What to watch for today
Stalemate and uncertainty in Hong Kong. Chief executive CY Leung refused pro-democracy protestors’ demands to step down and instead attempted to split the movement. Meanwhile, the city was forced to shut government offices until Monday because protesters barricaded the entrances.
The US plays whack-a-mole with the Islamic State. The bombing campaign against IS is forcing a change in tactics by the extremist group. In Iraq’s Anbar province, locals will face curfews on vehicle use so it’s easier to spot extremist fighters trying to relocate.
The UK measures its all-important services sector. Markit/CIPS’s non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for September is expected to drop to 59 from 60.5, which would be the biggest fall of 2014. Britain’s services sector accounts for two-thirds of its GDP.
The US talks jobs, officially. Payroll firm ADP says 213,000 US jobs were created in September, but it’s the US labor department’s report that’s being watched most closely. Will the jobless rate stay low at 6.1%?
While you were sleeping
Turkey approved the use of force against the Islamic State. The country’s military is cleared to fight in both Iraq and Syria against the extremist group, and allied nations will be able to conduct campaigns from Turkish soil. The Syrian town of Kobani—which sits on Turkey’s border—is on the verge of being captured by ISIL, spurring an exodus of refugees.
JPMorgan’s data breach turned out to be absolutely enormous. A cyberattack exposed the personal information of76 million households and 7 million businesses; the bank previously said only one million were vulnerable. The hacker attack, now among the largest ever, gained access to names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails, putting customers at risk for further fraud attempts
China’s services lost some steam. The country’s non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index dipped to 54.0 in September, from 54.4 in August, a slowing rate of growth in a sector that’s crucial for the transformation of the Chinese economy.
The US is partially lifting its arms embargo against Vietnam. Washington said the decision to sell some weapons to its former adversary is intended to “improve maritime security”—a thinly veiled reference to China’s maneuvers in the South China Sea.
The Dalai Lama confirmed talks with China. The exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader told the AFP that informal talks are taking place about him returning to Tibet. There have been several hints of warming ties; the Dalai Lama also had a good relationship with Chinese president Xi Jinping’s father.
Angry Birds got its wings clipped. Rovio CEO Mikael Hed published a note saying that the company has “been building our team on assumptions of faster growth than have materialized.” Translation: 130 people in Finland—16% of the team—will be laid off. Hed will be flying the coop himself at year’s end.
Quartz obsession interlude
Lily Kuo on why Hong Kong’s protesters want chief executive CY Leung to go to hell: “Critics deride Leung as a puppet of Beijing … But as the son of a police officer who eventually built his fortune as a real-estate executive, earning him the nickname ’emperor of the working class,’ he is also seen as a symbol of one of the elite members of Hong Kong’s increasingly unequal society.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The biggest threat to the Islamic State isn’t bombs or drones. It’s women being educated.
The Middle East is entering a warlord era. Nation-states are dissolving and millions are living under self-declared rulers.
Retirement is a pipe dream for the middle class. The global cost-cutting race means you’re going to work until you die.
Wall Street hates nice people. GoPro’s shares plummeted after the company’s founders donated $500 million to charity.
A former US president refused to use White House light switches. He was afraid he’d be electrocuted.
Beer is a memory booster. A flavonoid found in hops boosts mental performance—but only if you drink the equivalent of 2,000 liters a day
The human nose knows when death is near. Once your sense of smell starts to go, you’re three times more likely to die in the near future.
All those auto recalls really add up. One in six US vehicles—37 million in all—has an unfixed safety recall fault.
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