Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—New iPhones, strong China data, Kerry’s Syria ultimatum, Germany’s vegetarianism

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What to watch for today

Apple unveils two iPhones. The cheaper version, which could help Apple win customers in emerging markets like China, will have a plastic case and come in a variety of colors. The higher priced-model will be an improvement on the iPhone 5, and is expected to have a faster processor and a fingerprint sensor.

Kenya’s deputy president appears in the dock. William Ruto made his first appearance at the International Criminal Court for charges of orchestrating deadly violence after a disputed election in 2007. Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, will appear on similar charges in November.

The Frankfurt International Motor Show is underway. The spotlight in the annual automotive extravaganza will be on hybrids, concept vehicles and SUVs (paywall).

While you were sleeping

More evidence of China’s recovery. Factory output rose more than expected in August, breaking double-digits at 10.4%. Retail sales rose by 13.4% in August and fixed-asset investment 20.3% in the first eight months of this year.

Glencore flaunts savings. The company told investors in London that savings and synergies from its $44 billion acquisition of miner Xstrata could be $500 million more than expected, or $2 billion.

A guilty verdict in India’s fatal gang rape case. A court in Delhi found four men guilty of the rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a moving bus last December. The case drew international attention, sparked protests across India and triggered a national debate about the treatment of women. The four men may receive the death penalty (paywall).

Erna Solberg swept to victory. Norway’s general election was won by Solberg’s Conservatives, though by how much is not yet clear. The party will likely have to enter into a coalition with the right-wing anti-immigration and anti-tax Progressive Party.

Kerry gave Syria a one-week ultimatum. The US secretary of state, speaking in London alongside William Hague, Britain’s foreign secretary, said that the Obama administration would give Syrian President Bashar al-Assad one week to hand over his entire stock of chemical weapons if he wanted to avoid a military strike.

Tata will invest $2 billion in the UK. The Indian maker of Jaguar Land Rover vehicles has earmarked the money for research and development at its Solihull plant in central England, where it will create around 1,700 new jobs (paywall).

A new twist in Ballmer’s succession. Several of Microsoft’s biggest investors have urged the board to put Ford’s Alan Mulally and Mike Lawrie of Computer Sciences on the shortlist to succeed outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer, Reuters reported.

Under fire, JP Morgan bolstered its legal reserve. The US bank raised the money it sets aside to cover legal claims by $1.5 billion, citing a “crescendo” of cases, “some of which you’ve been reading about.”

Quartz obsession interlude

Leo Mirani on why India might have to open up its e-commerce market if it wants easier US visas. “When Barack Obama welcomes Manmohan Singh to the White House on Sept. 27, the Indian prime minister will voice his concerns over the US immigration bill. In its present form, the bill makes it much more difficult for Indian tech companies to get the visas they need to bring workers into the United States. Obama will listen. But if Singh wants his way, India might also try ceding some ground. It explicitly prohibits foreign direct investment (FDI) in e-commerce, though it’s opening up the market to foreign companies operating brick-and-mortar stores.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

There is a better way of death. We spend far too much money on expensive end-of-life treatments that cause suffering, and not enough time looking at alternatives.

Germany is a vegetarian in a world full of carnivores. The country’s heated political debate about cutting out meat once a week is peculiarly parochial considering that it is the leading power in Europe (paywall).

How secure will the new iPhone’s fingerprint recognition be? Some fingerprint readers can be fooled with just a good photocopy.

Even if tipping is a waste of time and money, it’s here to stay. The custom has gone through peaks and troughs, but the war against it is futile.

Surprising discoveries

What makes a good dad. Men with smaller testicles participate more in parenting duties like nappy-changing and feeding, a study suggests.

44 of the world’s 72 tallest buildings are cheating. Architects are adding “vanity height” that serves no purpose except to cross the “super tall” threshold.

Revenge of the geeks. A report shows that classic cars, rare stamps and coins are better luxury investment bets than art, wine, and jewelry.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, German meat substitutes and fingerprint decoys to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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