Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Elon Musk’s “D,” Icahn’s Apple letter, Lego dumps Shell, arboreal garlic injections

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

Elon Musk unveils the D. The Tesla CEO tweeted last week alluding to a new model in the electric-car company’s portfolio. Analysts say it could either be an all-wheel drive version of the Model S or a demo of Tesla’s self-driving vehicle research.

Carl Icahn sends Tim Cook an open letter. ”Believe it will be interesting,” teased the activist investor, who owns over $4 billion in Apple stock.

The umbrella movement branches out. The three main Hong Kong pro-democracy protest groups will unveil an expanded civil disobedience campaign in their drive for universal suffrage, ahead of talks tomorrow between the government and the Hong Kong Federation of Students.

How did a major Apple supplier go bankrupt? GT Advanced Technologies, which was supposed to produce sapphire screens for iPhones, will explain how it ended up going bust instead.

Data updates. US initial jobless claims are due, while the Bank of England will decide whether to raise its benchmark interest rate, though that seems unlikely just yet (paywall).

While you were sleeping

Lego ditched its less-than-awesome Shell deal. The world’s biggest toy company said it will not renew an agreement to sell toys in Shell gas stations after coming under pressure from a Greenpeace viral marketing campaign—but not before criticizing Greenpeace for creating “misunderstandings” about the way the company operates.

Another controversial police shooting in Missouri. Protesters gathered in St. Louis, about 30 miles from the town of Ferguson, after a white off-duty white police officer shot and killed a young black man on Wednesday night. A police spokesperson claimed the officer was returning fire after being shot at by the 18-year-old; relatives of Vonderrit Myers insisted he was unarmed.

Even more woeful news for the German economy. Exports fell 5.8% in August from the month before—the biggest drop since 2009—after rising 4.8% in July. Earlier this week factory orders and industrial production also fell sharply. The figures will increase pressure on chancellor Angela Merkel to focus more on promoting economic growth instead of emphasizing fiscal austerity.

Violence flared in Kashmir. Seventeen Indian and Pakistani civilians have been killed in some of the worst military clashes between the two countries in a decade. Each side accuses the other of targeting civilians, thousands of whom have now fled to refugee camps that lack food and sanitation.

Brazil politics make strange bedfellows. The Brazilian Socialist Party, which failed to secure a place in the runoff elections later this month, threw its weight behind pro-business challenger Aecio Neves in his attempt to unseat incumbent president Dilma Rousseff.

Australian jobs took an unexpected dive. The number of employed people fell by 29,700 in September, compared with a Bloomberg survey that projected a rise of 15,500. The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ also revised the rise in August jobs sharply downwards, to 32,100 from a rather unbelievable 121,000.

Quartz obsession interlude

Heather Timmons on the economic surprises of the Hong Kong protests. “Beijing’s ban on tour groups, put in place days after the protests started, was expected to hit tourism hard… Instead, the reverse seems to have happened. Tourist arrivals during the Golden Week were 1,159,952, the Hong Kong Tourism Board told Quartz—a 4.83% increase from last year’s Golden Week holiday, as mainland tourists poured into the city to shop, and in some cases check out the protests.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

People care more about a dog than Ebola victims. A euthanized Spanish pet drew more concern than thousands dying in Africa.

Flying cars would be noisy, ugly, and dangerous. And that’s coming from Elon Musk.

Kazakhstan could be the next Ukraine. The former Soviet republic is an enticing target for Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Amazon’s warehouse workers are modern-day coal miners. Security checks are no different than spending time in a mine elevator.

Free will is at least partly an illusion. It can be easily manipulated with brain implants.

Surprising discoveries

Tomato juice tastes better at altitude. But we choose to drink it on flights because of its novelty.

Google’s newest autonomous vehicle is a camel. Google Maps Street Views now include 360° shots of the Arabian desert thanks to a dromedary named Raffia.

There’s a 3D-printed paper-airplane gun. Is there a practical application? Who cares?

British trees are getting garlic injections. A compound called allicin helps battle deadly arboreal diseases.

We now know exactly how much sleep you need: 7.8 hours for men and 7.6 hours for women.

No air conditioning? No beer. Vietnam wants to require restaurants selling beer to have AC, but Asia’s biggest beer drinking nation is unconvinced.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, garlic shots, and camel-mountable cameras to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.