Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Amazon’s stop-and-frisk, Yum’s food-safety slump, Symantec split-up, inheriting coffee addiction

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Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Amazon goes before the US Supreme Court. Its workers are forced to stand in line for up to 25 minutes to be searched for stolen goods, and are suing the company for not paying them for their time. The Obama administration—which has plenty of federal employees who go through similar checks (paywall)—has sided with Amazon.

Europe’s leaders discuss the euro zone. After the IMF predicted that Europe has a one-in-three chance of re-entering a recession (paywall), politicians convene in Milan to figure out what, if anything, can be done.

The US Federal Reserve opens the vault. Investors will comb through the minutes of September’s monetary policy meeting for clues on when the Fed will raise rates. Separately, former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke testifies about the 2008 bailout of AIG.

PepsiCo loses fizz, gains bite. Sugar-water sales are flagging, but PepsiCo is also in the snack business, and investors are expecting a 1.2% increase in sales despite the soda slump.

We see a blood moon rising. As you read this the moon is passing entirely through the Earth’s shadow, giving it a blood-red glow. Skywatchers on the US west coast have a good view, and Alaskans will get the full effect. If you’ve missed it, don’t worry—the next lunar eclipse is in April 2015.

While you were sleeping

Hong Kong’s chief executive was accused of corruption. CY Leung received a secret £4 million ($6.4 million) payout from an Australian engineering company while serving as Hong Kong’s top government official, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Leung, who is facing calls to resign from pro-democracy protesters, claims the payments were not made in exchange for any future services.

Kenya’s president stands accused of crimes against humanity. Uhuru Kenyatta arrived at the International Criminal Court in The Hague to face questions about his role in the violent aftermath to Kenya’s 2007 elections, in which more than 1,000 people were killed. Kenyatta appointed his deputy to temporarily serve as president to avoid becoming the first serving leader to face charges at the court.

Symantec is the latest splitter-upper. The tech company is considering a plan to divide itself into separate storage and security businesses, following in the footsteps of HP and Ebay/Paypal.

The US and Turkey are squabbling while Kobani hangs in the balance. As ISIL forces continued to push into the Kurdish town, US officials are frustrated that Turkey’s military isn’t playing a bigger role. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged that the town was about to fall, but said Turkey would not get more deeply involved unless the US agreed to give more aid to Syrian rebels.

More evidence of slower spending in China. The HSBC/Markit services purchasing managers’ index, which tracks smaller companies than the government’s index, fell to 53.5 in September, from an 18-month high of 54.1 in August. (A figure above 50 indicates expansion.) Meanwhile, retail sales growth during the country’s “Golden Week” holiday slowed to 12.1%, from 13.6% last year.

The bidding war for Allergan got complicated. The manufacturer of Botox has turned down repeated takeover offers from Valeant Pharmaceuticals and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, but might be willing to consider bids of $200 per share from Activis, sources told Reuters. Valeant and Ackman are considering raising their offer for Allergan by $4.5 billion (paywall).

Quartz obsession interlude

Leo Mirani on the simple device that could turn any car into a connected car. “Look under the hood of most modern cars and you will be hard pressed to identify what part does what. As a result, drivers suffering a fault with their cars must take the word of the garage or dealership when they say something is wrong with it. Being able to see what’s going on under the hood on your smartphone ‘allows a better relationship between consumer and vehicle,’ says Pavan Mathew, O2’s head of connected cars.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Kim Jong-un is just fine. His top aides wouldn’t have traveled to South Korea if there was a power vacuum.

Stay-at-home dads don’t deserve extra praise. But it’s hard to resist giving it to them.

America doesn’t care about Syria’s Kurds. It only cares about the stability of Iraq.

Never, ever, pay a ransom. Doing so only encourages future kidnappings.

Ebola is the ISIL of viruses. Or the Putin of Stalin, or the North Korea of peanut allergies—in short, stop using ridiculous metaphors.

Surprising discoveries

There is one US highway that uses the metric system. It’s done so since the 1980s, when some Americans still thought the system would stick.

Blame DNA for your crippling caffeine addiction. How your body processes the stimulant is determined by 10 separate genes.

Going to the gym increases job satisfaction. Especially if you take time off work to exercise.

It pays to play video games. One US college is handing out 35 “athletic” scholarships for “esports” stars.

Bangladesh discovered the secret to making people poop indoors. “Shame and disgust” public messages are key.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, redundant ransom cash, and toilet shaming strategies to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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