Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—UK GDP recovery, Alibaba IPO, Acela eavesdropping, emails from your dog

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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 came 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.

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.

Elections approach in Georgia and Argentina. Georgian voters go to the polls on Sunday with president Mikhail Saakasvhili ineligible for a third term, as Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner aims to keep her majority in mid-term Congressional elections.

Corporate earnings on tap from UPS, Kia Motors, Weyerhauser and Petrobras.

While you were sleeping

German business sentiment fell for the first time in half a year. The Ifo think tank’s business climate index unexpectedly declined, underlining the fragility of the region’s recovery.

The UK economy expanded 0.8% in the third quarter from the previous quarter in line with expectations (paywall).

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.

A ex-NSA boss got snooped on. Michael Hayden was speaking on background to reporters about US spying while riding an Acela train from Washington. He didn’t know Tom Matzzie, a former-director of, was live-tweeting his conversation from a few seats away.

Volvo is cutting 2,000 administrative jobs, or 1.8% of its workers, after a surprising drop in third quarter profit. The Swedish truckmaker, which has been hurt in part by a rising krona, is trimming costs.

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 rebound continues.

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

US-Saudi relations are on the rocks. Saudi Arabia abruptly turned down a UN Security Council seat last week, a possible sign of anger that the US has failed to strike Syria and is warming up to Iran.

Fiction is truer than nonfiction. A “false sense of knowing” is insidious; reading fiction aids in understanding complex truths.

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.

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.

Surprising discoveries

Love-struck men walk slower with the women they love. Guys stroll at their own pace with everyone else, however.

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.

3D-printed gun parts seized in UK. Police in Manchester are trying to determine if they could be assembled into a viable firearm.

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-enabled undergarment to raise breast cancer awareness.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, lunar probe sketches and love-struck walking patterns to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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