Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Modi’s US visit, PayPal adopts bitcoin, paternity leave, mammoth auction

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

Narendra Modi’s US roadshow. India’s prime minister will be visiting New York and Washington for the first time, though politics won’t be the only thing on the agenda. He wants Coke and Pepsi to put fruit juice in their soda.

Whatever happened to Kim Jong-un? North Korea’s dictator hasn’t been seen in public for three weeks. The government in the South declared that it’ll be paying close attention to today’s session of the North’s parliament, which the Dear Leader has always attended.

A spot of bother over navy exercises. The navies of Japan and the Philippines are scheduled to hold drills off the latter’s Palawan province in order to increase “maritime situational awareness.” A Philippines spokesman said this “has nothing to do with the South China Sea dispute”, but China might see it differently.

Mario Draghi checks up on the euro-zone’s next member. The president of the European Central Bank visits Vilnius to attend a conference about the euro, which Lithuania will become the 19th country to start using in January.

While you were sleeping

PayPal added support for bitcoin. The payments company teamed up with three bitcoin payment processors so North American merchants can collect payments in the virtual currency. Bitcoin rose by more than 10%. Some say Apple forced PayPal’s hand with its new payments system, but the bitcoin processors say PayPal had been working with them for months.

Rocket priced its shares. When Rocket Internet goes public on Oct. 9 in Frankfurt, the company’s shares are expected to come in at €35.50-€42.50 ($45.40-$54.30) apiece, which translates to a market cap of $7.8 billion. Not bad for a clone factory.

Obama spoke to the United Nations. He reiterated that ISIL must be “degraded and ultimately destroyed“, but the big takeaway was that tolerance should be something all religions ought to preach. Reactions were mixed in both the Middle East and Washington.

Rumors spread about China’s central-bank chief. Zhou Xiaochuan has been at the helm of the People’s Bank of China since 2002. There are signs he’ll soon be replaced (paywall) by an official who may not push as hard for reform, though some China-watchers think it’ll make little overall difference.

Japan bulked up its sanctions against Russia.In a bid to show solidarity with its G7 counterparts—whose sanctions have sent the ruble to lows never seen before—Japan placed restrictions on arms exports and banned (paywall) Russian banks from issuing securities.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on why more paternity leave, not maternity leave, is what economies need. “The secret to keeping mothers in the workforce lies not in giving them more time off, but in getting more fathers to stay at home instead. And that, it turns out, depends to a large extent on getting rid of the pay gap that exists between men and women almost everywhere.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Pornography isn’t only affecting the youth. Even folks in their 40s are starting to behave differently as a result of the glut of free smut.

Let’s stop calling Asia “Asia.” It’s a Western construct for a set of cultures so diverse that lumping them together is intellectually dishonest.

Millennials are the best employees. Because of inexperience, they’ll put up with a lot of stuff that older hires won’t.

Banks should hold lotteries. With interest rates so low, a little casino action could be a great way to win new savers.

BlackBerry’s new square phone is weird, but wonderful. It might not turn the company around, but it does all sorts of things no other smartphone does.

Surprising discoveries

India’s Mars mission was cheaper than Gravity. It cost just $74 million for India to send a probe to Mars, versus $100 million to film Sandra Bullock pretending to be in orbit around Earth.

Buying votes with drugs isn’t the brightest of ideas. But try telling that to Francisco “Frankie” Garcia, charged with offering Texas voters $10 worth of cocaine.

Becoming a teenage multimillionaire isn’t everything. Nick D’Aloisio, who sold his app to Yahoo for $30 million, has decided to study at Oxford rather than keep working at Yahoo.

There’s a new breath test for tuberculosis. Instead of waiting six weeks for lab tests on a blood sample, you can now be diagnosed in 10 minutes by blowing into a tube.

Seattle will punish you if you don’t eat your leftovers. If the city discovers that more than 10% of your garbage is compostable, it’ll fine you—albeit only $1 the first time.

Complete woolly mammoth skeleton, one careful owner. Should you have £250,000 to spare and a living room with very high ceilings, pop along to an auction this Friday.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, breath samples, and mammoth tusks to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.