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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—IS refineries hit, Modi’s US visit, H&M heatwave slump, Wall St. occupational hazards

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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 also wants Coke and Pepsi to start putting 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 South Korean government is paying close attention to today’s session of the North’s parliament, which the Dear Leader has always attended.

Muscle-flexing in the South China Sea. The navies of Japan and the Philippines are scheduled to hold drills in order to increase “maritime situational awareness.” A Philippines spokesman said the exercises have ”nothing to do” with ongoing territorial disputes, but China might see things differently.

Nike tries to live up to the hype. Rising demand from emerging markets, huge marketing campaigns, and new fashion lines are getting investors excited about higher profits. Analysts expect first-quarter earnings per share to rise to 88 cents, from 86 cents a year earlier.

While you were sleeping

David Cameron recalled parliament to vote on Islamic State airstrikes. Lawmakers will convene on Friday to decide whether to back attacks against the extremist group in northern Iraq (but not in Syria). All three major UK parties are expected to back the prime minister’s request for military action.

Mario Draghi predicted a euro zone bump. The bloc will see “modest growth” in the second half of the year, the president of the European Central Bank told a Lithuanian business daily (in Lithuanian). Sanctions against Russia (and Moscow’s counter-sanctions) have had a limited impact, he said, but it is up to national governments to “use any leeway to make fiscal policies more growth-friendly.”

China discovered nearly $10 billion in fraudulent trade. Export and import documents have been “faked, forged, and illegally re-used,“ the nation’s foreign exchange inspection department said. The investigation covered 24 cities and provinces nationwide, including Qingdao, where a metal trading fraud has exposed banks to huge potential losses.

Obama hit the Islamic State where it hurts. US warplanes launched airstrikes targeting small IS oil refineries in Syria, an attempt to cut off some of the $2 million in daily oil sales that the extremist group uses to fund its operations. Despite the bombings, IS conquered new territory in a Kurdish area of northern Syria, near the Turkish border.

H&M said it was too hot to shop. An unusually warm September caused shoppers to put off spending on autumn clothing, the Swedish retailer said, as sales grew 7% in the month, compared with an average 16% in the six months before. Third-quarter pre-tax profits were up almost 20% on the year to 7 billion crowns ($972 million).

IKEA prepared the ground for stores in India. The Swedish retail giant signed agreements with two Indian states ahead of plans to open stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad, although no timeline was offered.

The bubble popped for Chinese iPhone smugglers. Apple’s new smartphone hasn’t been released yet in the mainland, which sent the gray market price surging to almost $1,500 over the weekend. But a glut of supply from Hong Kong has since driven prices down to about $980, hurting smugglers who had stockpiled the devices; the same model costs HK$5,588 ($720) in Hong Kong’s Apple store.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on why more paternity leave is what economies—and mothers—really 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

The US is helping al-Qaeda in Syria. What’s bad for the Islamic State is good for its rivals.

Ubiquitous porn doesn’t only affect teenagers. Even folks in their 40s are starting to behave differently due to the glut of free smut.

All occupations have hazards. But the moral perils of working on Wall Street are particularly insidious.

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

Surprising discoveries

Winnie the Pooh was a real bear. She was brought to the London Zoo by a US soldier and spotted by Christopher Robin Milne, son of the book’s author.

Oslo has a social media mood sculpture. It repaints itself according to the emotions in peoples’ tweets.

India’s Mars mission was cheaper than Gravity. It cost just $74 million to send the Mangalyaan spacecraft to Mars, versus $100 million to show Sandra Bullock in Earth orbit.

Buying votes with drugs—what could go wrong? A Texas school board election worker is charged with offering voters $10 dime bags of cocaine.

There’s an exoplanet with atmospheric water vapor. HAT-P-11b is in the constellation Cygnus, a mere 130 million light years from Earth.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

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