Quartz Daily Brief—Americas Edition— Venezuela, private spaceflight, world’s best university

October 8, 2012
October 8, 2012

GOOD MORNING QUARTZ READERS!

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR TODAY:

US lawmakers  label China’s Huawei Technologies a national security threat. The House intelligence committee plans in a report to recommend US businesses steer clear of the telecom maker because of risks China could use its gear for spying. Coming after a year-long investigation, the report is also critical of China’s ZTE, a maker of smartphones and telecom equipment.

Euro zone finance ministers hold their monthly meeting in Luxembourg. On the agenda, discussion of the state of Spanish overhaul efforts and how the €500 billion European bailout fund will work. There is also talk of a central budget for euro zone countries.

India tries to prevent the next flash crash after the benchmark stock index briefly plunged 16% on Friday due to electronic trading errors. Stock market officials are still investigating what went wrong.

US bond markets are closed for the Columbus Day holiday. The US quarterly earnings season kicks off Tuesday, with analysts predicting a 2.6% drop in profits from a year earlier for S&P 500 companies. If results are truly lackluster, slowing Chinese growth and weak demand from Europe are likely culprits.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

Venezuela President Hugo Chávez won reelection in one of the closest races of his career, clinching a third and likely final term. Analysts are divided as to whether the next six years will bring a moderation or radicalization of Chavez’s so-called Bolivarian Revolution. Despite Venezuela’s major oil reserves, output is likely to keep falling under Chavez, further weakening his diplomatic power in the region.

Another private spaceflight milestone. SpaceX launched the first commercial cargo delivery to the International Space Station. The trouble-free countdown was followed by a takeoff at 8:35 PM ET, precisely as scheduled. Watch the launch as it happened here.

BAE-EADS merger looked vulnerable. BAE’s largest shareholder has come out with long list of gripes and objections. The tie-up between the two defense contractors has already been delayed for months as European governments, some of whom are keen to safeguard jobs and military secrets, squabble about what roles they should play in the merged business. It is looking increasingly unlikely the two corporate giants will limp their way to the finish line.

Foxconn workers may or may not have protested again. Bloomberg reports that 3,000 to 4,000 workers walked out of one of the iPhone maker’s Chinese factories last week. The company has denied to Chinese state-controlled media that widespread protests occurred. The conflicting stories are clearly not helpful for any Apple shareholders weighing the risk of disruption to iPhone 5 deliveries.

North Korea’s trade with China surged. That’s thanks to UN sanctions, according to a South Korean parliamentary report.

MATTERS OF DEBATE:

Chinese stocks are cheap. But don’t expect a rally.

Apple should buy Nokia. Patents and maps would aid the iPhone maker.

Tricky job interview questions don’t improve hiring. Among the more useless ones: “If you were a Microsoft Office program, which would it be?”

Despite the economic benefits, Taiwan should reject unity with China. Well-known Taiwanese author Lung Ying-Tai argues that in the first decent English translation to surface of comments that have been lighting up the Weibo microblogs all weekend.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES:

Which university is the best in the world? The Times Higher Education says it’s California Institute of Technology.

People are making working gun parts using inexpensive 3-D printers. The Wiki Weapon project aims to distribute plans for a gun “that can be printed out from your desk.”

There are deep sea worms that look like YodaBut multicolored, they are.

Best wishes from Quartz for a productive day. Please send any news, queries, spaceflight plans, and pictures of other life forms that resemble Star Wars characters to hi@qz.com.

Readers can sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

Correction (Oct. 8): An earlier version of this article incorrectly implied that US equity markets were closed for the Columbus Day holiday.

Top News

Powered by WordPress.com VIP
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 20,036 other followers