Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—US shutdown simmers, Italy perserveres, Gates under fire, 4D printing

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What to watch for today

US jobs day comes early. Friday’s official jobs report won’t be issued if the government shutdown continues, so the best estimate will probably be today’s figures from payroll company ADP. Economists expect 180,000 new jobs for September, a very slight increase from August.

Italy’s government may not collapse after all. Prime Minister Enrico Letta is expected to survive a confidence vote as members of Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right party rebel against the media tycoon’s attempt to break up the governing coalition.

The ECB keeps things steady. The European Central Bank is not expected to raise interest rates, after inflation in the euro zone fell last month.

Better days for soybeans. Agricultural manufacturer Monsanto reports fourth-quarter earnings, which are projected to riseBuilding its business in emerging economies like Argentina, Brazil and China will be key to the company’s future growth.

David Cameron bets his re-election on the UK recovery. The prime minister will deliver a speech framing the 2015 national election as a fight between his pro-business Conservative party and socialist opponents.

While you were sleeping

The US government shutdown set in. Veterans visited a closed World War II memorial, national parks were shuttered, and most government websites were down, but the markets didn’t appear all that perturbed, which could prove problematic. House and Senate leaders showed no signs of changing their positions, increasing the odds that the shutdown will be entangled in the even larger battle over the debt ceiling.

Obamacare had a glitchy opening day. A higher-than-expected 2.8 million people visited the federally-run health insurance exchange website—but that includes the many visitors who received error messages.

Developing Asia will ride out the Fed tapering storm. Countries like India and Indonesia have enough currency reserves to survive the eventual end of easy money, the Asian Development Bank said, though it trimmed its overall growth forecasts.

Australia’s richest person ended a legal battle with her children. Mining magnate Gina Rinehart said she would would give up control of a multibillion dollar family trust.

Some top Microsoft investors want Gates to go. Major shareholders are pressing the founder to relinquish his role as the company’s chairman, Reuters reported.

Quartz obsession interlude

Christopher Mims on the first interesting search engine since Google. “Though Blippex constructs its search results on the basis of data gathered from its users, it does it in a way that’s anonymous and untraceable to any individual Blippex user. This obsession with privacy allows Blippex to rank pages—i.e., decide which pages to show people—with an algorithm that Google can’t match, because if Google gathered the data that Blippex does, users would find it unacceptably creepy.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Wall Street should depose John Boehner. The budget impasse could be solved if the business community could oust the House Speaker and back moderate Republicans.

Don’t stalk your future employers. There’s a fine line between stalking and doing your homework before an interview.

Trust your employees. Corporations spend millions to audit and regulate their workforces, but they would be better off just pocketing the cash, like Netflix and Berkshire Hathaway.

Thailand has a toxic addiction to slave labor. Employing cheap migrant workers in horrendous conditions has caused productivity to stall, and a shrinking workforce will soon drive up wages.

Why Spaniards are unproductive. They’ve been living in the wrong time zone for decades. 

Surprising discoveries

There’s plastic on Saturn’s biggest moon. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft found propylene on Titan.

Meet the TomTato. The combination tomato-potato plant—created not by genetic modification by old-school grafting—is on sale in Britain.

Forget heart drugs—go running instead. A new review of medical studies shows no statistical difference between exercise and drug treatment for those with coronary heart disease or pre-diabetes.

What comes after 3D printing? 4D printing. Printing stuff out of adaptive materials could yield things like water pipes that don’t break in the winter and furniture that assembles itself.

The French have French-film fatigue. Audiences for French films in France have declined 35% in three decades, while for American films they’ve gone up 22%.

Best wishes from Quartz for a productive day. Please send any news, queries, French films, and 4D adaptive materials to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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