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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Ukraine-Russia talk, France’s new cabinet, Yellen the revolutionary, Korean extinction

By Quartz Staff

What to watch for today

Ukraine and Russia try to talk. The presidents are meeting in Minsk, but a real negotiation seems unlikely: Russia has denied that armored vehicles bearing separatist insignia, which entered Ukraine from southern Russia on Monday, are in fact full of Russian troops, and is promising to send a second ”humanitarian” convoy over Ukraine’s strenuous objections.

Brazil’s presidential candidates face off. Current president Dilma Rousseff, former environment minister and socialist party candidate Marina Silva, and five others meet for their first televised debate before the October 5 elections. A recent poll shows the two women are tied.

France’s government tries again. Prime minister Manuel Valls will announce a new cabinet. President François Hollande told him to reshuffle it after economy minister Arnaud Montebourg went off on a rant about France’s economic subordination to Germany. Hollande has the lowest poll rating of any president since 1958.

What will Best Buy promise investors? With both Walmart and Target having cut their sales forecasts recently, the electronic retailer may do the same in its earnings report. Best Buy’s CFO already warned investors about declining sales in May.

While you were sleeping

Ukraine’s president made his move. Petro Poroshenko dissolved the country’s parliament, setting it up for early elections on October 26. The move, which comes weeks after the ruling coalition collapsed, was a long-expected gambit by Poroshenko to strengthen his position so he can tilt Ukraine away from Russia’s influence.

ZMapp lost some of its shine. A senior Liberian doctor, one of only six people known to have received the experimental Ebola drug—which had raised great hopes after apparently curing two American health workers—died from the disease. Japan is awaiting the WHO’s go-ahead to provide another experimental drug that it says could treat 20,000 patients.

Amazon is getting its own YouTube. The online retailer said it would buy Twitch, a web video service for videogame players, for nearly $1 billion. Twitch is touted by some as “the next YouTube,” and was previously in talks with Google, YouTube’s owner. The move represents Amazon’s increasing interest in web video, where YouTube dominates.

The markets applauded Burger King. Its stock soared 20% on Sunday’s news that it wants to buy Tim Hortons, the Canadian donut chain (a deal that would move its headquarters to Canada and cut its tax bill). Bill Ackman’s hedge fund, Pershing Square, made $203 million on the jump.

The S&P 500 hit 2,000. After flirting with the milestone last week, the stock index finally passed it, hitting 2,000.27 in the morning before falling to 1,997.92 at the close—still a record high. However, the rising stock market disproportionately benefits the country’s most affluent households.

Egypt and the UAE have been bombing Libya. The two countries teamed up to attack the Islamist militias which have just taken control of the capital, Tripoli. They carried out air strikes twice in the past seven days without informing the US, the New York Times reports (paywall).

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Phillips on what makes Janet Yellen a revolutionary Fed chair. ”From her position as the world’s single most powerful economic voice, the chair of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, is forcing the financial markets to rethink assumptions that have dominated economic thinking for nearly 40 years. Essentially, Yellen is arguing that fast-rising wages, viewed for decades as an inflationary red flag and a reason to hike rates, should instead be welcomed, at least for now.” Read more here. 

Matters of debate

British fast food is better than American fast food. “Somebody has to give the American fast-food giants a run for their money,” says the founder of sandwich chain Prêt-A-Manger.

Don’t discount someone for a job because of a typo in his resume. There are typos everywhere, sometimes even in the Bible (paywall).

We could have full-scale farms in cities. But their success would depend less on agricultural techniques than on e-commerce and marketing.

Americans are terrible at math. Statistics education needs to start earlier—perhaps even in kindergarten.

The Islamic State is like the Taliban, only with oil fields. A group this brutal and this rich is very scary indeed.

Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart aren’t so liberal. The left-wing American comedians’ guests “more closely resemble a GOP national convention” than they do the liberal idea of a diverse and equitable America.

Surprising discoveries

A new lake has mysteriously appeared in Tunisia. But it might be radioactive.

If you’re a tall man, you’ll get married earlier. But if you’re short, you’ll stay married.

This may be the priciest divorce ever. American oilman Harold Hamm, one of the world’s 50 richest people, could lose $17 billion of his fortune.

Ask more for advice. People will think you’re smarter if you do.

South Koreans will go extinct by 2750. If, that is, they keep having babies at the current rate.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Pret sandwiches, and advice queries to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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