Quartz Daily Brief—Americas Edition—News Corp, Citi, Yahoo, and faster-than-light travel

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Good morning Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

French firms ask the government’s permission to cut jobs. France’s largest media firm, Vivendi, and chip-maker, STMicroelectronics, will meet the industry minister for talks. The government wants them to find ways to cut costs that won’t increase unemployment. Try to imagine that meeting happening in Washington.

News Corp as we know it holds its last annual meeting. The media conglomerate will spin off its scandal-dogged news business next year, though Rupert Murdoch will remain chairman of both. Many shareholders welcome the split, but some want a more radical clean-up. The meeting starts at 10am PST (6pm BST/7pm CET).

The world according to Goldman Sachs, Rio Tinto, and IBM. Earnings reports from the global megabank, major mineral extractor, and tech leader should give us a fairly comprehensive picture of the global economy.

The US will release price level data. Investors and central bankers will assess the tea leaves for signs of inflation returning.

The second US presidential debate starts at 9pm EST (2am BST/3am CET). President Obama’s spinmeisters promise he’ll be more aggressive this time.

While you were sleeping

Inflation in the euro zone held steady last month, rising 2.6% on an annual basis.

Everyone wants to lend to China. The state-owned Chinese oil behemoth, CNOOC, hopes to finance its acquisition of Canada’s Nexen at a mere 80 basis points over LIBOR, one-third of its usual bond rate. As Chinese firms step up their buying sprees abroad to make up for slow growth at home, overseas banks are eager to build relationships with them.

Yahoo poached another top name from Google. Marissa Mayer, whom Yahoo lured away as CEO in July, has returned from maternity leave and named Henrique de Castro, an ex-Google colleague, as COO, to help her turn the struggling online firm around.

Amazon is taking on Apple and Samsung. The online retailer is in talks about buying part of the microchips division of Texas Instruments, which could mean it plans to go head-to-head with the world’s leading tablet makers.

The Guardian hired the editor-in-chief of Germany’s Zeit, Wolfgang Blau, to be its new director of digital strategy.

Quartz obsession interlude

David Yanovsky and Tim Fernholz look at new data about countries’ commitments to development. The top three are Denmark, Norway and Sweden, which donate large amounts of money relative to their size and target it at the most needy recipients, have migration-friendly policies, and support international security… Japan and South Korea. The only Asian countries currently on the list (the study’s authors are working on adapting its framework to the BRICs, however) don’t fare all that well. Read more here

Matters of debate

A plan to save InfoSys. The Indian outsourcing giant is facing some of the toughest times in its 30-year history.

Is globalization waning? UPS’s Chairman and CEO fear that trade links are snapping, and what’s needed is a new US-EU free trade agreement.

Is the United States turning into 14th century Venice? Beware La Serrata!

Meanwhile, we’ve found a new visionary on Wall Street. Adieu Lloyd, adios Jamie, the new idol of the financial press is Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman.

Surprising discoveries

Leonardo da Vinci’s (probable) lover invented double-entry bookkeeping and revolutionized business.

What would happen if spacediver Felix Baumgartner had reached the speed of light? 

You are supposed to consult a physician before using iTunes. I’m sure you did, right?

Iran has a secret plan to dump oil in the Strait of Hormuz.

Also today

On this day in 1964, the People’s Republic of China became the world’s fifth nuclear power by successfully testing an atomic weapon.

The Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary prize, will be announced later today.

Best wishes from Quartz for a productive day. Please send any news, presidential debate questions, and outlandish physics queries to

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