What to watch for today
European Union leaders discuss immigration as a two-day EU summit comes to a close in Brussels. Hundreds of African migrants died at sea on their way to the Italian island of Lampedusa earlier this month.
Talks in Tunisia. Negotiations to end a worsening conflict between the Islamist Ennahda party, which was elected to power after the Arab Spring revolt, and the secular opposition will take place today, having been delayed after protestors took to the streets of Tunis earlier this week.
Further signs of a British recovery. Analysts anticipate gross domestic product grew 0.8% in the third quarter. Those expectations yesterday boosted the pound sterling, which had already hit a three-week high in the previous session.
Czechs choose a new government. The left is expected to win a general election after a spying and bribery scandal brought down the center-right government earlier this summer. Support for the coalition government was also hampered by the country’s 18-month-long recession.
Corporate earnings on tap. Earnings are due today from UPS, Kia Motors, Weyerhauser and Petrobras.
While you were sleeping
Alibaba’s IPO about-face. The Chinese internet giant signaled it would delay its public offering and re-consider listing in Hong Kong after spurning the exchange a few weeks ago.
China rejected Bo Xilai’s appeal. A court upheld the former senior Communist Party official’s life sentence for bribery, corruption, and abuse of power.
South Korea’s economy expanded by a seasonally adjusted 1.1% in the three months to September compared to the previous quarter, exceeding expectations and indicating the country’s recovery continues.
Samsung posted record profits. The South Korean tech giant’s memory chip business boosted its quarterly operating profit by 26%, in line with estimates, though smartphone sales growth slowed.
Microsoft beat forecasts. The company’s net income for its first fiscal quarter rose 17% to $5.2 billion thanks to brisk sales of its Office and server software for businesses. Devices and consumer revenue, however, grew at a slower pace.
Twitter priced its public offering. Twitter set a preliminary price range of $17 to $20 per share for its IPO, which could raise as much as $1.4 billion for the seven-year-old company. That implies a valuation of around $11 billion, lower than expected. Twitter is expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange in the first week of November.
The NSA’s eavesdropping knows no bounds. The US National Security Agency monitored phone conversations of 35 world leaders, the Guardian reported. On Wednesday Germany’s Angela Merkel called Barack Obama to complain about the NSA tapping her phone.
Quartz obsession interlude
Christopher Mims on how marketers invented the “manfluencer™”—a man who does most of the household shopping and cooking. ”Already, marketers are rolling out packaged goods designed to appeal to the newly-empowered manfluencer. These include everything from frozen yogurt for men, which comes in black packaging and was immediately christened “brogurt”, to cold-brew coffee (also black). As is the case with a great deal of marketing, many of those who are being persuaded don’t realize what’s happening.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The US should re-pivot to Europe. Handyüberwachung—the German word for tapping cell phones—has damaged relations with the continent’s most powerful leader, and that’s bad news for America.
The age of bullshit investments is back. Five years after the Lehman Brothers crash, bizarre investments are on the rise, from virtual currencies to NFL players.
Google broke its promise on banner ads. Then-exec Marissa Mayer said in 2005 there ”will be no banner ads on the Google homepage or web search results pages… ever,” but the pledge didn’t outlive her tenure at the search giant.
Cleaning up Beijing’s air will devastate western China. Converting coal to synthetic natural gas will use vast amounts of water from the already desiccated western provinces.
China’s new lunar rover resembles NASA’s moon rover. One scientist who was involved in the design of the probe, which is set to launch in December, says it lacks originality.
Coked-up racing pigeons. Samples taken from six Belgian racing pigeons showed the birds had cocaine and pain killers in their systems.
Get emails from your dog… Now you can keep tabs on your furry friends with this dog collar attachment that emails you about where your pooch is and what it’s doing.
…And tweets from your bra. A Greek ad agency created the social media undergarment to raise breast cancer awareness.
Why did the chicken cross the road? Because it was wearing a high-visibility jacket made especially for poultry pedestrians.
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