaling a slower rate of contraction in the manufacturing sector (a level above 50 signals expansion). That suggests recent interest rate cuts and other stimulus measures might be having a positive impact.
Japan’s Tankan survey showed dark clouds ahead. The central bank’s third-quarter business review showed a drop in confidence among large manufacturers to 12, from 15 in the second quarter. That’s still in positive territory but marks the first decline in three quarters; shares rose as investors anticipated the news would lead to more stimulus measures.
The US averted another government shutdown. Congress approved a measure to fund the federal government, several hours ahead of a midnight (ET) deadline and over the opposition of conservative legislators who were agitating for a showdown over Planned Parenthood funding. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill shortly.
Quartz obsession interlude
Katherine Whittaker on what’s missing from the United Nations General Assembly’s agenda. “Delegates, world leaders, and philanthropists from around the world flooded into New York City last week for the beginning of the 70th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). But while the UNGA plans to discuss many important global issues over the next few weeks—notably the new goals regarding climate change and peacekeeping reforms—there is one glaring omission: Nowhere among the Assembly’s over 170 items is the Syrian or European refugee crisis specifically mentioned.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
VW’s scandal erased 55 years of spectacular advertising. It may take decades to regain trust.
Tesla’s new SUV is made for moms. Women buy 53% of sport utility vehicles.
Indoor toilets are a step backward for civilization. Flushing uses up valuable water and spreads pathogens to rivers and oceans.
Parasites are threatened by climate change, too. We need to savenature’s least sympathetic creatures.
It was easier to be skinny in the 1980s than it is today. Chemicals and prescription drugs may be making us fatter, even if we eat the same amount as a few decades ago.
Japan promised to pay companies for promoting women to senior jobs. Not a single firm responded to the offer.
Beijing researchers are selling genetically engineered micropigs.The pets go for 10,000 yuan ($1,600).
A 4,000-year-old poem just got 20 lines longer. A newly discovered stone tablet adds to the Epic of Gilgamesh.
Danish moms are being asked to send their adult kids on baby-making vacations. Anything to reverse a demographic death spiral.
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