What to watch for today
Will Turkey join the fight against ISIL? The country’s parliament will vote on whether or not it’ll augment the firepower currently being supplied by the US and its allies. The Syrian town of Kobani—right on Turkey’s border—is about to be captured by ISIL fighters.
The ECB will save the day—maybe. The European Central Bank will hold its monthly meeting where it is expected to reveal new stimulus measures and potentially change interest rates. The euro hit a two-year low against the dollar on Wednesday, partly due to disappointing manufacturing data.
Hong Kongers bring the message home. Protestors say that if the territory’s chief executive doesn’t resign, they’ll pay a visit to his official residence. China Central Television is reporting that the Umbrella Revolution has cost the commercial areas being occupied roughly HK$40 billion (US$5.2 billion) thus far.
Rocket Internet goes public. Despite being chided for acting as nothing more than a clone factory, the startup incubator is expected to raise upwards of €1.6 billion when its shares start trading in Frankfurt for €42.50 a pop.
Brazil’s presidential candidates have their last chance to shine. Dilma Rousseff and Marina Silva will have one more debate before elections on Oct. 5, though a run-off election on Oct. 26 will almost certainly be needed to decide the winner.
While you were sleeping
The US Secret Service got a new head. First there was the White House fence jumper. Then there was the armed ex-convict sharing an elevator with president Obama. The agency’s director, Julia Pierson, has resigned; she’ll be replaced by retired Secret Service agent Joseph Clancy.
France put off paying its debts—again. France was supposed to reach the EU-mandated public debt level of 3% GDP back in 2013, but it said it needed more time. The country repeated that same message today, saying it’ll take until 2017 to balance the books.
Airlines were told to fix their cockpits. The US Federal Aviation Administration told airlines to cough up $13.8 million to replace the cockpit displays in 1,362 airplanes made by Boeing. The screens in question were made by Honeywell, and they could go blank due to Wi-Fi and cellular interference.
India and the US agreed to blast off into space together. NASA and its Indian equivalent, ISRO, signed a pair of agreements to launch an Earth-monitoring spacecraft by 2020. The two countries will also form a mission-planning team responsible for researching Mars.
Germany told Google to stop being so creepy. Hamburg’s data protection authorities told Google it must give its users more control over how their data (collected when they use services like search or email) are used to profile them for advertisers. The fine if Google doesn’t comply, however, is a piddling €1 million.
Quartz obsession interlude
Gwynn Guilford on why the US anti-vaccine movement is scarier than the Ebola virus. “The 592 cases [of measles] reported thus far in 2014 are a far cry from the measles incidence before the vaccination campaign started, in 1963. Back then, about 550,000 Americans came down with the virus each year; around 500 of those people died. But it’s still the highest number of cases since measles was ‘eliminated.’ … As a study last year of a 2010 California whooping cough outbreak found, more people declined to vaccine their children for ‘non-medical reasons’ than any year since 1947, when the vaccine was introduced.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Vice broke US law with its ISIL documentary. Anti-terrorism legislation says Vice is promoting the Islamic State.
Mars is humankind’s insurance policy. Says Elon Musk, who promises the first human colony will be up and running there by 2040.
Facebook feeds our addiction for justice. All those ridiculous articles being shared make us mad, and we love it.
In the end, nothing will happen in Hong Kong. The protestors will go home, China will regain control, and all will be back to normal.
Westerners don’t care about Africans dying of Ebola. But now that a man has it in the US, people start paying attention.
The protests in Hong Kong are a US plot. Russia’s state media have a whole elaborate conspiracy theory about it (paywall).
Those little blue pills could make you go blind. One in 50 men carry a gene that makes them susceptible to blindness if they take Viagra.
You need never, ever, feel lonely again. For ¥46,000 ($420), a Japanese firm will gladly sell you a chair that can administer hugs.
With the right incentives, anything is possible. The German city of Essen is offering homeless people free booze and cigarettes to clean up the streets.
CrossFit for kids is now a thing. Who wouldn’t want a three-year-old who can squat, clean, and press multiples of her body weight?
Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.