Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Obamacare website hacked, Apple under scrutiny, Boko Haram takeover, T. rex trumped

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What to watch for today

The EU and NATO tighten the screws on Russia. EU ambassadors are expected to approve (paywall) new sanctions against Russia’s biggest energy firms, while NATO leaders finalize their strategy in Wales. Ukrainian prime minister Petro Poroshenko and the top rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko are also prepared to order a ceasefire, provided an agreement gets signed.

A big US jobs report. The economy is expected to keep up its healthy pace, with economists predicting between 220,000 and 225,000 new jobs and a drop in the unemployment rate from 6.2% to 6.1%. Here are some other reasons to be optimistic. A positive Canadian jobs report is also due.

Brazil’s inflation stays high. Consumer prices will stay near the top of the government’s tolerance range, with food prices and air fares leading the way.

Decision time for Banco de México. Some analysts expect Mexico’s central bank to keep its benchmark interest rate at a record low to support the country’s recovery, but recent economic gains could spur also result in a rate hike.

India and Australia’s uranium deal. Australian prime minister Tony Abbott and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are expected to sign a uranium deal in New Delhi, as India looks to a future powered by nuclear energy. India’s coal shortages are only getting worse, and 300 million Indians don’t have access to electricity.

While you were sleeping

The Deepwater Horizon spill was mostly BP’s fault. A US judge found the oil firm grossly negligent in the largest offshore oil spill in US history. BP has paid more than $28 billion in fines (paywall) and could now pay $18 billion more. BP, which saw its shares drop 5% after the ruling, said it will appeal.

The Obamacare website was hacked. Hackers broke into a computer server and uploaded malicious files that could be used to launch attacks against other websites. The intrusion, which took place in July, was disclosed for the first time on Thursday in a briefing to US legislators, who were told that the server did not contain any personal data.

Apple came under more scrutiny. Two US labor groups has accused a Chinese supplier of Apple of labor violations including excessive hours and not using adequate protective gear. Separately, CEO Tim Cook promised new security measures for iCloud users after naked celebrity photos were leaked online.

Boko Haram is poised to strike again. Hundreds of people are fleeing from Maiduguri, a major Nigerian city, fearing the militant group’s imminent takeover. This would be a strategic gain for Boko Haram in an ever-worsening security situation, according to a top US official.

MetLife could face more regulation. A federal committee wants to change the insurance giant’s status to a financial institution that is “systematically important,” which would make it subject to more regulation. MetLife said it would fight the new designation.

Quartz obsession interlude

Max Nisen on the US’s huge year for IPOs. “There have been more than 40 filings in two different months this year, something that hadn’t happened previously since the pre-financial-crisis days of 2007. There have already been 261 initial filings (indicating an intention to IPO) this year—more than there were all of last year.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Al-Qaeda’s new franchise in India is a sign of desperation. The group wants to reignite its brand as the Islamic State hogs the headlines.

Twitter shouldn’t curate its timeline. The human judgement within the social network trumps any algorithm.

“Degrading” the Islamic State is easy. Destroying it is the real challenge.

A handshake is the best American greeting. There’s never been a consensus in the country on how to say hello. 

Alibaba isn’t really a tech company. It’s an impossible-to-value China technology investment fund.

Surprising discoveries

Men weren’t the only Viking warriors. An archaeological study found that half were female.

And you thought T. rex was big. The newly discovered dreadnoughtus schrani weighed up to 60 tons.

Cotton candy was invented by a dentist. He found a great way to ensure a steady flow of new customers.

A dog scarfed down 43 and a half socks. The veterinarian who saved him won a cash prize.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, mismatched socks, and alternative greeting hand signals to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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