What to watch for today
The Hong Kong protests swell. After a rain-soaked night, the China National Day holiday begins, allowing more people to join the so-called umbrella revolution. Demonstrators booed the Chinese flag and jeered chief executive C.Y. Leung—but their demands for his resignation are unlikely to succeed.
Oil prices could start slipping. The US Energy Information Administration will publish a report on how much crude oil the US is stockpiling. Investors say reserves have increased by 1.5 million barrels in just one week, potentially driving the price of oil to below $90 a barrel.
Shanghai’s polluters face astronomical fines. China’s largest city will start enforcing what it claims is the “strictest air protection law” in the country. Maximum fines will reach 500,000 yuan ($81,450)—five times the current level, and some businesses could be shut down until they comply.
Try the new Windows. Microsoft will make available a “technical preview” of Windows 10, which it announced on Tuesday, skipping Windows 9. The final release will be in mid-to-late 2015. The highlight feature is the return of the familiar start menu that, to many users’ annoyance, disappeared in Windows 8.
While you were sleeping
Ebola reached the United States… An unnamed man was diagnosed with the Ebola virus in Dallas, Texas, after coming to the US from Liberia. The head of the US Centers for Disease Control said he has “no doubt we will stop this in its tracks,” and indeed it is almost impossible for the disease to spread in the United States—but shares of drug firms spiked anyway.
…As Nigeria got its outbreak under control. All known Ebola patients in the country are now being treated and no new cases have been reported for a month. Senegal has also not had any new cases for a month, and its only patient has recovered.
The UK joined the battle against the Islamic State. The Royal Air Force said its jets destroyed an armored truck and a “heavy weapon position” in Iraq. Kurdish forces said the attacks helped them win control of an area near the Iraq-Syria border.
China and Japan factory activity was steady. China’s official purchasing managers’ index was 51.1 in September, the same as in August. Japan’s Markit/JMMA PMI ticked down slightly to 51.7 from 52.2 the previous month.
Reddit tapped celebrities and Silicon Valley for funding. The social media site raised $50 million from rapper Snoop Dogg and actor Jared Leto along with venture capitalists Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel, valuing it at a reported $500 million. Investors will also give 10% of their shares to Reddit users, who monitor the site and perform crucial maintenance tasks.
Quartz obsession interlude
Lily Kuo on how Hong Kong’s protest has spread beyond students. “What started as a pro-democracy movement mainly among the city youth—sparked by student activists as well as another pro-democracy group, Occupy Hong Kong—is starting to capture a broad cross-section of the city’s population of seven million. … Teachers in at least 31 secondary schools are boycotting classes … one of the city’s most influential trade groups, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, has called on workers to strike and demonstrate at protest sites.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The rich are so rich they’re invisible. And that’s why normal people don’t care about the wealth gap (paywall).
Putin can be stopped… Boost NATO spending and force the EU to adopt a cohesive energy policy.
…So can the Islamic State. Offer a disenfranchised youth alternatives to radicalization.
There’s one surefire way to ensure uncorrupt officials. Make them post their finances online, like this official in China.
Unemployment is undermining marriage. Young Americans are unlikely to wed someone who doesn’t have a steady paycheck.
Climate change can alter gender birth ratios. Male fetus deaths spike in months with extreme weather.
An eight-decker ice cream cone is on sale in Japan. It’s a precarious bargain at 390 yen ($3.60).
Sweden’s sewage is under surveillance. Sensors in Stockholm detect bomb-making chemicals.
The game of Tetris has a plot. At least Hollywood thinks it does.
Paper or paper? Single-use plastic bags are now banned in California.
Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.
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