Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—BlackBerry bids, Bangladesh strikes, Germany wants privacy, the guillotine reconsidered

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What to watch for today

BlackBerry bids. Today is the deadline for takeover offers to rival Fairfax Financial Holdings’ tentative $4.7 billion deal for the smartphone maker. Cerberus Capital Management is apparently considering a joint bid (paywall) with Qualcomm and BlackBerry co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin. Rumors have also circulated that Facebook could put an offer on the table.

Morsi’s trial begins. Mohammed Morsi, the ousted president of Egypt, faces charge today of incitement to murder. Morsi, the first democratically-elected leader of Egypt, has been blamed for the country’s tanking economy and fractious politics. He is not expected to attend the trial.

SAC’s guilty plea. The $15 billion hedge fund run by Steve Cohen is expected to plead guilty to securities fraud (paywall) and pay more than $1 billion in fines to settle an on-going federal investigation.

Strike in Bangladesh. A three-day nationwide opposition protest intended to oust Bangladesh’s prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, starts today—the latest move in a campaign to force Hasina to install a neutral caretaker government before upcoming elections.

Over the weekend

Germany and Brazil demanded privacy. The two countries presented the UN with a draft resolution calling for an end to excessive electronic surveillance, data collection and other invasions of privacy. No countries are named, but UN diplomats said it was clearly aimed at the US following revelations that the NSA monitored dozens of world leaders.

LAX shooting suspect charged. Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, has been charged with murder following Friday’s shooting at Los Angeles International airport, where a federal security official was killed, four people were wounded and about 1,550 flights were affected. If convicted, Ciancia could be sentenced to death.

Pakistan Taliban elected a new chief. Asmatullah Shaheen, one of Pakistan’s most wanted, has reportedly been appointed interim head of the Pakistan Taliban after its former leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed by a US drone strike on Oct. 31.

Cuba clamped down on cinemas. Cuba ordered the immediate closure of dozens of privately-owned cinemas and gaming salons, saying that they were never authorized.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on Brazil’s fears of becoming a de facto Chinese colony. “Some of the outrage probably stems from the fact that Chinese investment hasn’t resulted in deeper trade ties that boost Brazilian manufacturing, as Brazilians had hoped. On first glance, it might appear that Brazil is ahead, since the country runs a trade surplus with China. But some 80% of Brazil’s China exports still come from three commodities: iron ore, oil and soy. China, meanwhile, has expanded the range of products and services it exports to Brazil.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Capital punishment should be done by guillotine. It’s quicker and less painful than lethal injection, and leaves the organs usable for medical needs.

It’s, like, totally ok to say “like.” It allows people to dramatize their speech and give anecdotes some oomph.

Obamacare’s rollout has undermined Obama’s second term. No one is talking about immigration reform or federal stimulus anymore.

Americans take a bet on pot. It’s not just American attitudes about sex and gay marriage (paywall) that are changing: Casino gambling and marijuana are next.

Surprising discoveries

Women out-earn men in part-time work. Female counselors and health technicians also earn more than their male counterparts.

An ad agency is trying to make broccoli happen. Hey—it worked for kale.   

Some drinks are 1,206% more expensive in bars. Bottom shelf liquor has the highest mark-up, while bottled beer costs just 341% more than retail.

Tesco goes Minority Report. Cameras above cash registers at Tesco gas stations will scan your eyeballs to identify your gender, your age and how long you look at ads.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, expensive drinks and trendy vegetables to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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