Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—UNGA, BlackBerry buyout, Brotherhood banned, black holes

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What to watch for today

UN General Assembly gets underway. Diplomats from the US, Russia, Britain, France and China will discuss the resolution on destroying Syria’s chemical weapons. US secretary of state John Kerry will meet his Iranian counterpart on Thursday. And the US and Iranian presidents might meet informally.

US consumers diffident… The Conference Board’s measure of sentiment is likely to dip to 80.0 in September from 81.5 last month, as consumers worry about rising mortgage rates. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for July is expected to have posted its biggest jump since 2006.

…While Germans grow more confident. The IFO business sentiment index for September is likely to improve to 108 from the 16-month high of 107.5 hit in August.

An aircraft dogfight over South Korea. The defense ministry will pick the winner of the three-way contest between Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Eurofighter for the $7.6 billion contract for 60 fighter jets.

While you were sleeping

BlackBerry will sell itself for $4.7 billion. The struggling smartphone maker struck a deal for a buyout led by its biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial, for $9 per share, just 6% of its peak share price in 2008. While its handset business is worthless, buyers could make a profit by flipping BlackBerry’s other assets, like patents.

Chrysler filed for an IPO. Fiat, which owns 58.5% of the US car company, has failed to agree a price to buy the other 41.5% from a United Auto Workers’ retirement trust. Filing for an IPO looks like an attempt to put pressure on the trust by letting the market set the price.

The Kenya mall siege is almost over. Security forces have taken control of all floors of the Westgate mall in Nairobi and freed most of the hostages, according to officials. At least 62 people have been killed since Somali militant group al-Shabaab stormed the upscale mall on Saturday.

Egypt banned the Muslim Brotherhood. As part of the ongoing campaign to crush the Islamist movement, an Egyptian court banned deposed president Mohamed Mursi’s group and ordered the confiscation of its assets.

China wants a say in global trade talks. Beijing is looking to join the talks (paywall) towards a new Trade in Services Agreement, or TiSA, a US-led initiative to update the rules governing $4 trillion annual trade in services. Washington is worried that China may attempt to water down the agreement.

The iPhone 5s powered Apple’s best-ever opening weekend. Apple sold nine million iPhones in the three days since the new models went on sale.  Surprisingly, estimates show that the more expensive model outsold the iPhone 5c nearly four to one.

Quartz obsession interlude

Simone Foxman on why a new rule allowing hedge funds to advertise could be the biggest change to the US capital markets since 1930s. “The new rules allow private companies to tell whoever they want that they’re looking for funds, but also bear the burden of  filing paperwork in a timely manner and making sure any would-be investors are really accredited. The upshot is that a lot more of the 8.5 million accredited investors (pdf) in the US would be able to invest in private companies.” Read more here.

Matters of debate 

Kenya’s economic progress is the other casualty in the Nairobi mall siege. Expatriates and affluent Kenyans who were targeted in the attack may see the attack as a reason to invest elsewhere.

Washington is in Wall Street’s pocket. Intense lobbying and the revolving door between the industry and the Obama administration are hindering effective regulation.

The risk of the euro zone’s one-size-fits-all monetary policy. Low interest rates could trigger unsustainable booms in countries like Germany.

Companies should stop asking employees to get regular health screenings and doctor visits. Too much of anything—even prevention—is a bad idea.

Surprising discoveries

China just bought 5% of the land in Ukraine. Beijing inked a deal to farm up to three million hectares of Ukrainian land over the span of half a century.

South Korea launches a cyber-security talent hunt. Winners of Seoul’s program to recruit cyber-security experts will get to share a prize of 80 million won ($74,000).

Fireworks at the center of the galaxy. The black hole at the center of the Milky Way is about to trigger a flare-up of light that could be as bright as a million suns—though still too dim to see from Earth.

Keep forgetting things? You’re not alone. A study shows that an average person forgets four key facts or events every day. (To which we say: Only four?)

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, pictures of black holes, and things you’ve forgotten to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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