#Apple’s big numbers, #US missile test, ancient fidget spinners

Good morning, Quartz readers!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY

The US tests an ICBM. The unarmed test of a Minuteman 3 from California follows North Korea launching an intercontinental ballistic missile—from a surprise location near its border with China—that experts believe could reach much of the United States.

ASEAN’s meeting of foreign ministers kicks off in the Philippines. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is celebrating the regional bloc’s 50th anniversary with a week of meetings in Manila. Some 13,000 police were deployed ahead of president Rodrigo Duterte’s keynote; US secretary of state Rex Tillerson will also attend.

The Reserve Bank of India eases up. With inflation at a record low, bond markets expect the central bank to cut short-term rates by 25 basis points (0.25%). Investors will be watching to see if the RBI signals an appetite for further cuts.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

Apple’s third-quarter results trounced expectations. The world’s most valuable publicly traded company posted net income of $8.72 billion and revenue of $45.4 billion. It said it’s now sold 1.17 billion iPhones, and dispelled rumors of a delayed launch for its next version. Shares were up 4% in after-hours trading.

The possible next prime minister of Japan came into focus.Foreign minister Fumio Kishida is set to become policy chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, according to broadcaster NHK, in a cabinet shakeup due to take place tomorrow. Kishida is widely viewed as the man who could eventually replace embattled prime minister Shinzo Abe.

The US Senate confirmed Trump’s new FBI director.Christopher Wray got the nod from Democrats, who hope he can remain independent even if the president attempts to politicize the bureau. Wray has defended the Russia investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller, whom many have speculated Trump would like to fire.

Venezuela voting data came under scrutiny. Authorities said over 8 million people had voted in a controversial Constitutional Assembly election on Sunday, but a review of the data by Reuters suggested only 3.7 million had. The legislative super-body gives dictatorial power to president Nicolas Maduro, whom the US sanctioned on Monday.

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

Ali Griswold on why Uber should give up on world domination.“Uber could exhaust its remaining $7.2 billion in cash on hand in just over 10 quarters, or two and a half years. It’s time for Uber to swallow its pride and face a hard truth: Instead of attempting to conquer the world, it should be cutting deals with competitors and making a graceful retreat in markets too tough to dominate.” Read more here.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

Privacy settings are a feminist issue. Forcing users to “opt out” of compromising app settings lets tech companies off the hook.

Fears about AI are largely misinformed. Facebook didn’t kill its language-creating AI because it was too smart—quite the opposite.

The Tesla Model 3 isn’t truly progress. It belongs in the category of “defense innovations” designed to maintain the status quo.

QUARTZ ANNOUNCEMENT

The quest to make robots squishy. One man’s work to make robot bodies as malleable as human ones could be the key to integrating artificial intelligence into everyday human life. While you’re there, explore the rest of Machines with Brains, our latest special series documenting the current state of the human-machine relationship.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

A dozen inmates broke out of an Alabama jail using peanut butter. They hoodwinked a rookie guard into believing that an exit was actually a prisoner’s cell (paywall).

A Mesopotamian fidget spinner is actually a weapon. The artifact from the Isin-Larsa Period was initially classified as a toy made of baked clay.

Jellyfish could be the best crunchy snack ever. Danish scientists have a new technique to transform their gooey insides into a chip.

American bee sperm has lost its buzz. Since the US closed its borders to live honeybee imports, inbreeding has ravaged the gene pool.

The US is turning a Russian airline’s planes into the next Air Force One. Two 747s owned by the bankrupt Transaero are currently parked in the Mojave desert.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, jellyfish chips, and surplus 747s to hi@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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