Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Hong Kong’s crossroads, Brazil’s presidential path, French rants, shared bath water

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What to watch for today

Hong Kong faces an ultimatum.

 The city’s chief executive gave protestors

until this morning

 to clear the streets, or he will “take all necessary actions to restore social order.” Tens of thousands of people gathered at the protest’s epicenter over the weekend but

started pulling back on Sunday


HP splits in two.

 The company will announce plans to separate its PC and printer businesses from its hardware and services operations next year, 

according to the Wall Street Journal

 (paywall). The move would come less than a week after eBay said it will 

officially spin off PayPal

 as a separate company.

Brazil’s new president, part one.

 The country awaits first-round results in its election battle between incumbent Dilma Rousseff and challenger Marina Silva, who would be the country’s first Afro-Brazilian president. With third candidate Aecio Neves in the mix, neither is likely to garner the majority of votes required for an outright win in this round.

Global number-crunching.

 Factory orders are due out from Germany; the US 

Federal Reserve will begin publishing

a new monthly index of US labor market conditions; and the Bank of Japan and the central banks of Portuguese-speaking countries will hold meetings.

ISIL airstrikes continue.

 The world awaits an official response to the apparent beheading of British taxi driver Alan Denny 

by ISIL jihadists

, an aid worker in Syria who was kidnapped in 2013. Australia has now given its military the go-ahead to 

join the US-led coalition

, but only in Iraq.

Over the weekend 

Womb transplants became possible. A woman in Sweden gave birth using a transplanted womb for the first time. The 36-year-old mother, born without a uterus but with functioning ovaries, received one from a friend in her 60s. Until now, the only options for women without wombs were surrogacy or adoption.

“Baby Doc” died. The former dictator of Haiti, Jean-Claude Duvalier, died of a heart attack at age 63. After inheriting the title of “president for life” from his father in 1971 at age 19, his cruel reign was ended by an uprising in 1986.

Mexico discovered a mass grave. Authorities in Iguala, in Guerrero State, found several bodies near where students clashed with the police a week ago, which resulted in the death of several people and dozens of missing students. The New York Times reported that many were last seen being carried off by police officers.

Time changed down under. The beginning of daylight saving time in some—but not all—parts of the country means there are five Australian time zones for summer, instead of the usual three. Sydney is now “half an hour ahead of Adelaide, one hour ahead of Brisbane, one and a half hours ahead of Darwin, and three hours ahead of Perth.”

Quartz obsession interlude

Kabir Chibber on some of the all-time best rants about doing business in France. “The history of French-bashing goes way back. The French writer and journalist Jules Huret visited Germany and wrote up his account in 1908. ‘There’s too much talking in your offices, large and small. We are always surprised when we go to Paris for work for all the time lost to ‘chatting.’” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Ferguson’s fight is moving to the ballot box. And this may lead to real political change.

The most thoughtful critics of the Apple Watch? Watch bloggers.

Governments must start talking to terrorists. Learn the lessons of Northern Ireland.

How can corporations be legal “persons” … if Muslim detainees aren’t?

Germans love thriftiness, including conserving water. Perhaps a bit too much.

Surprising discoveries

Microsoft gets $1 billion from Samsung. The royalties total more than its earnings from Skype, Windows Phone, and Xbox combined.

Scientists are ready to test lab-grown penises. Any volunteers?

The size of your dining companion can influence what you eat. And how much.

There’s a website called “Canceled Weddings.” For the thrifty wedding planner, it has a “last-minute offers” section.

Sweden is the first European country to recognize Palestine. And it probably won’t be the last.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, vacant wedding venues, and watch critiques to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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