Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—China explosions, New York’s new mayor, Samsung’s strategy, pirate’s sad booty

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What to watch for today

Nuclear talks with Iran. The latest round of negotiations between Iran and six world powers begins in Geneva, but Iranian lead negotiator Abbas Araqchi is already lowering expectations.

Lieberman’s verdict. A Jerusalem court delivers its verdict on Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s former foreign minister, who faces charges of fraud and breach of trust. If acquitted, Lieberman will return to his old job; if convicted he has vowed to leave politics.

Twitter names its price. Twitter is expected to set the final price per share for its public offering ahead of Thursday’s stock market debut. The social networking site recently raised its IPO price range to $23-$25, which would make it the second-largest offering ever by an internet company.

While you were sleeping

A bombing in China. Several explosions went off this morning in front of a Communist Party building in Taiyuan, a city in the northern Shanxi province, killing one and wounding eight. The blasts come after last week’s attack that killed five and injured 40 in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Indonesia’s economy grew 5.6% in Q3. Growth was slower than the previous quarter’s 5.8%, with higher interest rates hurting domestic consumption.

Samsung’s strategy briefing. The smartphone maker held its first strategy briefing for analysts in eight years, announcing plans to maintain growth by looking for more acquisitions. The firm is also mulling a 1% dividend.

Ford’s China sales remain strong. The automaker’s sales, together with its local partners, increased 55% year-on-year in October after a 61% rise in September. Ford’s Focus and Mondeo models are especially in demand.

Shuanghui’s IPO plans. Shuanghui International Holdings, the Chinese company that this year bought the American pork producer Smithfield Foods, will aim to raise as much as $6 billion in a Hong Kong initial public offering.

Bill de Blasio was elected New York City mayor in a landslide, becoming the first Democrat to hold the post in 20 years by promising to curtail the city’s stop-and-frisk policies and address concerns about income inequality. In other US elections, Democrat Terry McAuliffe is the new governor of Virginia, and New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie cruised to re-election.

The Bank of Japan released meeting minutes. Some members of the bank’s policy board said last month the country’s recovery will depend on robust manufacturing and strong external demand, which are so far not strong enough.

Toronto’s mayor admitted he’d smoked crack. Rob Ford, who for months has sidestepped questions about a video showing him using drugs, told reporters, “Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine.”

Quartz obsession interlude

Todd Woody on why even California can’t stop catastrophic climate change. “The good news is that under all the scenarios California easily meets its 2020 goal of cutting carbon emissions to 1990 levels. But even under the most optimistic scenario, the state will still be emitting 208 MtCO2 in 2050, or 145% above the emissions cap necessary to avoid climate Armageddon.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Extended maternity leave is wasteful. Moms who take more than six months off produce no additional benefits for the economy—or their children.

The endless cycle of seasonal diets is unhealthy and destructive. If you can’t fit into your Christmas party dress, it’s the wrong size for you.

The US is guilty of hypocrisy. It venerates Malala Yousafzai, who was attacked by the Taliban, but ignores Nabila Rehman, who lost her family to an American drone strike.

China’s needs more freedom. China won’t be able to fix its economic woes without dealing with its censorship and human rights issues, says Google’s Eric Schmidt.

Surprising discoveries

Why you hate your daughter’s boyfriend. A computer model suggests kids choose unsuitable partners to guilt their parents into giving them more money.

Glow-in-the-dark ice cream. It’s made from jellyfish protein and costs $225 a scoop.

A cologne calibrated for cows. The scent, which costs $110 per bottle, is designed for urban cowboys who don’t want to upset bovines.

Pirates’ miserable booty. Somali hijackers get as little as 1% of ransom money—most goes to their financiers—and often fritter it away on booze, cars, and prostitutes.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, favorite kimonos, and farm-conscious scents to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.


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