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Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Obama skips Asia trip, Twitter’s IPO, Adobe hacked, jellyfish-slaying robots

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for

World leaders gather in Bali—without Obama. Due to the ongoing shutdown, the president will skip the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting on the Indonesian resort island, where Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, and other heads of state will meet. Secretary of State John Kerry will take Obama’s place, but America’s “Asian Pivot” may never be the same.

Berlusconi faces expulsion. A committee is expected to begin proceedings to kick the former prime minister out of the Italian Senate after his tax fraud conviction.

Will Republicans waver? Rep. Paul Ryan is reportedly working with moderate GOP colleagues on a package of spending cuts that could lead to a deal with Democrats to end the shutdown and avoid a debt ceiling showdown. In the meantime, major storms are forming, and US meteorologists are stuck at home.

Mercedes touts its biggest month ever. The luxury carmaker is believed to have sold over 142,000 cars in September.

While you were sleeping

The Bank of Japan held steady. The BOJ said it won’t add to its monetary stimulus following an uptick in business confidence, continuing with its policy of doubling the monetary base within two years.

Gates and Ballmer will stand for re-election. Despite some Microsoft investors’ attempts to sideline the pair, the chairman and retiring CEO will both try to stay on the company’s board.

Twitter filed for an IPO. The company intends to list its shares under the symbol TWTR. Here are the important details and a calculation of its average revenue per user.

Samsung posted record profits… The world’s largest smartphone maker beat estimates thanks to demand for its low-cost Galaxy devices in emerging markets like China and India.

…While HTC posted its first-ever loss. The struggling Taiwanese company’s sales were hampered by competition from bigger smartphone rivals and persistent operating woes.

Adobe was hacked. The maker of Photoshop and other software was hit with a cyberattack, exposing proprietary source code and 2.9 million credit cards.

The UN’s aviation body neared an emissions deal. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) agreed on a roadmap for a market-based plan to cut the aviation sector’s carbon emissions.

Shots were fired on Capitol Hill. Police shot and killed a woman after a chase through central Washington; the Capitol was briefly locked down.

Quartz obsession interlude

Tim Fernholz on how Europe’s financial crisis is slowing Detroit’s bankruptcy. Detroit’s bankruptcy comes after years of shrinking population and unsustainable borrowing, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was a deal made by Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in 2005 to borrow money to fund the city’s pensions, while at the same time entering into an interest rate swap with UBS and Bank of America. Detroit wound up on the wrong end of the swap, owing $770 million after interest rates plunged. Read more here.

Matters of debate

Lego will struggle to build its business in China. The more popular Legos become, the more knockoffs will follow.

There are four possible outcomes for Earth. One scenario involves triumph in human ingenuity; another entails a dangerously crowded and carbon-addicted planet.

Don’t let robots manage your money. The average robot-controlled fund is down 3.5%.

The US shutdown is bad for science. It’s stalling long-term biomedical research projects and setting back crucial experiments.

Surprising discoveries

Meet the robots that hunt jellyfish. The contraptions use rotating blades to hunt and kill the creatures, which have become a massive problem for people and industries alike.

Reading fiction makes you a better person. A new study found that people who read fiction are better-equipped to handle complex social relationships.

Koalas can’t handle your carbon emissions. Hotter temperatures are eliminating their food and shelter. 

Charting the rise and fall of hip-hop vocabulary. “Twerk” waxes, “crunk” wanes.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, queries, fiction recommendations, and robot vs. jellyfish screenplays to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.


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