What to watch for today
Hong Kong protests at a crossroads. Pro-democracy students’ scheduled talks with government officials today were canceled at the last minute. Will protestors remain undaunted through the weekend, or has the momentum has been lost?
Apple’s new iPhones go on order in China. Consumers in the world’s largest smartphone market can now reserve an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, ahead of the official release on Oct. 17. For those too impatient to go through official channels, import prices have collapsed to reasonable levels.
Data, data, and more data. Canada will release data on its labor market and the US will publish September import/export price indexes. Standard & Poor’s will issue an update on its credit rating for France—which earlier this month said it needs more time to reach European-mandated debt levels.
While you were sleeping
The Noble Peace Prize got timely. The $1.1 million joint award to Indian child rights advocate Kailash Satyarthi and 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai—the Pakistani activist who was shot by the Taliban for attempting to attend school—comes as India and Pakistan are engaged yet again in deadly violence over the disputed territory of Kashmir. Twenty-three civilians have been killed in shelling by both sides, the highest number in more than a decade.
Kim Jong-un was a no-show. The North Korean leader skipped the anniversary of the country’s ruling party, fueling speculation about his health. A source told Reuters that Kim was “in firm control of his government but hurt his leg taking part in a military drill.”
The far right won a seat in the UK parliament. Douglas Carswell, who defected from the Conservatives to the UK Independence Party, was narrowly elected to become the anti-immigration, anti-EU party’s first member of parliament—a sign of trouble for Conservative prime minister David Cameron.
Euro zone industrial data looked miserable. Industrial production in Italy rose just 0.3% in August, month-on-month, falling short of analysts’ expectations of 0.5% growth, while in France it stagnated, thus concluding a worrying week in which Germany recorded some of the worst economic data in years.
Tesla’s “D” is a semi-autonomous all-wheel-drive car. Master showman Elon Musk unveiled a faster version of the Tesla Model S sedan, starting at $120,170, that is powered by two separate electric motors. It also has “driver aid features” that use sensors to read and adjust to speed limit signs, and can park itself or change lanes with the flick of a turn signal.
Obama is trying to close Gitmo again. The US president is preparing to override a congressional ban on bringing prisoners to the United States from the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). Obama tried and failed to close the facility during his first term.
Microsoft’s CEO apologized. Satya Nadella said he got it “completely wrong” when he told a women’s tech conference that female workers shouldn’t ask for raises and instead depend on “good karma.”
Quartz obsession interlude
Matt Phillips on the fragility of Germany. “Germany is part of Europe, and the European economy is in a terrible mess. Exports account for about 38% of German GDP, according to Oxford Economics. And the biggest destination for its exports are European nations. (For instance, France is its largest export market, the destination of 9.2% of all exports in 2013.) About 57% of all German export goods are shipped to other European Union nations.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Asians aren’t appreciated in Silicon Valley. The largest minority in the tech hub gets the second-lowest salaries.
Rose in “Titantic” is the absolute worst. A newly discovered alternate ending to Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster merely underscores her awfulness.
We are afraid of clowns because of their behavior as much as their appearance. Their willingness to cross boundaries frightens us.
Fight it over there so we don’t have to fight it over here. Not terrorism—Ebola. Those new airport screenings are a waste of resources.
Mothers should be pressured into breastfeeding. Some might push back, but in the end, it’s worth it.
Hawks are a drone’s worst enemy. One bird of prey forced a quadcopter out of the sky in Massachusetts.
China is on alert over a stray Siberian tiger. “Kuzia” swam across the border after being released into the wild by president Vladimir Putin.
It all goes down the same pipe. A UK school is telling its 15,000 students to pee in the shower to save water.
Thailand is paying cops to refuse bribes. A mixed message in the fight against an “ingrained culture of corruption.”
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