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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Hong Kong unrest, Modi in Manhattan, France’s far-right, dictator gout

Kabir Chibber
By Kabir Chibber

Journalist

What to watch for today

Hong Kong braces for more unrest. Following a civil disobedience campaign aimed at blocking Hong Kong’s financial center over the weekend, the ongoing occupation of the Central district might disrupt markets. The protestors are demanding free elections for Hong Kong’s next leader, while Beijing plans to limit the candidates to Chinese government loyalists. The South China Morning Post’s live updates from the scene are here.

The Modi show continues. After speaking at the UN and wowing the crowds at Madison Square Garden, the Indian prime minister meets 11 chief executives of some of the top US companies, including Google, PepsiCo, and Goldman Sachs. He also has a private dinner with US president Barack Obama (although Modi will be fasting.)

Global economic data. In Europe, Germany and Spain will release data on inflation, while the UK reports net lending figures. Later, the US reports personal income, a member of the US Federal Reserve speaks in Chicago, and Brazil’s central bank releases its quarterly inflation report.

ISIL airstrikes gather momentum. The US-led coalition of more than 40 countries has expanded its strikes to a Kurdish area of Syria along the Turkish border for the first time and is targeting oil refineries under ISIL control in Syria using US, Saudi and UAE planes as it seeks to decimate the group. More than 200 airstrikes in Iraq and almost 50 in Syria have been confirmed since last month.

Over the weekend

France’s far-right entered the senate. The Front National will enter the upper chamber of the French parliament for the first time, after winning two seats in yesterday’s election. Though the Senate doesn’t have much power, the vote saw the 348-member chamber swing to the right in yet another blow to socialist president Francois Hollande following the return of one-time nemesis, Nicolas Sarkozy.

At least 30 feared dead in Japanese volcano eruption. Rescuers are searching for survivors at Mount Ontake, following a violent volcanic eruption at the popular hiking spot. Japan, no stranger to violent seismic activity, previously hadn’t recorded any fatalities from eruptions since 1991.

Catalonia got closer to its own referendum. The president of the separatist-minded region of Spain signed a decree calling for a vote on independence, possibly on Nov. 9. The national government in Madrid considers any attempt at a Scottish-style referendum illegal, and is likely to take the dispute over the vote—which Catalonians call a “consultation”—to Spain’s Constitutional Court.

Air France pilots ended two-week strike. The crippling strike led to widespread flight cancellations and cost the French flag carrier €20 million ($25 million) per day. The pilots’ union isn’t happy with new contract talks (paywall), but says that ending its strike will allow negotiations to take place “in a calmer climate.”

Quartz obsession interlude

Kabir Chibber on how India’s Modi is becoming Lula’s successor as leader of the global poor. “His words, and the manner in which he conveyed them, suggests that the world again has a leader who speaks for the billions of non-Westerners whose interests, although acknowledged, are often ignored. One they haven’t had since January 2011, when Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva left office.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

We’re arriving at the endgame for BlackBerry. The question now is who will buy the smartphone maker for more than $2 billion net of cash.

Asia is the most dangerous region in the world. Territorial sea disputes are only one reason why.

The future of music includes vinyl records. Ones with hand-etched holograms.

Amazon’s practices are crushing local economies. It stands accused of exploiting low-wage workers.

Surprising discoveries

Kim Jong-un likes cheese. So much so that the North Korean leader is apparently suffering from gout.

Ireland is just now getting around to introducing postal codes. They begin in spring 2015.

Arab Twitter users dislike Iran. Even more than they dislike the US.

Burmese elephants helped defeat the Japanese in World War II. They waged guerrilla warfare (no animal puns please).

One in seven Japanese adults plays pachinko. The parlor game’s revenues last year were $175 billion.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, “I went to see Modi at MSG and all I got was this stupid t-shirt” souvenirs, and pachinko winnings to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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